Eileen Gray

Eileen Gray in Hermeneuticon at Hermetic Library

Eileen Gray, Kathleen Eileen Moray Smith, (1878–1976); architect, designer, Modern Movement

“One of her suitors was the Scottish poet and occultist Aleister Crowley. He claimed that they were briefly engaged in 1903 and that she was the inspiration for his poem The Star and The Garter.”—https://www.independent.ie/life/home-garden/interiors/98-facts-about-eileen-gray-34725889.html

“The artists Wyndham Lewis, Gerald Festus Kelly, Kathleen Bruce and Jessie Gavin moved with her to Paris in 1902. Kelly introducing her to Rodin, the actress Eleonora Duse, and the controversial occultist Aleister Crowley, to whom Gray became briefly engaged.”—https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/eileen-gray-thoroughly-modern-maker-1.2015801

“Who shall care or know, When one and all are this? Eileen!”—XIII. EILEEN. in in Rosa Mundi

Ecstasy, break through poetry's beautiful barriers,
Intricate webs, labyrinthine mazes of music!
Leap, love, lightning's self, and, athwart the appalling
Evil clouds of an agony bound by existence,
Enter, avail me, exult! In the masses of matter
Nothing avails; in the splendour spirit is, nothing.
Give me love; I am weary of giants colossal,
Royal, impossible things; I am fain of a bosom
Always breathing sleep, and the symphony, silence.
Years are forgotten; abide, deep love, I am happy.”—XXVII, an acrostic poem, in Rosa Mundi

“He once picked out an old canvas to paint over and had gone some distance before he discovered that it was his favourite portrait of the Hon. Eileen Grey.”—Chapter 44

“I had even got engaged to be married, but returning after a week in London I was partly too shy to resume relations with my fiancée, and partly awake to the fact that we had drifted under the lee shore of matrimony out of sheer lack of moral energy. This lady claims notice principally as the model for several poems, notably (in Rosa Mundi, and other Love Songs) “The Kiss”, “Eileen” and the poems numbered 14, 15, 16, 18, 21 to 28. She was also the “Star” in The Star and the Garter, Which I wrote at this time”—Chapter 44

Wyndham Lewis, Gerald Kelly, Kathleen Bruce, Auguste Rodin, Aleister Crowley, Chat Blanc, Somerset Maugham, John Lavery, Ezra Pound, James Joyce, Nancy Cunard

“The artists Wyndham Lewis, Gerald Festus Kelly, Kathleen Bruce and Jessie Gavin moved with her to Paris in 1902. Kelly introducing her to Rodin, the actress Eleonora Duse, and the controversial occultist Aleister Crowley, to whom Gray became briefly engaged.

Other figures who used to meet Gray in the Chat Blanc, a popular cafe restaurant in Montparnasse, were Clive Bell, Somerset Maugham, Gertrude Stein, Irish artists Roderic O’Connor and John Lavery, and the writer and artist Stephen Haweis.”—https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/eileen-gray-thoroughly-modern-maker-1.2015801

“Her shop, called Jean Desert, displayed her furniture, furnishings and carpets and attracted a distinguished clientele – Ezra Pound, James Joyce, René Clair, Elsa Schiaparelli, Silvia Beach, Gerald Murphy, the Rothschilds, Nancy Cunard and many others.”—https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/eileen-gray-thoroughly-modern-maker-1.2015801

 

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