the Charlus convex mirror

In Mirrors by Mark Evans

The Charlus convex mirror is definitely inspired by the Belle Epoque era of the late nineteenth century in Europe. From the unusual octagon shape to the opulent use of rock crystal quartz, citrine, gold metal gilding and Venetian glass, the Charlus convex mirror is over-the-top but comes in a modestly sized package.

The Charlus mirror is about 7 inches in diameter. It hangs in my studio pending being shipped to one of my showrooms.

Jewelry for walls!

The Charlus convex mirror is named for the vivid fictional character Baron de Charlus. He was a licentious gay man in the seven-volume novel Remembrance of Things Past (1913–27) by Marcel Proust.

Proust’s inspiration for the Baron Charlus was Marie Joseph Robert Anatole, comte de Montesquiou-Fézensac (7 March 1855, Paris – 11 December 1921). He was a dandy, Symbolist poet, artist, bon vivant and bitchy social arbitrator. He was determined to be the most photographed/painted person in the world.

As Montesquiou wrote: Tall, black-haired, Kaiser-moustached, he cackled and screamed in weird attitudes, giggling in high soprano, hiding his black teeth behind an exquisitely gloved hand—the poseur absolute. Montesquiou’s homosexual tendencies were patently obvious, but he may in fact have lived a chaste life. He had no affairs with women, although in 1876 he reportedly once slept with the great actress Sarah Bernhardt, after which he vomited for twenty-four hours. (She remained a great friend.)

A portrait of Marcel Proust by Jacques-Emile Blanche, 1892