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gr *t houses
of europe
t;

Edited by

Sacheverell Sitwell

among Europe's greatest

legacies to the arts are the

private houses which richly stud

cities

its

and countryside.

book forty of the finest are shown in all their
splendor. They range from a palace in Leningrad
to the beautiful rose-pink Queluz near Lisbon, and in time
In this

from the end of the mediaeval period

No

of the nineteenth century.

which

is

radically altered,

and none which
and
the

its

age.

is

The

to the beginning

house has been chosen

none which

is

ruinous,

not fully representative of

forty color-plates

its

country

show some of

most famous, as well as some of the

less

well-known,

examples of the Renaissance, Tudor, Baroque, Rococo

and

and equal emphasis has been

classical periods,

given to the interior as to the outside of the houses.

The

rich art-collections

which many of them contain,

the gardens that surround

them and the great

figures

and events with which these houses have been
associated, are

all

feature of the

book

illustrated

case, of early prints

and described.

A

particular

the inclusion, in almost every

is

and paintings showing how the

houses appeared to contemporaries
Sacheverell Sitwell, well

known

different centuries.

in

as a connoisseur of

the arts, has written the Introduction which describes
the contribution that domestic architecture has

made to the cultural life of Europe; and Edwin Smith,
who has taken almost all the illustrations specially
for this book, has related his photographs to the text
that accompanies them.

Each house

an author familiar with the house
history of the country in which

described by

itself

it lies,

and the cultural

but the text

is

written

whose appreciation of these houses

for the non-specialist,
will be

is

heightened by a knowledge of their history,

builders and owners.

The

speak for themselves.

Jacket: Queluz, Portugal

magnificent illustrations

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GREAT HOUSES OF EUROPE

i

Great

Houses

Europe

Edited by

Photographs by

SACHEVERELL SITWELL

EDWIN SMITH

i

G.

P.

PUTNAM'S SONS

New York
opposite:

in the

garden of the Villa Lante

©

1961

BY GEORGE WEIDENFELD & NICOLSON LTD, LONDON

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS BOOK OR PARTS THEREOF

MIST NOT

BE REPRODUCED IN

ANY FORM WITHOUT

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOG CARP NUMBER

PERMISSIpfltf}

j

61- 9708

DESIGNED BY MARK BOXER
PRINTED IN ITALY BY ARNOLDO MONDADORI EDITORE OFFICINE GRAFICHE

Contents

INTRODUCTION

DUCAL PALACE, URBINO

CHATEAUDUN
CAS A DE PILATOS

VILLA LANTE

by Sachevercll Sitwell

The Renaissance

A

PALAZZO DEL TE

CHAMBORD

Twin

VILLA BARBARO, MASER

HARDWICK. HALL
CAI

RAROLA

in the

28

36

heart of Seville

44

pavilions in a water-garden

52

Tirolean castle unspoiled by time

'Chambers of transgression, now forlorn!'

60

A

68

VILLA D ES1E A

EGESKOV

18

fortress transformed into a palace

Cool courtyards

SCHLOSS TRATZBERG A

ideal of a princely residence

French chateau of ingenious vastness

Cardinal's

villa

among

The proud memorial of

Palladio's

charming

villa,

the cypresses

in

....

Danish nobleman

a

embellished by Veronese

Elizabethan architecture at

Vignola's masterpiece

and cascades

the

its

most adventurous

Monti Cimini

76

82

....

88

98

106

HOTEL LAMBERT A President's house on an island

CHATEAU DE TANLAY
ISOLA BELLA

VAUX-LE-VICOMTE

WILTON

DROTTNINGHOLM
PALACIO LIRIA

BLENHEIM PALACE

475

PALAIS

HEERENGRACHT

SCHWARZENBERG
PALAZZO LABIA

THE NYMPHENBURG
STUPINIGI

POMMERSFELDEN

A

112

in the Seine

splendid union of* stone and clear water

120

Grandeur which does not destroy romance

126

The most

A

splendid house and garden in

classical scene created

The

all

France

by centuries of discernment

with

its

superb art-collection

'England's biggest house for England's biggest man'

fine

example of

The grandson

A

a

Dutch patrician town- house

preserves the dees of his ancestors

Venetian palace immortalized by Tiepolo

The

airy palace of the Bavarian Electors

Juvara's hunting-lodge

The

.

.

.

132

.

.

.

.

140

white palace of the Swedish Royal Family

The Alba town-house

A

.

in

Piedmont

ease and spaciousness of

German Baroque

148

.

.

.

.

....

156

162

170

176

182

190

198

206

BROHL

The

pleasure-palace of an Archbishop

214

THE RESIDENZ, WORZBURG

The

highest flight of Baroque daring

220

CLAYDON
RUSSBOROUGH

A

The

SANS SOUCI A

BENRALH

A

SYON HOUSE A

YOUSSOUPOFF PALACE

QUELUZ
PETIT TRIANON

ARBURY HALL

smaller English country-house of delightful elegance

.

.

230

238

Palladian facade of an Irish country-house

retreat for a philosopher-king

244

marvel of delicacy and ingenuity

250

house transformed by

The shade

A

.

of Rasputin

Adam

with imperial lavishness

beneath these saloons

stirs

.

.

.

....

jewel of de

Tudor

in origin,

Pompadour and Marie Antoinette

gothicized

in

the

18th century

268

274

rose-pink palace set in a water-garden

The

258

....

282

290

HOTEL D'HANE-STEENHUYSE

The

King's retreat during the

LAZIENKI

The

island-palace of the last King of Poland

304

corner of France beside the Tagus'

312

CASITA DEL LABRADOR

'A

little

Hundred Days

298

Introduction

'the nobility,

and exacting

this exclusive

ing phrase of a recent

book on

castles

and mansions published

one of the lands behind the Iron Curtain, and

and describe more than eighty houses

trate

in

Empire.

grudging

tribute, as

who must

in

yet

in the

in

illus-

the thirteen provinces

would be that of

mind, haters of both Church and State
terms,

then goes on to

it

Hapsburg

question which was part of the former

of the country
It is a

so runs the open-

class',

of a like

critics

old meaning of those

acknowledge Chartres and Versailles

the

as

most splendid and enduring monuments of France.
But

CASTEL DEL MONTE

it

would be wrong

to point of view, only

to allow credit, or lay blame, according

upon the

class of persons indicated in such de-

precating words. For, over and over again, their ranks were swelled

and

renewed and vitalized by families of middle

their blood

much humbler

Rather

origin.

represent the aspirations,

could be said that the Great Houses

it

not the achievement, of

if

class or

community. As such, they are the

fine

classes of the

all

flower of western civilization,

and of more tangible reward than our churches with

their constant

reminder of the tomb.

Roman
country-houses. The

In the world of antiquity the

DMkLi

I

of resemblance to our
rina in the

middle of

CASTELLO

S.

GIORGIO,

MANTUA

pagan

its

certain identity of

its

builder -

centuries later in time.

was

the

still

And

was

and certainly

Perhaps

in the ancient

present

site

in

and the un-

certainly a country house

of the

and had

our castles and mansions of ten

Diocletian's palace at Split,

a

with

or acrobats - a mystery

Dalmatia,

in

encloses the old town within the periphery of

as surely

palaces

girl athletes

scale of grandeur,

feeling in a mostly Christian world

amenities denied to the dwellers

which

some points

offered

mysterious Piazza Arme-

on an imperial

Sicily,

mosaics of hunting scenes and of
because of

villa

country

or,

rather, a

its

marine palace.

world one would have most liked

Byzantine emperors at

walls,

Istanbul,

to see

occupying the

of the Old Seraglio upon the Golden Horn, and forming

the highest achievement of the arts of decoration in the west,

probably
at

in all

Ravenna,

human

it is

and that of the

history. Just as, in the mosaics of

waiting that hold our attention,

PALAZZO MEDICI, FLORENCE

it

San Vitale

Emperor Justinian and his
Empress Theodora with her eunuchs and

the group of the

would be the secular

so, in the

subjects in mosaic,

and

courtiers
ladies-in-

Imperial palaces of Istanbul

more than

the religious, that

would be our magnet.

The Chalce

It is

a sensation just to read, or be told, of these.

or great porch of the palace, where were portrayed Justin-

and Theodora, the conquered towns of

ian

Belisarius bringing the loot

and the prisoners

Libya and Spain,

Italy,

to the feet of the Basileus,

1 fJ *

it jjlj;_f j J,; f[, 'JI

[:.

L

and

a

banquet ami festival

and Vandals,

celebration of triumphs over the Goths

in

mosaic; the Camilas, a hall that has a roof flecked

all in

J

i^ri>n->rr|

with gold, and mosaics with scenes of harvesting and reaping; or the

added by

halls

Macedonian

Basil the

summer

open

retreat

hunting of lions

>n^ji

mmmm

Bosphorus with walls adorned with the

to the

PALAZZO STROZZI, FLORENCE

What would we

not give to be allowed a glimpse

these!

art,

Talk of Byzantine mosaics

leads on to tapestry, which

and already we are

Middle Ages. Castel

in the

octagonal castle of Frederick

about 1240,
II

fn

mosaic, trees and flowers and animals and scenes

in

of fruit-gathering.
o!

the ninth century with mosaics

in

.

Empress Eudoxia and their children; and

of his warlike exploits, his
a

?j

is

this a hunting-castle

was half-oriental

in

mind and

Ommayad

ing-castles of the

deserts near

II,

'Stupor Mundi'

habit.

Are we

Caliphs that he

Damascus or Jerusalem, and

Monte,

del

We

move up

that

to relate

to the hunt-

it

may have

seen in the

had Salome-like

who

II

paint-

settled his Sar-

now

serves

PALAZZO PICCOLOMINI, PIENZA

the Adriatic coast of Italy to find ourselves at

of our Great Houses. This

first

book which imposed

to exaggerate the exquisite detail of the

almost therapeutic property of

anil the

in

Cathedral there.

the Ducal Palace of Urbino, the
a beginning to the

the

Apulia, built

acen bodyguard at Lucera, and whose marble dining-table
as high altar in the

a Gothic

or a country palace? For Frederick

nude dancers on the walls? Frederick

ings of

in

is

for

itself,

it

would be

is

difficult

doorways and chimney-pieces,
its

delicate proportion.

