Twelve months later the Queen Mary achieved similar performances but as far as luxury is concerned the Normandie conceived as a showcase for French modern arts will remain unrivaled. Her architects use to compare the opulence of her interior design to the Galerie des Glaces in the Palace of Versailles.
A special attention is paid to brightness. The huge dining room is equipped with Compiègne glass walls and lighted by chandeliers, wall lamps and cascades by Lalique. The columns of the Grand Salon are made of Lalique glass.
Artists and craftsmen of the Art Déco style are solicited. Jean Dupas, a specialist in decorations of monumental dimensions, draws for the Grand Salon the doors made in gold lacquer by Dunand and the angular walls in Saint-Gobain glass églomisé by Champigneulle. That églomisé technique of painting on the back side of the glass brings a mirror effect into the decoration of the lounge.
For the angle murals Dupas and Champigneulle realized four artworks for a total surface of 400 square meters on themes mixing symbols of navigation and mythology. Each one is composed of one hundred plates assembled on bronze brackets. The whole was dismantled when the liner was militarized in 1941 and most of the plates were scrapped.
Malcolm Forbes who was a great fan of liners and travels hurries at Christie's on March 21, 1981 to buy a joint set of two rows of four elements each from the upper part of La Naissance d'Aphrodite, which will be on display until 2014 at the Forbes Gallery.
This set 250 x 310 cm overall is for sale by Sotheby's in New York on June 6, lot 64. The auction house revealed to The New York Times an estimate in the region of $ 1M.
SOLD for $ 1.4M including premium