What is it about this staircase image?

Castle staircase print

I was reading Frink and Freud: The American Patient (written by Pierre Péju, art by Lionel Richerand) when I came across this panel.

Frink and Freud staircase panel

What is it about that image that’s so compelling? Two of my favorite detectives have connections to a very similar one.

Castle staircase print

Richard Castle had this staircase art behind his desk, as you can see to the left of this set picture. (I so wanted walls made of bookcases.)

Castle office set

And Sherlock Holmes had similarly shot significant moments twice. The first, in the first episode of Sherlock, “A Study in Pink”, was in the building with the victim.

Sherlock A Study in Pink stairs

The second was part of Sherlock’s “mind palace”, when he’s willing himself not to die in “His Last Vow”.

Sherlock His Last Vow staircase

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a similar one in real life, with those lovely rounded rectangle shapes.


  • Eric G

    They don’t seem that unusual to me, although you’re right that I don’t see them much these days either. I think they may be more common in older buildings, where the inner shaft is used for lighting the stairwell.

    And typing that, I realize that they are better described as stairwells than staircases- you’re actually looking down a well-like opening, rather than a staircase where you’re doing quick reversals.

  • That’s the kind of information I was hoping to elicit – yes, it’s better described as a stairwell, and the lighting issue makes sense!

  • James Schee

    Putting on my philosopher’s cap here. lol I like the images because there is a sense of almost infinity in them. I don’t know how long the stairs wind around and around, and that both fascinates, and worries me a bit too.

  • Oooh, that’s a good observation.

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