Here

Duke Federigo of the broken nose and his Duchess Battista
Sforza, known to us by their double portrait by Piero della Francesca
in the Uffi/.i; and we may think of them, as of the allegorical paintings
lived

on the back, processing through the landscape on chariots drawn by
unicorns to this early Renaissance palace of

After Urbino, the choice
liferate

could

and spread

all

more

difficult.

to nearly every country in

palaces.

rw.AV

The Great Houses

way among

and where possible
elsewhere

pro-

is

and behind

its

this

Introduction

the material chosen, while supplementing

illustrating

his

text,

body of the book. For

in the

at Florence

REGGIA GONZAGA, MANTUA
is
it,

with houses not mentioned
instance, the

Palazzo Medici

of almost the exact date of the Ducal Palace at Urbino,
rusticated exterior of golden stone by Michelozzo, the

are on their journey through the Tuscan landscape of spring

flowers and cypresses and stone pines in the frescoed chapel by

Gozzoli.

and

»*f-

Europe. By no possibility

and the course taken by the writer of

to steer his

ico in

M*£*§

of them be included; the subject has had to be dealt with by

selection,

Magi

is

all

What

a beautiful world, with the paintings by

San Marco only

just

just

down

the street.

We

Benozzo

Beato Angel-

can only

illustrate,

mention, the Palazzo Stro/.zi, like a huge golden chest or

coffer of the

burgeoning Florentine Renaissance; or the country palaces

by Rossellino at Pienza,
vius Piccolomini)

built to the

who appears

in

command

of Pius

II

(Aeneas

one of Pinturicchio's frescoes

in

Syl-

the

CHENONCEAUX

ii

Piccolomini Library at Siena as improbable envoy from the Council
of Basle to King

James

of Scotland.

I

Together with these great names of

Italy

and the Renaissance

comes Mantua, where the Reggia or Corte Reale of the Gonzaga with

damaged

its

frescoed

frescoed paintings of the family hy Mantegna,

hy Giulio

mentions) with the
a

sum

hino.

PALACIO DEL INFANTADO, GUADALAJARA

Romano (the only painter whom Shakespeare
Wars of Troy, and its dwarf's apartments, make

most heautiful of

total of the

rooms

its

The immense

size of

it

Ur-

Italian palaces after that of

perhaps precludes entire enjoyment; and

where the Gonzagas are hut invoked there must be room for the name
of d'Este, of inseparable association with the arts and with poetry
the persons of Ariosto and of Tasso. But of their palaces

room by Cossa

except the frescoed

T

A .HE
in

transition

from Gothic

eaudun and Chambord. But
French

it

was

is

exemplified

is

shown

the castles of Chat-

at

doorway,

like

in florid

is

galant

I

in

the Louvre,

homme whom we

Henry VIII when
of Gold, and that

We
it

to

in

order to

know

that this

look at Titian's portrait of

remembering that

monarch and

this

is

it

English accused of tripping up our King

they wrestled together at the Field of the Cloth
is

can follow

eaux of the Loire -

and

Gothic. Or,

we have only

France, and not Italy,

Franqois

horns over the

its

an echo of French hunting music down the rides of the

royal forest, and
is

how

Amboise. The chapel

there has a stag with a cross growing between

PENA PALACE, CINTRA, PORTUGAL

and the

think of Leonardo da Vinci spend-

and dying,

life,

in

to France,

Renaissance; just

the Gallic

is

when we

ing the last two years of his

now spread

fever has

it

little is left

the Palazzo Schifanoia.

in

to Renaissance

in

who

Francois Premier
this

his

built

French king whose

Chambord.

spirit inhabits the chat-

salamanders are carved on the

stairs at Blois,

could be said that he shares Chenonceaux with a shade surely

congenial to him, that of Diane de Poitiers, mistress of his son Henri

II

- from France to Spain. For having been defeated and taken prisoner
by the armies of the Hapsburg Charles
of his captivity was spent

VILLA BADOER, BY PALLADIO

in

V

gilded ease under the

Mudejar

some

ceilings

Guadalajara. Here the Duque del Infantado entertained him; and

at

from Moorish windows high above the
a

at the battle of Pavia,

portal,

which has for crown

huge armorial shield with satyrs for supporters, he looked down on

the tournament held in his honour.

most strange and
like

The

patio of

this,

perhaps the

exotic of Spanish palaces, has carved lions with heads

hedgehogs over

its

arcades; and

in the interior

are chimney-pieces

which the French king greatly admired, and superb inlaid and gilded
artcsonado

ceilings,

were, the finest of their kind

in

Guadalajara was badly damaged
the

Casa de Pilatos

ISOLOTTO FOUNTAIN. BOBOLI

10

of Spain that

we

to

Muslim

in the Civil

or

War.

In contrast to this,

and

is

a

most

inspired houses that are to be found

Meshed. Nevertheless,

find in

are,

Spain; for the Infantado Palace at

at Seville has survived uninjured,

perfect specimen of the

from Marrakesh

Moorish craftsmen. They

the world of

it

has the distinct accent

Las Duenas, the palace of the Dukes of Alba,

and

in

the courts or cloisters of orange trees

the

in

mosque cathedrals

of Cordova and Seville.

we can move from

time to return to Italy where

It is

mano's giants and horses and banquets of the gods

Palazzo del Te,

little

to Villa

Maser,

Mantua,

at

the

in

Villa Lante, Caprarola, Villa

d'Este, four master-works of the Italian genius,

and each and

them profound and poetical almost beyond description.
built for

Giulio Ro-

two brothers of the Barbaro family,

all

of

Maser,

Villa

unique as being planned

is

by Palladio, having stucco sculptures by Vittoria and painted rooms

by Veronese,

which

triple concerto of talents the like of

combination or

a

will not occur again. In the result all

VILLA GAMBERAIA

perfect proportion and

is

harmony, as we might say of some masterpiece of music that the
acoustics are perfect,

Maser

sublime. Villa

instruments superb, and the performance

the

summer

a

is

The

imagining and poetic fancy!

villeggiatura, but of

instinct of the writer

what patrician

would put

Villa

Lante into the same paragraph as Villa Maser, though here the twin
pavilions have

little

emphasis put upon them. All the interest

Quadrato or square garden with

Moors

the four

The same

incredulous

kept

its

may

fountain

wonder comes over one
it

is

may

or

really by a

name of

the

Granada.

the

It is

To compare

the fountain of

as at the

famous 'Moss

be that those box-hedges, this green embroid-

pattern since the middle of the sixteenth century?

It

matters no more than whether the 'Moss

Zen

priest of the fourteenth century; or than

Arab who designed

enough that each

kind

in its

Garden where

island planted with flowers,

lemon

CEILING OF CHAPEL,

CHATEAU D'ANET

the garden of the Generalife at
is

a perfect

with the fountain of the Quadrato

Isolotto of the Boboli

The

not be by Giovanni da Bologna and the Villa

and garden by Vignola.
Garden'

in

(but they resemble classical athletes) in the middle.

Garden' at Kyoto. Can
ery, has

and

parterre,

its

in the

is

a cypress

work

we could

of art.

suggest the

avenue leads to a stone

trees in terracotta pots along

its

parapet, and above those a statue of Oceanus by Giovanni da Bologna; or for comparison with the parterre of the Quadrato, those of

Gamberaia, outside Florence, and the view down over Tuscany

Villa

beyond the green embroidery. But that would be before we climb between the pavilions of Villa Lante to the pagan wood beyond,
shades of
all

ilex,

most beautiful of

The

Villa

Lante

is

surely the

more

Villa d'Este, the garden, or rather the fountains, are

The

to the fountains. Villa d'Este

were an inspiration

and the cypresses, and that

fountains,

Roman Campagna

huge portico with a view over the

ful portico,

HEIDELBERG CASTLE

Italian gardens.

important than the house.

down

faunal

and the long musical descent of the waters chiming, and

but speaking, in their beds of stone.

At

its

and

to

cypresses,

its

leading down,

and that wonder-

Fragonard; while the pyrotechnic

display of the water with their jets rising to different heights, which

many summers that he
wonder. At Caprarola, the accent

he heard during the

and

little

on the house than on the garden. This

is

lived there, inspired Liszt,
is

the

reversed and

most splendid of

country places - Caserta alone excepted - and
high above the village and the
the valley. It

is

little

a sensation to look

its

at

it

more

Italian

vast shape towers

white church to the

up

falls

left

across

from the airy terrace

CHATEAU

D'O

in

11

front of

it.

In the interior the circular stair of paired columns gives

proof of Vignola's mathematical or geometric genius which
to

admire

other

in his

mood

of poetic imagination

rooms frescoed hy

the stair are twelve

are

the garden.

Up

the brothers Zuccaro with paint-

There are fountains of coloured

ings that play the part of tapestries.

rooms that prepare

stucco in one or two of the

in

\yc

wonders

us for the

of the garden; for the moss-grown Atlantes and river-gods, and on
the highest terrace of Caprarola

(with the two goat-syllahles

in

its

name!) the caryatid statues or garden-terms of fauns and faunesses

BOLSOVER CASTLE

with baskets of grapes upon their heads to crown their goat-locks;
single figures, mostly, but in the corners of the terrace they are in pairs

and talking together,
through the

in

dumb language

and on

ilexes

to

Hardwick

have not seen

it

Hall, and

that this

of an Englishman:

it

is,

M aser, Villa Lante, Villa d'Este -

is
I

I

can only say to foreign readers

in

and

think, as a building,

the course of this survey of the Great

more

across any structure

and beautiful

who

considered opinion and not only the boast

a

in its contents, as

We

beautiful as any of these masterpieces of the Italians.

again

down

to the plain.

After Caprarola - and the Villa

we come

or by signs, as they look

beautiful, inside

A

in its contents.

shall not

Houses of Europe come

and

more varied

or

out,

building of the northern Renaissance,

not without influence of the Perpendicular, that style unique to Eng-

KNOLE

land

in its

huge areas of window and fretted

lery which,

when

was

the writer

a child,

of tapestry hung one over the other upon

over the tapestries,

Queen Elizabeth

I

is

in

roof-line.

had four or

and so

peculiarly English, too,

Gal-

thicknesses

five

and pictures hung

walls,

its

The Long

is

the portrait of

gown embroidered
The Great Chamber which has

her astonishing farthingale and

with snakes and birds and sea-horses.

the frieze of hunting scenes in coloured plaster has been apostrophized

most beautiful room

by the writer as

'the

nothing since to

make him

in

Europe', and he has seen

Marvellous, too, are the

alter his opinion.

golden

state beds 'hanging in costly

saw them, but now mended; while

tatters',

when Horace Walpole
and above

the tapestries,

all

the

needlework, are unrivalled. Foreign visitors to Hardwick should not
neglect the opportunity of seeing Bolsover Castle, which

CHATEAU DE BALLEROY

miles away, and the
its

most romantic and imposing

empty and haunted keep,

ruin in

is

but six

England with

the riding-school, and the great roofless

halls built for the entertainment of

Charles

I

and

his court

Welcome was performed

Jonson's masque of Love's

in

when Ben
1634 with

dresses and scenery by Inigo Jones, but burned out soon afterwards.

Hardwick
first

full

who took

is

of the Renaissance, yet mediaeval. Wilton

Renaissance house

is

the

England, of the school of Inigo Jones

in

Palladio for his model.

