The outstanding German composer Richard Wagner never even tried to hide his great passion for splendour and luxury. When he received his new flat in Penzing (a suburb of Vienna) in 1863, he immediately began to design and furnish it without any consideration for finances, despite his rather modest financial situation. He went so far into the details that he meticulously chose the colour of the upholstery of each armchair, curtain and wallpaper. He carelessly commissioned the purchase of silks, laces and velvets, carpets, furniture and… matching outfits: bathrobes, nightgowns, including underwear!
When he finished his ‘residential project’, he asked his new friend Mathilda Maier, daughter of a notary public, to move to Vienna and, as the lady of the new house, to ‘make up for what is missing in a tasteful way’. This rather original declaration of affection did not meet with applause… Mathilda replied that she would only be ready to live with him if he officially divorced his current wife and married her instead! Wagner, as in any other matter, was not used to being given any conditions, including those in the sphere of personal relationships. So he rejected Miss Maier and quickly comforted himself with a maid. He told her how to dress, so that his original interior and image would not be disturbed by any inappropriateness.
A passion for total design! Complete and thoughtful – such as the music of the great Richard Wagner.