Viktorium’s Inspiration: Metropolis, The World of 1920s France, & The Paris Exposition Universelle

With all the writing I’ve done for the Viktorium series, I thought it might be cool to take a little break out of my regular postings and focus on some visual references for everyone to better get an idea of what the world itself might look like. Admittedly, much of the idea and aesthetics behind it are in fact inspired by the 1927 German silent film, MetropolisAs an homage to this, I will be including a brief scene later on, perhaps in the Night of the Wolf segment, in which director Fritz Lang himself and his star, Brigitte Helm, pay a visit to Viktorium–this in turn becomes his inspiration for crafting the world of Metropolis, as Viktorium’s cityscape appears much the same.

As for the 1920s in Viktorium, I imagine the costumes of the characters looking perhaps slightly different, perhaps in some cases more advanced and reminiscent of 1930s or 40s-era clothing. I think it stands to reason that a society more technologically advanced would also have a wider variety of clothing options available, not to mention a fact I’ve yet to include in the series: Time itself moves a bit slower in Viktorium (otherwise, how else might an entire 2 or 3 cities, all of which are bustling metropolises, have been built within the time span of 10 or so years?)

Still, a general aura of 1920s-style influences persists in Viktorium in architecture, art, fashion, etc. New souls arriving from the Earth plane undoubtedly bring their adoration for such mediums with them into the afterlife, and so in a sense, particularly in formal functions, there is a type of “hearkening back” to the old ways, in the same sense that we appreciate vintage fashion, art, and architecture today. There is a timelessness about it which permeates all upcoming generations and influences many of their choices.

Anyway, without further adieu, here are a few visuals and such that I have either researched for Viktorium, or simply have a general appreciation for in regards to a world of the past I would most certainly time travel to, if afforded the opportunity 🙂

The Gallery of Machines, where Charles DuPont first met Tesla at the Exposition in 1889.

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This picture of a group of newsboys in 1908 gave me the idea for Max and the boys of Barreau Orphanage.

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The photography of Lewis Hines for the National Child Labor Committee in 1908 has actually been an unending source of inspiration for me. There is a certain aesthetic quality to it that I think really resonates with my own brand of steampunk style for the world of Viktorium. Plus I really dig the fact that Hines’ photography was a huge catalyst for social change, ultimately leading to the first child labor laws being enacted in the United States. Hines was pretty badass for that, and many of these photos are now iconic. 

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I collect a lot of public domain photography and artwork for use in book covers and other graphic design projects I do. I’ve collected quite a few paintings that have resonated with me as well, and those of Canaletto in particular have helped to inspire the look of the Barreau District (minus the boats and gondolas. The canal itself is also much more narrow, though could certainly be suited to the use of gondolas, if the Barreau block is ever renovated…we shall see!)

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The Colossus of Rhodes statue is a major inspiration for the port city of Helias and the statue of the Salt God.

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I think that’s about all I have for now. If I think of any others, I’ll definitely put them in a new post, or perhaps update this list. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little visual tour of what has most inspired me for this story, and perhaps in some ways it will inspire you as well!

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