It

is,

therefore, the cynosure of our

Palladians of a later generation, and the house of houses in which to
see paintings by

Vandyck. The Double Cube Room, more probably

by Webb, Inigo Jones' pupil,

is

a

wonderful English-Venetian triumph

of proportion; the huge Vandyck family group covering one wall

an epitome of the cavalier age, while the supporting

William Kent, the Palladian of

CHATEAU DE SASSY

12

Tiepolo was to Veronese, the

a century later,

is

gilt

to Inigo

total effect being of a

is

furniture by

Jones what

Venetian magnifi-

cence superior to anything
too,

tion,

belongs the Palladian bridge

Wilton; 'Venetian'

Guards

at

and

intent

in

pleasure grounds at

the

in

that later genera-

Horse

origin, but as English as the

Tower

Whitehall or the

To

the Doge's Palace.

in

of London. But neither Ilardwick

nor Wilton must be recalled without mention ot Knole, the house of
the Sackvilles,

where the

Stuart kings

as

is

and furniture of the time of our

state beds

wonderful and unspoiled as anything

Hotel Lambert on the

lie St

Louis

XIII, and must be the finest house
a

huge golden saloon on the

first

in

England.

in

of the same epoch, Louis

is

The

Paris.

Galerie d'Hercule,

by Le Brun,

floor with paintings

BELOEIL

has hut the Galerie Doree of the Banque de France to compare with
it

in the

French

The

stvle.

and that

capital,

two

earlier of the

ing played

in

it

gives

less finish to detail,
It

is

is

the

is

a halo of

and that

the grandc epoque,

Versailles.

it

is

another kind. That
lines

Le Notre, and we

we

and

apparent at Vaux-le Vicomte,

the age of

Chopin hav-

beautiful, while

means harder

this

Lante and Villa Maser. Canal and
tions,

more

XIV

flower of the Louis

in the full

are

more

a

built just

in

heart-

before

are far from Villa

on the scale of

glacis are

now

and the young avenues are long green tunnels open

fortifica-

to the skies,

but they lack the soul of Caprarola and the poetry of the Italian

garden.

We

the liveries

rooms

miss the silver furniture of the Galerie des Glaces, and

and uniforms and periwigs that would bring the gilded

to life; while

Orangeries with
Suisses.

Most

of

its

all

of Marly; but there

home

Roman

admiring as examples of

great stairs and the Grande

magnificence the

d'Eau des

Piece

CA'

REZZONICO

one would wish to have seen the twelve pavilions
is still

another garden, that of Beloeil

of the de Lignes, that gives us the

full

in

Belgium,

splendour of the August-

an age.

*&

A:

.s

afloat like

the style loosens, there

obelisks,

ments.

Bella,

Armida's galleon, with terraces for decks, long despised,

but musically, melodiously Italian, with the bel canto of

and

Isola

is

Isola

its

its

camellias

fountains and lemon-trees and pebble-mosaic pave-

Bella

is

contemporary with the Venetian palaces by

Longhena, architect of Santa Maria
sea-dome and whorled

»..*^S£**-

della

Salute,

and alike
and

shells for buttresses of the Salute,

in

the

in

the

TIEPOLO FRESCO, PALAZZO PISANI, STRA

water-faqades of his Palazzi, Pesaro and Re/.zonico, with their plumed

helms for keystones and rusticated, weed-encrusted walls, we have
another water-architecture, to

Canal of Venice. Perhaps

this

rise
is

from and be

the

moment,

the painted ceilings of Tiepolo; the clouds
in the

Palazzo Rezzonico; and

at the

reflected in the

too, in

which to invoke

and white horses of

and her banquet

opposite wall.

We

in

fresco

a

room

Palazzo Labia, the disembark-

ing of the blonde Cleopatra - a gondolier's daughter? galleon,

Grand

among

from the

turban'd attendants on the

can follow Tiepolo from his native Venice to the

terra firma; to the glorification of the Pisani at Stra; to his beautiful

walls and ceilings at Villa Valmarana, above Vicenza; to another and
fine ceiling at

Verona (Palazzo Canossa); and

to a

little

known

but

THE ROTONDA, VICENZA

13

glorious exercise of his genius as a decorative painter

Milan; not forgetting

Clcrici at

prodigious fresco of Olympus and

his

the four Continents on the stair at Wiirzburg, and his

Barbarossa

throne-room

Royal Palace

the

in

have done with Italian painted walls and

remind ourselves

us

let

Madrid. And

at

other that Tiepolo,

that,

Barberini

in

Rome, and

Pamphili

in

the Piazza Narovia of the

Giordano painting the Medici
Olympus,

in the

from the Aeneid

his paintings

as

same

gods of

main currents of

was
to

British

delayed current,

a

But

among

the gods of

it

though of

true,

is

it

could be said that

came from Yiccnza. This

architects

which others than Englishmen might

date.

end with Luca

most of Europe from Versail-

influence flowed to

but inspiration to

les,

Palazzo

Palazzo Medici at Florence.

So much for frescoes. In the meantime
the

finest

Palazzo

in the

city; to

light

the

the

in

find

it

timeless

a

classicism

assign the

difficult to

does not apply to Sir Christopher Wren, a mathematical

this

whose

genius, a virtuoso in the old sense of the term, turned architect,

Hampton Court
sis

Palace

is

of the red brick Dutch architecture

with touches of Versailles, albeit

a

in excel-

learned Oxford accent. In the

in a

person of Sir John Vanbrugh we have

CASTLE HOWARD

to

same para-

ceilings in this

examples are prohahly those by Pietro da Cortona

HAMPTON COURT

Marriage of

the Kaisersaal; or the last prodigy of his talents on the

in

ceiling of the

graph,

the Palazzo

in

phenomenon of another

a

kind,

fashionable Restoration playwright transforming into one of the

most prodigiously gifted and original geniuses of any age. His Blenheim Palace

is

incomparable

Howard
'Nobody had informed me

be well advised to
said of

it:

but our foreign readers would

in scale;

visit

Castle

Yorkshire. Horace Walpole

in

that

a palace, a town, a fortified city, temples

I

should at one view see

on high places, woods worthy

each of being a metropolis of the Druids, the noblest lawn

in

the world

fenced by half a horizon, and a mausoleum that would tempt one to
be buried alive;
a sublime one.'

in short.

I

have seen gigantic palaces before, but never

His words are no more than true of Castle Howard.

E

ISCHER von Erlach came

RIDING SCHOOL, VIENNA
far as

I

know, Vanbrugh never went

fanciful to see

some

latter alone

Eugene of Savoy;

architects together at the

their

different

perhaps not

at

the

at

the

Belvedere

Kinsky Palace; and both

Winter Palace of Prince Eugene with

Austria with their great

libraries

is

on von Erlach. The

worked

splendid staircase-hall and statues of Atlantes.
teries in

it

London. So

was worked on by both von Erlach and Eukas

von Hildebrandt; though the
for Prince

Vienna; but

slight traces of his influence

Palais Schwarzenberg

built

to

to

stairs, as at St

and Kaiscrsaals and

state

its

The Baroque monasFlorian and Gcittweig,

apartments, are but

from country mansions. The most magnificent of

all

little

houses

of Central Europe, the peer of Yaux-le-Yicomte and of Blenheim,

MALRITSIiriS,

14

THE HAGUE

Pommersfelden,

its

superb stair closely matched, as

by the staircase

at

Klostcn Ebrach,

miles away. Probably

a

we have

hinted,

Cistercian abbey only a

Johann Dientzenhofer had

a

hand

in

is

few

both of

them; and

Neumann,

B.

the latter J.

at

architect of the palace at

Wurzburg, was involved. As Baroque turns into Rococo, inspiration
becomes refined and subtilized into such wonders as the apricot, and
pale blue and silver rooms, of the Amalienburg, outside Munich, by

Count

the Court dwarf,

Zimmer

cacies of the Reiche

matched by the golden

Cuvillies, only

(now restored)

of the Residenz and the

Residenz-Theater from the same hand. Such

deli-

and

intricacies

filigree

prodigies of grace and balance are on a par with achievements of the

Moors, though they are equalled

Saffarid Persians and the Andalusian

many

by the interiors of

other Rococo churches and chapels

Three 'pleasure domes', which
Portugal, Drottningholm

Queluz

in

Turin.

The

is

it

in

in

Bavaria.

IIIVS

TEN BOSCH, HOLLAND

take together, are

a delight to

Sweden, and Stupinigi outside

of them should be seen through the eyes of 'Caliph'

first

Beckford who, writing of

forty years later,

it

describes the world

of his youthful memories, the huge hooped skirts of the Court ladies,
the dwarfs,

He

and the poets spouting impromptu verses.
Royal chapel, and of

the Italian caslrati warbling in the

'the

tells

of

oboe and

players posted at a distance in a thicket of orange and bay tree',

flute

At Drottningholm it is the Kina
perhaps more capriciously fanciful than any

playing 'the soft modinhas of Brazil'.

and

Slott that enchants

Ming

of the

is

pavilions, reminding one,

though that

not chinoiserie,

is

of the Eremitage at Bayreuth. Stupinigi, the masterpiece of Filippo

Juvara, with the stag on top of
the Sleeping Princess

still

slumbers,

theatrical designer, has here

unwoken

the old Italian theatre

no comparison

is

be another of her palaces, Clausholm, lost

in

some

woods of

the high

in

XIV

living

and married

Absolute King, while

as

style

rooms, a castle of

fifteen of its

Queen abducted by

strange interest as the residence of the 'conscience'

King Frederik IV,

unless

to Stupinigi,

Jutland, with snow-white plaster ceilings in delayed Louis

by stuccadors from the Ticino

legal wife

his

was

still

to him.

Sans Souci, and the other palaces at Potsdam, are the best
ting for the rococo of Louis
tinet.

And

their

treasures intact,

there are not

if

human

craftsmen being

are the

there

minds of

all

riches

form one of the highest

Germans

The

who have

as epitomizing the

inexhaustible

of French

and

fantasies

at

work

in the

Nancy

Place Stanislas at
seen

French

French manner
remain

will

in

the

in

the

together with the theatre at Versailles,

it,

style.

Louis

XV

was indeed, under

Madame

de Pompadour's influence, as much a builder as Louis XIV, but

numerous small chateaux, with
formal

and

style,

are

that, curiously,

intimate

of this

their

gardens

still

in

is

forerunner of the Louis

XVI

rooms of Louis XV are of the new age, and

style.

7

monarch

formality

in

it

is

is

The

left,

small

very typical

that he should be put to bed nightly with elaborate

the state

and then repair

his

the old French

swept away, and only the Petit Trianon

all

COLONNADE, POTSDAM

hands, a not inconsiderable proportion of the

in fact

capital of France.

set-

XV, strange bibelots for a Prussian marmany French houses of the date with all

furniture which, collectively,
ingenuities of

CLAUSHOLM, JUTLAND

Juvara, a great

yet'.

made permanent

scenery of the Bibienas. There
it

cupola, in the hunting castle 'where

its

bedroom of

to other

his

great-grandfather at Versailles,

and smaller rooms

upstairs.

Could we but

see

KASTEEL MIDDACHTEN, HOLLAND

15
I
I

Country Life

Pompadour we would have

the art treasures of the

the complete picture

of the age.

A

prior to this period the

little

and William Kent

mood

Lord Burlington

chief practitioner.

its

of England was Palladian,
to be as-

is

sociated with this Palladian movement, showing the conservative feeling of that 'exclusive and exacting class' of which he was

Chiswick House,

Kent together,

Mereworth
KEDLESTON, THE GREAT HALL

in

the green

In order to

most

the

is

and the work of Burlington and

restored,

lately

member.

a

accessible of these Palladian essays; while

Castle, another of them,

is

by Colin Campbell, reproducing

meadows of England what was native to the Vicen/a hills.
know Kent at his best it is necessary to go to Norfolk.

Holkham must

be seen,

its

great hall of fluted columns 'enriched with

purple and white variegated alabaster', and his superb furniture
Country Life

'Venetian' style at

Houghton. His

stair

and the coffered saloon

Berkeley Square, London, should be noted;
garden, the 'Daphne

but

little

known

its

are unsurpassed in design and
'filigraine ceilings' are to

Portman Square; and
house by

Adam

Derbyshire,

and

and

its

near London.

seen

Syon

workmanship by anything
in

in

all

these

Europe.

spider-web delicacy at 20

20 St James Square, splendidly restored,

which he designed

his hall

closets or boudoirs at

little

doors and door-cases:

be admired

in tolo

down

to the

afield,

is

sedan chair,

at Kedleston,

in

with twenty fluted columns of Derbyshire ala-

a pair of grates of

burnished brass and

steel,

with fenders

upon which he lavished the utmost refinements of
architect with as

in its application,

The

Suffolk.

VIRGINIA

at

James Wyatt, an

haphazard

MOUNT VERNON,

is

fire-irons,

skill.

be

and the door-knocker. Further

the ink-stand

baster,

to

manner with

each end; and the splendour of

a

is

ante-room with verde antique columns from the Tiber; long

gallery in Italian Renaissance

His

his talent,

outside England, be appreciated.

.DAM

House;

landscape

his

Badmington. Only then can

at

A,
HOLKHAM, THE MARBLE HALL

44

at

of Walpole, at Rousham, near Oxford;

in little'

and the Worcester Lodge

also,

as,

in

much

talent but waylcss

his

and

should be seen at Heveningham Hall

hall with yellow scagliola pillars,

ing-room door, most sumptuous of

its

in

double mahogany din-

kind, candelabra in the form

of rostral columns, and dining-room furniture, are the measure of his
originality before he turned to the

Northern Ireland,
sical

is

another of Wyatt's houses, more seriously

manner. This

in

sham Gothick. Castle Coolc,

can be followed to

style

in

clas-

Mount Vernon and

Monticello, and the pillared porticoes of Virginia and the two Carolinas.

Humphrey Repton, landscape gardeners,
park and garden. The former is to be ad-

'Capability Brown' and

were creating the 'English'
mired
with
lcat,

in

its

the hanging

woods and lake of Blenheim

Palace.

Badmington

twelve-mile belt or verge of trees; and the deer parks of Long-

Petworth, Arundel, with their groves and stands of timber are

unique to England. In Ireland, where labour was cheaper, the parks
are almost artificial landscapes and could be set beside the hunting

MON'TICELLO CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA

16

»

may

parks of the Chinese Emperors. Powerscourt

many

of these, but there are
low,

Irish

typical

a

is

others.

he the most beautiful

Russborough,

country-house:

County Wick-

in

with

Palladian outside,

rich

stucco-work within, probably by Italian craftsmen. But the native Irish
school of plasterers
slums, close to

admired

to be

is

in

Dublin houses, often become

Gandon's Custom House,

of architecture should see the Marino, a

William Chambers at Clontarf,

little

where

all

lovers

classical casino

by Sir

the city

in

just outside the town,

Lilliputian

a

masterpiece on a par with the Petit Trianon.

There are

curiosities in

England that we do not expect

such as the chinoiserie of Claydon,
pole's Strawberry Hill, or the

go back

to the

more unexpected

to find there,

KRUMMAU

CASTLE, CZECHOSLOVAKIA

Horace Wal-

that

sham Gothick of Arbury. But we must

mainland of Europe for a

last

survey which takes us

on

to such houses as Eisenstadt, the country palace of the Estcrhazy,

the Austrian side of the frontier with

Hungary, with

late classical

its

room, 'English' park, and memories of Haydn. There are other man-

Hungarian magnates

sions of the

in

same

the

Krummau,

of the Bohemian nobles, such as
lov,

in

style;

and the

rechristened

where the Grenadiers of Prince Schwarzenberg were

1932, and the masquerade hall

down from

looking

is still

castles

Cesky Krumstill

on guard

frescoed with carnival figures

boxes, and harlequins rub shoulders with mous-

tachio'd Hussars. This hypothetical tour could extend into Poland, to
castles such as

And

theatre.

Lancut of the Potockis, or Lazienki with

further

the Youssoupoff

Palace

where we are able

to Russia,

still

in

Leningrad, though

its

sured the writer of our article that he had two

its

garden

to illustrate

former owner

still

PALAIS MICHEL, LENINGRAD

as-

finer houses.

Country Life

It

can be no more than an enumeration of names to mention Rastrelli;
or the external colour-schemes of the Leningrad palaces, - yellow, or
lilac,

or salmon, or rich blue; or the Winter Palace which was original-

ly pistachio

Michel

in

We
at

green, with white pillars and gold capitals; or the Palais

Russian Empire style by Rossi.

way of houses in Ghent or Amsterdam to find Nash
England, who should be seen at his best at Caledon in

return by

work

in

Northern Ireland. His terraces

in

Regent's Park are matched by the

marine squares of Brighton and the parades of Cheltenham.
with Penrhyn Castle
cases of slate,
ion.

That

Haga

in

Norman

workmanship was
Stockholm

Slott outside

wright King Gustavus

II,

in

coffage orne of thatched roof
is

still

in

who

in practice

Pompeian

style,

CALEDON, NORTHERN IRELAND

proved by the

Denmark, or

has travelled

but two of the Great Llouses,
all. I

all
is

is

Country Life

built for the play-

at

Aranjuez,

Spain.

The

and honeysuckle, where lived Giselle

Tipperary. But the writer

most beautiful of them

is

Goya King and Queen of

to be seen at Liselund in

demesne of Cahir

all

with four-poster beds and door-

and by the Casita del Labrador

an over-exquisite setting for the

photographer,

end

and with the domes and chandeliers of Brighton Pavil-

exquisite

the old ballet,

style

To

in the

in

green

informed that our

over Europe taking pictures of

of opinion that Villa Lante

is

the

would agree with him, and put Hardwick

second.

Sacheverell Sitwell

PENRHYN CASTLE, WALES

17

THE DUOMO AND THE DUCAL PALACE, NEIGHBOURS ON AN ACROPOLIS

Ducal Palace, Urbino
The

Renaissance ideal of a princely residence

!

FROM AFAR,

across the plains of

Tuscany and Umbria and up the

Foglia valley, the ancient city of Urbino soars on
'the

Umbrian

generous

hills

from any approach, north, south,

much

the valley

as the golden pillars

in context,

music and

like

painters.

rises

from

The impact

in

of surprise

as exciting as following the sound of

is

superb, mediaeval town dominated by towers and turrets,

pennants into the blue and white skies of

For 1,480

narrow and crooked

feet

you climb up

streets

to the city,

Wherever you

are

in

to

its

Umbrian

and through the

you follow always the road

and the Palazzo Ducale, nextdoor neighbours
square.

Still,

finally arriving at its source.

It is a

flying

city

city.

of Persepolis are sighted

the distant haze soon after leaving Shiraz.

any approach to the

Urbino

east or west,

above

a land of

in

Perugia, some miles from Urbino, was the poet's

since

in

two

summer heat, rich in crops,
To quote Propertius may not be absolutely

lakes smiling

fields'.

its

the

to the

Duomo

huge central

the city these buildings stand

supreme

and dominate the whole.

The

history of the Palazzo

of the city and, as

by

its

in the

rulers.

18

most of the

inevitably,

bound by the history

Italian city states of the Renaissance,

Urbino, originally created capital of the Sabine Marches

year 1000

tense - 'the

in

is,

little

(the

Romans

endearingly called

it

Urbinum

I

lor-

garden town') was ruled by the Montefeltro family

opposite:

THE ENTRANCE COURTYARD, BY LUCIANO LAURANA

I I

X

DUCAL PALACE, URBINO

who,

in the fifteenth

century, were

Dukes of Urbino, and

Ducale or Ducal Palace rivalled any of the courts of

its

the Palazzo

greater neigh-

bours of Milan, Florence, Venice or Perugia.

Federigo da Montefeltro,

had the whole palace, or
ed

benevolent ruler and patron of

fortress as

1465 by the Dalmatian

in

a

which they envisaged were

to

it

arts,

then was, redesigned and extend-

architect,

embody

Luciano Laurana. The plans
a 'city within a city',

an ideal

many of the Renaissance humanist princes. In the patent which
the Duke Federigo took out, he laid down that Laurana, 'a man more
of

skilled in architecture
in

founded upon arithmetic and geometry than any

Tuscany, that fountain of architects, must build

bino a fair residence

in all

in

our

city

of Ur-

respects befitting the rank and reputation

of our predecessors and ourselves'. In a setting of austere grandeur,
'proud,
built a

golden Urbino' as Dante called

superb palace of creamy Dalmatian limestone.

The
tall,

Federigo and Laurana

it,

front

is

built in a three-sided square.

On

each side of

flanking towers which melt into turrets and spires.

it

rise

From

the

courtyard ascends a staircase of monumental proportions leading to
the living-rooms -

below:

A CHURCH

IS

INCORPORATED

IN

THE FAQADE

rooms vast and

beautiful, small

and magnificent,

in

which are housed the art treasures of The Marches, for the Palazzo

is

today the National Gallery of that

district

of Umbria.

It

was

in

rooms

these

that the

Duke Federigo founded

mathematics and humanism. Right ami

poetry,

left

carriage

the

of

and

art

his schools oi

entrance to the court are two rooms which were devoted to a library,

more complete, according

Ycspasiano, the Duke's librarian, than

to

even those of Florence or of Oxford University. Every book had to
be readily accessible, bound

silver-decked crimson and 'kept from

in

the hands of dirty and tasteless persons'.

Among

Federigo numbered

distinguished citizens

his

ami Bramante, ami

it

is

Raphael

believed that here Piero della Francesca wrote

famous work. The Science of the Perspective. Alas, Urbino pos-

his

only one painting by Raphael, her greatest son, and that, Por-

m.-sm'n

of a Lady,

trait

is

in the large

paintings which line the superb

palace

itself

is

work

the

The

audience chamber.

rooms of the palace

collection of

very

is

of art which impresses most of

but the

line,
all.

Federigo's household numbered 355 persons and there was stabling

300 horses. This vast and beautifully preserved palace

for

today, an impression of the bustle and activity of

gives, even

long centuries

its

TERRACOTTA PORTRAITS OF DUKE FEDERIGO
DA MONTEFELTRO AND HIS SECOND WIFE,
BATTISTA SFORZA

of splendour. Perhaps not as great an architect as Bramante, Laurana

was

master of the use of space and

a

shadowy dark

life

There

no gloom, no

is

corners, no tortuous staircases throughout the whole

Here was

palace.

light.

light

and enlightenment and

vigorous intellectual

a

as fine as that of the d'Estes at Ferrara or the Medicis in Flor-

While Federigo might not have been

ence.

Cosimo de Medici, he
encouragement of

behind him a legacy of learning and the

left

art of

pater patriae as was

a

which the Palazzo Ducale

his

is

greatest

testament.

Laurana followed

the

Romans

in his architectural style.

From

the

he drew his love of light and his break-away from Gothic

classics

twilights

and mediaeval gloom.

from the valley

He

built the palace so that

a forest of turrets

and

spires,

off

appeared

and from the square

a horizontal building, a domestic palace to be lived in.

are never square, the corners being rounded

it

His courtyards

by double pillars giving

the impression of a curve.

All the rooms retain

much of

the florid magnificence, alternating

with light delicacy, which distinguished Laurana's work. His choice

of decorators to carry out his general conception of light allied to

grandeur was a careful one, so that even unfurnished, as the rooms
are today, they

still

name and

ancient

retain

their

style.

the use for which

it

Each room
was

is

called

by

originally planned.

AN INSCRIPTION SCRATCHED ON A BALCONY
THE ARRIVAL

IN 1548; THE DUKE REJOICES IN
OF HIS BRIDE

its

The

Hall of the Angels, designed by the Florentine, Domenico Rosselli,
is

a

harmony of

blue and gold against the plain

The huge

fireplace,

inates the

room.

Urbino stonework.

decorated with angels designed by

To

give an impression of

life

and

Botticelli,
fluidity

dom-

Laurana

has here placed the tops of the windows, doors and fireplaces at
regular

lex els.

This room was an ante-room to the throne room, ami

the door connecting the
in

the

icately

ir-

two rooms

is

the

most important and beautiful

whole palace. Based on designs by

Botticelli, the carvings del-

reproduce the grace of the original drawings.

In the throne

room, the largest

clever trick of lighting. All the

in

windows

the palace,

Laurana used

a

face north, so that the light

VIEW OF URBINO ON A COIN OF

1705

21

DUCAL PALACE,
URBINO

The

i

I—

—p— WW

A MARQUETRY PANEL

adds a subdued elegance

the

Mark

arms of Guidobaldo
beautiful

iolo or study of the

II.

room

Duke

pursuits.

in the

Federigo.

Duke's own private room

and studious

to

whole great palace

is

the Stitd-

It is also the smallest.

This was

which he retired for contemplation

This very small chamber

is

ed with marquetry by Pontelli from drawings by

and quiet lighting of

this

room

is

made more

room which

gives the

sumptuously decorat-

Botticelli.

The

discreet

radiant by a finely carved

Here is a
immediate impression of being lived in. About

ceiling embellished in vivid colours

the

the walls the Lion

(for Guidobaldo was a Captain of the Serenissima) and

The most
the

the vaulted ceilings

Comes) and on

are the initials of F. C. (Federigo

of St

On

huge room.

to the

THE DUKE'S STUDY

IN

by Florentine

artists.

chamber are displayed numerous musical instruments, arms and

books.

Through

a

hidden door

in

the marquetry you reach the loggia

which runs between the twin towers on the west

side.

splendid panoramic view of the country-side stretches

From

away

here a

to the dis-

tant mountains of the Abruzzi.

In one of the superbly vaulted

Federigo and

his

young

son,

rooms

is

Guidobaldo.

Duke
was Guidobaldo who

a painting of the

It

bequeathed the coronet of the Montefeltro family to that of the della
Rovere,

in

1508, and through them Urbino

State. So, the hill-fortress in

together

in his

own

finally

a

Papal

which the Duke Federigo had gathered

lifetime his great classical library,

he conducted internecine wars

became

in a

small

way

and from where

as a condolliere

and pa-

tronised the arts and sciences in a most practical and encouraging fashion,

found

itself,

death of the

last

two hundred years

later, a fief

of the Pope after the

of the Urbino della Roveres.

Joyce Jeffreys

22

favourite retreat o

in

enlightened prince
belvw: FEDERIGO'S STUDY, WITH TROMPE-L'CEIL MARQI ETRY BASED ON
DESIGNS BY BOTTICELLI

DUCAL PALACE, URBINO

Laurana's work was princely

ii

n scale, but light and delicate

THE 'KING OF ENGLAND'S ROOM

1
,

NAMED AFTER JAMES STUART

THE THRONE-ROOM DISPLAYS
THE PIRITV OF LAIRANA'S ARCIIITECTIRAL LINES
left:

THE SALA

DEI ANGELI

25

V
I

DUCAL PALACE, URBINO

MS,

v^

A PANEL OF THE DOOR TO THE THRONE-ROOM
right:

far right:

The

A PANEL

IN

THE SALA

DEI ANGELI

H

DETAIL OF THE FIREPLACE IN THE DUKE'S
BEDROOM, BY DOMENICO ROSSELLI

decorative

detail reveals

the Renaissance

X"«
26

>£*

CHATEAUDUN

IN

THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY, BY

J.-B.

NESLE

Chdteaudun
A

transformed into a palace

fortress

THE unpretentious town

of Chateaudun, twenty-seven miles

south of Chartres, spreads over rising ground on the south bank, of

Le
La

Loir, a

river not to be confused with

little

Loire, which flows through the heart of Touraine.

end of the town the high ground ends

on

famous namesake,

its

this

commanding

site

in

a

At

the east

rocky promontory, and

stands the castle of Chateaudun.

Nature here provided a strong-point on the northern boundary
of Touraine, and from far back into the Middle Ages

by
is

fortress of great strength.

a

The

it

was occupied

impregnability of the position

not apparent on entering the courtyard from the town:

appreciate the

power and drama of

the

to

building must be

the

site,

fully

seen from the old stone bridge crossing the river below the escarp-

ment.

From

this

level the bastions

and

buttresses,

with their foun-

dations set on the living rock, soar upwards to the turrets and machicolations which

crown the massive walls far above the roofs of the

town.
In the twelfth century, the

famous family of Thibaut, counts of

Dunois, erected the robust circular keep, which stands at the south

end of the existing buildings. The structure was so massively

built

that by almost no means, until the invention of high explosive, could
it

have been demolished. The walls are more than twelve

and are constructed

in the line,

hard stone of the

locality

whole of the chateau - which has now weathered
grey.

oppotile:

The

dynasty of the Thihauts ended

THE TWELFTH-CENTURY KEEP AND GOTHIC CHAPEL

in

1

2

1

S

to a
,

feet thick,

- as

is

the

mellow pearl-

and after passing

29

CHATEAUDUN

through female inheritance, the domain was bought by Louis of OrCharles

leans, son of

V

of France,

due the building of the chateau as

it

To

1391.

in

now

the Orleans family

exists.

Louis' illegitimate son, Jean Dunois, Bastard of Orleans,

of the most romantic and revered figures

the English

from

peace to

country after a century of turmoil.

his

is

French history. In

in

operation with Joan of Arc, he was eventually successful

his

is

one
co-

expelling

in

but a small area of France, and thus brought

all

He

mother being Henriette d'Enghien, so that

he came from noble blood on both

in

1402,

of illegitimacy

in spite

From

sides.

was born

early years he

was

supporting his unworthy cousin, Charles VII, against the English, and
for his inestimable services he

was rewarded with

domain of Dunois, of which Chateaudun was

grant of the

a

the centre,

and was also

legitimised as of the blood royal.

The

work he

first

undertook, was the building of the chapel

which, with the aid of his wife, Marie d'Harcourt, was begun

The

exterior, with

simple Gothic

its

ches of the period, but the interior

by the

fifteen stone statues

lines,

work

the finest

fireplace

THE DUNOIS CHAPEL FROM THE STAIRCASE

is

unknown, but they must
and represent

century,

fifteenth

of the school of the Loire valley, of which

Michel Colombe was the outstanding

The

figure.

have an unusual feature

side of the central apse

small chur-

which ornament the walls. The name of

from the second half of the

some of

1451.

given interest and distinction

is

the author of these sensitive sculptures

date

many

resembles

in

chapels on either
stone canopied

in the

which each contains, showing that Marie d'Harcourt realised

that comfort

was not incompatible with

Hundred Years War

In 1453, the

the country

was able

piety.

at last

reached

to turn to the arts of peace.

its

For

close,

and

the rich this

normally meant rebuilding their fortress homes on more comfortable

and domestic

lines,

an aspect which

it

had been impossible

to deve-

lop during the strife of the preceding decades. Dunois followed the

prevailing example, and

chapel and the keep.
years later.

The

It

design

1460 began the long wing adjoining the

in

was
is

far

still

from complete

plain, but the tall

ing ample light and air to the spacious
tion

death eight

at his

mullioned windows, provid-

rooms

within,

which came with an increasing sense of

were an innova-

security.

Nevertheless,

above these purely domestic facades runs the mediaeval defence of
the chemine-de-ronde, a covered passage corbelled out beyond the walls

A GOTHIC MULLIONED WINDOW

from which boiling
It is a

century,

liquids could be discharged onto attackers beneath.

feature to be found in chateaux built well into the following

when

its

purpose had long since disappeared.

Although Dunois' building

is

plain within

and without,

one magnificent piece of architecture - the splendid stone
north-west angle.

JEAN DUNOIS,

BASTARD OF ORLEANS

it

is

With

its

it

includes

stair at the

bold but delicate detail and graceful

lines,

as outstanding an example of the flamboyant Gothic style as

Dunois of the age of Chivalry. Both represent the
their period. Usually the elaborate staircases,

final

was

flower of

which were such

a strik-

ing feature of fifteenth and sixteenth-century chateaux, were contained
in a

tower, but at Chateaudun the circular stair

is

recessed into the

building and gives onto galleries on each floor lighted by the open

30

opposite:

THE GOTHIC STAIR FROM THE DOOR OF THE CHAPEL

*>

\

£
;o*

E

CHATEAUDUN

tracery of the frontispiece

After Dunois' death,

his

Due de Longueville. And
son, also Francois,

Began

work was completed by

his son Francois,

thus the chateau remained until the lattcr's

1511 an ambitious scheme for constructing

in

two further wings, on the north and the west, which would have more
than trebled the size of Dunois' building. In the event, only the north

wing was erected, and

remains unfinished at

this

Important developments had taken place
halt -century

Dunois had begun

since

his

its

in

west end.

the arts (.luring the

Gothic wing.

The

Renais-

sance style began slowly to penetrate into the indigenous Gothic style
until eventually

it

submerged

entirely

admirable example of

new building showed

it.

The Longueville wing

this process in action.
little

In

is

introduced.

have flattened arches, while

staircase

The

its

an

essential lines the

change from Dunois' wing, although

conceived on a more grandiose scale, but into
ner of Renaissance detail

its

is

decoration

all

it

is

man-

openings on the splendid

classical

motifs ornament the

central pillar round which climb the broad stone steps.

The rooms

within the Longueville wing are of greater size than

those in the earlier building; indeed the Salle des Gardes and the
Salle des

Fetes,

feet in length.

one above the other, are more than one hundred

But

in

a little stone carving

ings relieve the great

THE WALLS

RISE LIKE CLIFFS

FROM THE RIVER

is

on chimney-pieces and doorways, plain mould-

wooden beams of

the ceilings,

some of

the shut-

ters are

carved with a linen-fold design; but the walls are bare stone,

and the

tiled floors

below:

32

decoration they are austerely simple. There

have

a prophylactic aspect,

which was no doubt

THE SALLE DES GARDES OF THE LONGUEVILLE WING

highly desidcrable

The unadorned
tine series

view of the insanitary manners of the times.

in

walls

now form an admirable background

for a

^a

of tapestries of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, while

beneath them stand massive carved chests of much the same date as

Through

the building.
is

windows of these great chambers there

the long

wide view northwards across the

a

silver willows to the agricultural
I

La Beauce, which

plain of

away

stretches

for

more than

:

»•- A

twenty-live

miles to Chartres.

To

see the chateau in

be supposed that
is

and

the truth,

From

a ruin.
in

it

it

serenity

its

and excellent

repair,

might

it

had never suffered adversity. The reverse, however,
is

miraculous that

it

has survived as anything but

the Longueville family, which died out in the male line

1694, the property passed by marriage to the Dues de Luynes,

whom

with

came

in

it

remained

until

1930.

The

first

reverse to the chateau

1723, through the kindness of the owner

in

providing asylum

When

for

many

last

of these guests eventually departed, the house was no longer hab-

itable.

families of the

town rendered homeless by

a

fire.

Further damage was done during the Revolution, while

and again

in

1870,

was thus brought
and after
the State

it

served the Prussians as a barracks.

to a condition

The

building

decay the chateau was acquired by

from the Due de Luynes. Between 1948 and 1951

was carried out by

1815,

THE GROUND-PLAN SHOWS THE RELATION
BETWEEN KEEP, CHAPEL AND THE TWO WINGS

which no private owner could remedy,

sixty years of further

restoration

in

the

M.

a faultless

Trouvelot, architect of the

Monu-

ments Historiques.

Ralph Button

FIFTEENTH-CENTURY STATUES

IN

THE CHAPEL

33

CHATEAUDUN

A GOTHIC MULLIONED WINDOW

The
is

chief glory of

Chateaudun

the Longueville staircase

THE STAIRCASE FROM THE COURTYARD
34

THE RIBBED VAULT COVERING THE STAIRCASE

ONE OF THE

left:

ARCHF.I) GALLERIES

THE CENTRAL PILLAR OF THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE

35

v2Sv
THE UPPER TERRACE OF THE COURTYARD

Casa de Pilatos
in the heart of Seville

Cool courtyards

>

the casa de pilatos
li's

palace

in

replica of the

Seville.

It

is

(Pilate's

House)

is

named because

so

Praetorium of Pontius Pilate

the end of the fifteenth century,

the
it

in

Duke
is

of Medinace-

supposed

Jerusalem. Begun

was not completed

it

to be a

1570.

till

stands today as a perfect example of the house of a

at
It

Renaissance

nobleman.

The way
ing

house from the centre of Seville

to the

walk through

a

maze of winding and narrow

step one observes large houses, unpretentious

an enchant-

is

At every

streets.

from the

front, but all

graced by archways which give glimpses of cool courtyards heavy
with palms and orange trees. Like most of these Sevillian houses, the

Casa de Pilatos
is

is

unremarkable and even ordinary from outside.

reached through an ill-kept courtyard preceding the main entrance,

which

is

itself invisible

from the

street. In such a

Dukes of Medinaceli kept themselves apart from

way have

perhaps the most distinguished
descend

in

the male line directly

century king of Castille, the

who

Spain - or even

in all

it

was

built,

is

Europe. They

in

from an elder son

weak

the discreet

the people of Seville.

This family, which has owned the house since

a

a

thirteenth-

but intelligent Alfonso the Wise,

died before his time, and whose sons were dispossessed by his

brother, their wicked uncle.

Medinaceli

(as they soon

small town north-east of

36

It

For several generations,

became -

their title

Madrid) protested

at

the

Dukes of

being taken

from

every coronation

opposite:

a
in

A REPLICA OF PILATE'S PR^TORIUM?

I

1

i

4

-

t

ASA DE PILATOS

They were

Spain that they were the rightful heirs to the throne.
cordingly, and regularly, fined. But apart
fective protests,

from these proud hut

Dukes of Medinaceli have not made

the

a

ac-

inef-

great

impact upon the history of Spain. They have gathered to themselves

many titles, among them those of Duke of Alcala de Henares and
of Luna and Marquis of Tarifa and of Camarasa. The Dukes of
Medinaceli have always been among the foremost of those noblemen
listed as

grandees of Spain.

Duke

Besides the Casa de Pilatos the
five

other great palaces

of Medinaceli possesses

gathered enormous

estates,

lalifimdia, Andalusia

and Estremadura. They are customarily

especially

the

in

its

provinces

classical

of

in Seville

Semane Santa and

for only twenty days a year, during the celebrated

attendant feria and processions.

Walk
THE CARVED CEILING OF THE STAIRCASE

They have

other parts of the peninsula.

in

through the outer archway of the Casa de Pilatos, cross

an open space which hardly merits the name of courtyard, and stand
before the real main entrance to the house. This

briefly

arch,

rounded as

Moorish designs

Romanesque but profusely decorated by

if

in stone.

For the whole

building, though

two centuries after the Christians captured

mudejar craftsmen-Moors, that
ian masters.

Through

is,

Moors who worked under

marble

its

those on the main arch. All the
cloister,

floor,

Christ-

surrounded by smaller
delicate patterns sim-

way round

the courtyard runs

marvellous gathering of glazed

a

begun over

was the work of

Seville,

mudejar arches. All of these are decorated with

an arched

delicate

archway, one can see the main courtyard

this

of the Casa de Pilatos, with

ilar to

superb

a

is

whose panels have the same concentrated beauty

tiles,

many

of

most dazzling

as the

of stained glass windows. In each corner of the court there are large
statues of Latin

writers,

including an

impressive

figure

who was born nearby in Cordoba. In the cloisters, a
busts of Roman emperors look outwards from niches
In the late sixteenth

and early seventeenth

of Alcala of that time
these busts

made

centuries,

Casa de Pilatos

the

into

of Seneca,

long series of

near the roof.

when
an

It

is,

indeed, not at

all

Duke

artistic salon,

were frequently copied by the young painters of

search of a classical model.

the

Seville in

fanciful to sup-

pose that those brilliant natives of Seville, Velazquez, Murillo and

Zurbaran,
in

may have

studied beneath these glittering niches. Finally,

the middle of the courtyard,

there stands an enigmatic head of

the two-faced god, Janus, who, along with his Carthaginian colleague,

Salammbo, was worshipped

THE STAIRCASE, WITH

38

ITS MlDfcJAR TILES

in Seville

before the

Romans came. (Both

these gods were worshipped in Seville until well into the Christian era;

overleaf: left:
right:

the

two patron

Christian

women who

refused to do reverence to

image was borne through the

commemorating

July,

Ruhna and

saints of the city, Saints

Roman

The rooms

None

are preserved,
Seville fetid

room one can
palm

trees,

therefore exe-

all

also tiled in the

now

and carved

gilt

same dazzling
lived

style as the

In the

in.

ceilings,

room on

main entrance, two ancient but long unused coaches
which the Dukes of Medinaceli would go to the

in

in

the

From

eighteenth century.

windows of

the

accompanied by

a

maze of

antechamber

sala de capilla, the
still

DON JUAN DE RIBERA

this

catch a glimpse of a rambling forest of orange and

clematis and bougainvillea.

Immediately opposite the main entrance of the Casa de Pilatos

family

in

governor, Diogenianus.

of these rooms are

the right of the

as her

leading from the cloisters on the ground floor of the

mudejar. They are

cloisters.

Salammbo

They were

Casa de Pilatos are notable for their superb
all

were two

streets at the time of her festival,

the death of Adonis.

cuted by order of the

Justa,

A VIEW ACROSS THE GARDEN
DETAIL OF A MOORISH ARCH

to the chapel.

Here

is

the

the Medinaceli

waits before going into the chapel, and also passes the

time of day afterwards. This

room

furnished

is

the severe style

in

of the Spanish seventeenth century.

[]

lift ft

Apart from the courtyard, the most striking feature of the
Casa de Pilatos

broad, and crowned by a
a

masterpiece of brillant

recollection

four flights

the great staircase,

is

gilt

in

very

length,

and carved cupola. The staircase

itself is

and immediately summons back the

tiling

of Seville during the golden sixteenth century.

top of the stairs, a cloistered stone pathway runs

From

of the courtyard, as a kind of gallery.

At

the

round the top

all

here, one can see, over

the roofs of Seville, the top of the Giralda,

the graceful

Moorish

campanile next to the cathedral, from which the muezzin, seven hun-

dred years ago, would turn to the east and
prayer.
a

Opening

off

this gallery,

door leading to the present

ments. In addition, there

is

there are the

Duke

At

the end of this

ish fifteenth-century painter

bedrooms - and

in the

is

a

also

English sense of

stands a superb painting of
greatly underestimated Span-

from Avila.

An

room

adjacent

nated by a vast genealogical tree of the Medinaceli

This house

faithful to

and other documents belonging

room
Mary Magdalene by Alvaro de Mena, a
family.

the

of Medinaccli's private apart-

one long gallery,

the word, filled with seals, charters
to the

summon

Renaissance jewel.

It

is

is

domi-

family.

sad that the Dukes of

Medinaceli should choose to keep most of the treasures which were
once housed
in

in

it

in their

architecturally

much

less interesting

mansion

Madrid.

Hugh Thomas

THE MARBLED FLOOR AND GLAZED TILES
OF THE INNER COURTYARD

>

\

-?***»«
*

^ s*

*"

-

(

AM

'

ASA DK PILATOS

"

'

Moorish

in inspiration,

yet unmistakably

European
A BACKGROUND OF BRILLIANT GREEN

42

opposite:

UNCHANGED, AND LITTLE DAMAGED, SINCE

1571

#>*

'-->

»

*

*

«

M

HV"

AjBI

A\«

^
'

^F

tJ*!

:

THE QUADRATO

IN

THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY

Lante

Villa
Twin

pavilions in a water-garden

THE small village

of Bagnaia

lies

a mile or

two from Viterbo,

on the slopes of the Monti Cimini. At the upper end of the village
small piazza with unpretentious buildings hung with the stone

a

is

achievements of Popes' and Cardinals' arms.
arch at the top of a short

mounted by
on

flight

is

heavily rusticated

of curved steps, with a pediment sur-

the Lante eagle, leads into the garden.

a terrace, a perfect square

the garden

A

known

as //

We

find ourselves

On

Ouadrato.

three sides

enclosed by box-hedges; at the corners of the fourth

stand two matching pavilions of severely classical appearance. Carried

on rusticated arcades, the Piano Mobile has three windows on each
with pediments alternately pointed and round, set between pairs

side,

of pilasters.

The

presence of an upper floor

is

betrayed by a

line

of

small windows below the tiled roof, from which rises an elaborate

windows and blind arcades.

lantern, with pilasters,

The Quadrato

has two beds on each side planted with box-hed-

ges in decorative patterns. In the centre
position.

Four

basins,

ranged round a

circle,

ar-

reached by balustraded walks between the
is

broken by marine

genii

crouched

stone shells. Within the round centre, a raised circular basin contains

the magnificent

four

life-si/.ed

a lion

the

44

an elaborate water com-

bordered by low parapets with vases, are

basins; the surface of the latter
in

is

Fontana dci Mori, probably by Giovanni da Bologna
figures of

Moors, standing back-to-back

in pairs

with

between them, facing inwards towards the mounds and star of

Montalto arms which they hold

aloft.

opposite:

THE FOUNTAIN OF THE LAMPS

.

VILLA LANTE

The garden

climbs a

hill

wooded with oaks and

thickly

forming a movingly harmonious background

moment
ions

is

Quadrato. Hut

to the

passes before one realises that the parterre with

Lante, so far

itself the Villa*

sance palace.

There

is

no attempt

is it

basic design.

two

a

pavil-

Renais-

ol

to startle or impress; even the central

pelling quality of the Villa's beauty arises
its

its

from accepted ideas

position has been abdicated in favour of the four

simplicity of

ilexes,

from

Moors. The com-

its

reticence

The garden was normally

and the

a decorative

adjunct to the palace, but here both garden and pavilions are planned,
with complete success, as a single composition.

Both the unity of the design, and
strong an impression that

it

unknown, and that the

is

is

construction

two unrelated owners and spread over

from an

CARDINAL GIANFRANCESCO GAMBARA,
WHO CREATED THE LARGER PART OF
THE GARDEN AND ONE OF THE PAVILIONS

intellectual

North

to

whom

was divided between

period of about thirty years.

a

the Villa

Italian family.

He

1561 and Apostolic Administrator of Viterbo

to

have started work

on the

Villa.

have been known to Cardinal Gambara; and

is

came

really due,

was created Cardinal

in

at once

so

paradoxical to learn that the architect

Villa's

Giovan Francesco Gambara,

make

masterly inspiration,

its

in

1566, and seems

Vignola must certainly
it

seems to be generally

agreed that the designs for the Villa and gardens were by him.

The Quadrato, the right-hand pavilion with Cardinal Gambara's name and his punning arms of a crayfish, and the upper garden,
were all completed in a few years. The work however was then suspended and not resumed during Gambara's
and was succeeded

Pope

in the see

lifetime.

ond pavilion was added,
loggia of the original,

in

in

hand the

Villa's completion.

is

A

accordance with the original design.

Gambara, pavilion has

pavilion are by a later generation of artists.

sec-

The

the walls frescoed with
in the

Montalto

The young Claude Lor-

said to have collaborated, as a student, in the latter's decoration.

PAVILION

4

1587

who had been created
age of fifteen. The youthful

landscapes flanked by painted caryatids; the frescoes

raine

in

Sixtus V, Alessandro Peretti di Montalto,

Cardinal Montalto at once put

THE MAIN ROOM OF THE MONTALTO

died

of Viterbo by a nephew of the reigning

Cardinal two years earlier at the tender

below:

He

*^4'*MM3l»3«Ma*VtlnVV0WV*VHMWM0MIMWiaMMranBtfMPMaMNMMMi

DETAIL OF THE CEILING OF THE MONTALTO PAVILION

*

The upper garden

is

planted with oaks,

and plane trees

ilexes

in

contrast to the open expanse of the Quadrato, but the two are ingeniously linked and the half-seen vistas of sculpture and fountains are

most

from below. In the centre of the

effective

recess between

of

two

Roman lamps

in

a

Fonlana dei Lumini. Replicas

staircases, stands the

set

terrace,

first

on the numerous ledges play small

jets

of water.

Camellias, rhododendron and azaleas enliven the shade of the terrace.

The

chief feature of the third terrace

is

a

long stone table with an

open centre containing water which flows out through

mask

lower end. Here Cardinal

at the

to al fresco meals.

Gambara

grotesque

a

entertained his guests

Against the middle of the far wall

a magnificent

is

semi-circular fountain on three levels, flanked by huge bearded river-

gods, Tiber and Arno, holding cornucopias and reclining against a

mossy

basin.

Above

this a crayfish

tween two obelisks, projects
by

crouching slave.

a

and the

line

columns.

The

by a

flight

A

a

(the

Gambara

arms), framed be-

stream of water into a shell supported

double staircase ascends to the next terrace

of the stairs

continued to right and left by a row of

is

fourth level of the garden

is

set

on a gentle slope, crossed

Down

of shallow steps between box-hedges.

the middle

of the steps runs a catena d'acqua, a characteristic ornament of Renaissance gardens in Italy, found also at Villa d'Este and Caprarola.
In the centre of the terrace at the highest point of the garden,

there
a

an elaborate octagonal fountain on

is

stemmed

vase,

five

crowned by

levels,

ornamented with large dolphins, swags and grotes-

que masks and provided with a complicated system of

jets.

Other,

hidden, jets were intended to play, unexpectedly (as at Villa d'Este)

on the Cardinal's unwary guests. At the far end of the terrace

a

rocky grotto, half concealed by ferns and overhanging trees and flanked
by two Atlas terms of primitive appearance and with the usual agonized
expressions of their kind,

is

named

the Fountain of Rain, or of the

Flood.

A

as the

Theatre of the Waters. These pavilions are simple but most

small pavilion on either side completes a composition

distinguished; each has a tiled roof

and an open loggia with

arch carried on Ionic columns. Cardinal Gambara's

on the architrave and

his

arms are carved on both

the keystone being carved with a portcullis.

name

is

known

THE LOGGIA OF THE GAMBARA PAVILION

a central

engraved

sides of the arch,

Through

the left-hand

loggia one enters the 'Secret Garden', surrounded by hedges, low walls

and
a

lines

of columns, which give

monastic

To
(still

it

something of the atmosphere of

cloister.

the west of the garden, part of the original hunting reserve

containing Cardinal Riario's modest hunting-lodge) seems to have

been converted into a park

in

the sixteenth century. Its present form,

however, evidently dates from a further transformation, no doubt
the late eighteenth century, into a parco all'inglese, but a

fountains survive from the earlier period.

vone or reservoir, with
volutes

a

Among

these

is

in

number of
the Conscr-

ledge decorated with a bust between two

and an extraordinary fountain composed of four contorted

bearded masks.

The

largest

and most remarkable fountain

below the Quadrato. This

is

at

Bagnaia

lies

close

the Fountain of Pegasus, an oval basin

KITCHEN

IN

THE GAMBARA PAVILION

47

THE QUADRATO, LOOKING TOWARDS BAGNAIA
surrounded on one side by

a balustrade

and on the other by

a high

balustraded wall against which are set busts of girls on top of huge
consoles. In the middle

is

a

superb figure of the winged horse.

After Cardinal Peretti's death Lante passed to Cardinal Ludovico
Ludovisi,

nephew of Pope Gregory XV, and then

nio Barberini,

I. ante

Duke

to

confirmed

X

nephew of Urban VIII. Innocent

Cardinal Federigo Sforza, and

in the

Ippolito

in

We

himself and his descendants,

for

have

a brief

XIV

American Duchess,

a

Gambara

it

daughter of

Thomas Davis

who

a

on

in

grant

the nine-

in

the latter

gives an inac-

guests,

the avenues of the garden. Sir

New

of

seems, was occupied by the

Montalto one was reserved for

down

it

history but pays tribute to the hospitality of the

its

pavilion,

and

glimpse of the Villa

part of the nineteenth century from Augustus Hare,
curate account of

bestowed

Anto-

1656 Pope Alexander VII granted

eighteenth century by Benedict

teenth by Pius IX.

to Cardinal

family,

York. The
while the

ami peacocks strutted up and

George

Sitwell published a poetic

description of the garden in 1909, but this was succeeded by a period

of neglect and by more serious
after the

fall

Dr Angelo

of

Rome. Most

Cantoni,

who

ably tactful repair, to

THE CRAYFISH WAS THE

48

(..WII'.ARA

its

damage from

fortunately, the Villa

has restored
full

bombing

Allied

it,

by

a

in

1944

now belongs

to

long process of admir-

beauty.

Anthony Ilobson

CREST

opposite:

THE ORIGINAL, GAMBARA, PAVILION, AND THE FOUNTAIN OF THE MOORS

VILLA LANTE

j

#
^^c^-rw

/

THE VILLA

IN

1609,

BEFORE THE FOUNTAIN OF THE MOORS WAS MADE

FOUNTAIN OF THE GIANTS

A BALUSTRADE OF STONE URNS

The

three elements

of Lante
are stone, water

and sculpture
opposite: THE FOUNTAIN OF THE MOORS,
ATTRIBUTED TO GIOVANNI DA BOLOGNA

Irfl:

THE FOUNTAIN OF PEGASUS

/<*;*.*
^v

:>?t

*

>.

•<w'^w'.

.'

*:

.w

?s

w.
v-

*£*.*

4*

* <**
*

yw*

..,-.,-*•

***

-

*

m

m

fi*

-

SI

OJLtii
rss|w

THE COURTYARD, WITH THE TANZL TABLET

Schloss Tratzberg
A

Tirolean castle unspoiled by time
AS IT STANDS today,
to

date

Schloss Tratzberg in the Tirol can be said

mainly from the beginning of the sixteenth century.

emblazoned on the tower-stairs proudly

inscription

recalls the year:

'1500. Veit Jacob and Simon Tiinzl, brothers, built the castle'.

year and the

men mark

portant chapter
it

into

fell

guards,

in the history

oblivion.

bailiffs

the beginning of a

It

of the castle.

had been

a

The

new and

artistically im-

Whatever had gone

small boundary

The

before,

fortress

where

and tenants performed their general duties on the

active north-south trade route that led across the valley of the
to the

Brenner Pass and

Italy.

The

site

coud not have been better

How

steadily through the middle

chosen for defence.

The

of the valley as

does today, but had to find

boggy

fields

passage through

a

or between the rocks at the base of the fortress.

Tratzberg
imilian, the

it

Inn did not

future

decided

a

fell

victim to a

lire

1490 or 1491, and Max-

in

Emperor, who was sovereign of
leave

the

the province of

two brothers

devastated castle

to

the

Wit Jacob and Simon Tanzl, who belonged

to

one of the

I

irol,

to

esteemed and wealthy burgher families
Tratzberg, they abandoned
it

Inn

into a palace in

all

in

Innsbruck.

In

most

rebuilding

unnecessary fortifications, and turned

keeping with the new trends of their day. There

is

no doubt that the Tiinzls were keenly aware of the flowering of the
Renaissance

!/r:

in

Italy,

with which they had

TRATZBERG WAS A BORDER-FORTRESS OVERLOOKING

Till:

many

trade relations.

VALLEY OF THE

IW

It

53

can be seen

in

the vast hut harmonious composition

number of spacious rooms, and

particularly in the

nishing and the use of rare materials.

doorways ami columns, the

work on
still,

ol

The

of an unusual

magnificent

fur-

beautifully chiselled marble

ornamented locks and the metal-

skilfully

the doors and the carvings on the furniture and wainscottings

however, retain some of the forms of the

late Gothic.

two

In

the rooms, the so-called Maximilian rooms, the walls bear dates

of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, partly recorded by the

owners of the

and partly by

castle

their guests, as

pages of a great family album. Crude

were

the walls

if

and wanton rhymes

frolics

as

well as serious reflections, speak for the hospitable character of the

house.

Even

the noblest of their guests and their great patron, the

Emperor Maximilian, here

inscribed his own, melancholy musing:

know how long.
do not know when.

Live, do not

And

die,

Must

journey, do not

Wonder

am

that I

The most famous work
time of the Tanzls

A COVERED STAIRWAY

is

fresco that decorates

family tree of the

a

powerful pairs of

hall.

a

There are 148

and the work extends for 150

feet.

Below the fresco are seven

widely spaced from one another on the

antlers,

and backed by

House of Hapsburg,

of the great

walls

the

from about 1508.

probably dates

wall,

so merry.

of art that Tratzberg retains from the

portraits of half-length figures,
It

know where.

large, painted stags.

They were used

as sconces

for candles, and at night-time, the dark, powerful bodies of the stags

and

heads would emerge from the dimness of

their softly illumined

Hapsburg genealogy.

the wall between the princes and ladies of the

Although they refused
in

to

rebuilding their castle, the

mercy of

at the

a

employ the traditional

new owners

lortitications

did not leave themselves

surprise attack. Their castle gates were

flanked

with embrasures for cannon ami the strong castle walls were easily
convertible to defence.

sudden escape

in

A

number of

secret exits

time of emergency.

rooms of the Tanzls has

a

One

were constructed for

of the beautiful

secret winding staircase

hidden

livingin

the

thickness of the wall leading by an underground passage into the open.

The property passed
passage

in

George

Simon Tanzl's

recorded by an inlaid crest

is

room. But, owing

and

to

1554

it

listing,

to business losses, he

who was

along the

WIFE
ANNA: WOODEN STATUETTES IN THE
CHAPEL DATING FROM 1508
1 1

the Tanzl

the panelling of

was obliged

related to the lord of the

to be completed.

listing built the north

VEIT JACOB TANZL AND

Caspar Joachim, whose

to sell the castle,

passed into the hands of a wealthy Augsburg patrician,

duke Ferdinand. What the Tanzls had
was now

in

son,

hillside,

initiated half a century earlier

Tratzberg became

wing and

a

the Arch-

Tirol,

a

Renaissance palace,

Renaissance facade to

and enclosing the courtyard.

it

extending

Inside, he redecorated

IS

the rooms, creating in the Queen's room,
late

in

the style of the Flemish

Renaissance, one of the most wonderful features of

Austria. It

is

said that

it

its

kind

in

took seven carpenters and seven apprentices

seven years and seven months to construct the coffered ceiling with
its

carved beams and panels. The sense of comfort and splendour

this

54

room

is

in

heightened by the beautifully woven material that hangs

THE ARMOURY

flat

A BEDROOM OF THE ILSUNG PERIOD

NINETEENTH-CENTURY HUNTING CROUP

against the walls between elaborate framed doors and cupboards.

From 1589

1657 Tratzberg was owned by the celebrated

to

Augsburg family of Fugger. But

had seen the best of

it

its

days

Though Jacob Fugger indeed made
some additions to the castle, no fundamental changes were made
by him or his descendants. The incomes of the new owners no longer
with the passing of the listings.

upkeep of the

for the

sufficed

So they chose

their predecessors.
big,

old

The

house.

both privately

castle

and

priest's
officially,

on such an extensive scale as

to live only at rare intervals in the

apartments continued to be occupied

when Tratzberg became

1700 for young men destined

priory

a

modest

to the priesthood, but the

quirements of successive priors and the restricted means of

its

in

re-

owners

saved the castle from the decorative tastes of the Baroque period.

When

the priory

from which

it

was abandoned

was only roused

from the neighbouring

1790, Tratzberg

in

in

into a sleep

1809 and 1810 by young patriots

who broke

village

fell

into the

famous armoury

to equip themselves for their fight against the French.

When

Tratzberg was acquired

Counts Fnzenberg, the
it

The

deserved.

first

be influenced by the

might have
treatment,

The

oni Steger, date

steeped

in

1847 by the present owners, the

again received

all

the

new

in

zeal

of

Tratzberg

the
a

VapsSSpS

Romantic movement, which

perfect

hunting groups,

large

from

his time.

is

neo-Gothic

for

setting

castle

for

his

by the well-known carver

Today, Tratzberg faces

the traditions of the past, but

of the courtyard there

love and care

of them, Count Franz Enzenberg, refused to

and thus preserved the character of the

descendants.
I

found

castle

in

in

the peaceful

a

MANUSCRIPT OF H08
RECORDING THE CONSECRATION'
OF THE CHAPEL

landscape

atmosphere

no sign or sound of hustle.

Franz

II

'indisch-Graetz

SS

TRAT/BERCi

The
a
s

THE TANZL INSCRIPTION ON THE TOWER

INSCRIPTION BY THE EMPEROR MAXIMILIAN
•AND DIE, DO NOT KNOW WHEN'

DETAIL OF THE EARLY SIXTEENTH-CENTCRY IIAPSBCRG FAMILY-TREE

right:

56

THE.

HAPSBURG FAMILY-TREE

IN

THE GREAT HALL

history of the house

i:

ecorded on

its

walls

TRATXBKRO

Each generation
has

left its

legacy

to the castle

opposite:

A DOOR FROM THE FUGGER PERIOD,

THE QUEEN'S ROOM, LATE SIXTEENTH CENTURY

1589-1657

below:

AN OCTAGONAL TIRRET ROOM

^<»^^^

rVXNM

;*%«

:

J/rcKputto Jsl/ficoio OOuca/. ftrfatw

d.-/

;7?

Palazzo del Te
now

'Chambers of transgression,
the palazzo del TE
untidy

modern suburbs of Mantua, standing

on the fringe of the marshes,
you
its

Renaissance buildings the eas-

all

As you approach

understand and to enjoy.

to

iest

surely of

is

you can take

feel that

design

is

was the way

simple,
it

its

came

like a

scale

small,

is

into being:

of pleasure and completed

there by

in

it

it

was

is

And

four-square

itself,

so,

indeed, you can

of a piece. Simple also

all

built entirely for the

more than

little

through the

it

box of brown-gold stone,

flat

in at a glance.

it

forlorn'/

purposes

decade under the

a

direction of a single architect. Neither later generations not 'the unim-

aginable touch of time', though they have drained
stripped

it

of

its

was

in

maimed

Gonzaga of
of Mantua, decided
city.

pupil Giulio

the perfect structure.

1524 that Federigo, son of Isabella d'Este, the second

ruling

of the

fish-ponds and

ornaments, have by addition or subtraction altered

the lucid design or
It

its

Its

his

name,

fifth

Marchese and

to build himself a

design

later

pleasure-dome outside the walls

and execution were entrusted

Romano, with

a

Duke

first

to

Raphael's

troop of painters, sculptors, plasterers

and gilders working under him. The building

itself

was erected within

eighteen months; then the decorators set to work, and for the next ten

years a pattern of frescoes, carvings and plaster-work crept round the
walls and ceilings of the four sides of the cor tile.

The

progress of the

work can be

which preserve a series of
tect,

ot

60

commending

his

letters

traced

in

the

Gonzaga

addressed by Federigo to

performance or chiding

his delay,

archives,
his archi-

and

a

mass

documents recording payments made for work done.

oppnutt:

INSIDE

THE LOGGIA

PALAZZO DKL TE

No

artist

the

<>i

Among

rank worked under Giulio.

first

his

were the architect (iiamhattista Covo; for sculpture and

assistants

plaster work, Francesco Primaticcio; for fresco, Benedetto Pagni and

A

Rinaldo Mantovano.

score

was the

accounts, but Giulio

lesser-known names occur

ol

the

in

what he did

principal contributor and

not himself execute he designed and controlled.

'Pleasure-dome'
it

is

perhaps too grand

too modest for that both

is

and

scale

in

name

a

for Giulio's creation;

Rather,

design.

in

is

it

a

summer-house; yet

it

has nothing of the lightness, the trivial elegance

of the Trianons;

it

is

aspects, severe.

some

thirty

just

almost,

dignified;

lay-out consists of a quadrangle,

yards each way,

made

buildings
corlile,

The

and

solid

Round

of golden stone.

under the roof-line, runs

a

outward

its

measurement

its

range of single-storey

by a

enclosed

in

inner

the

facades of

broken

frieze,

into

a

this

series

of metopes and supported by pairs of engaged Doric columns. Few-

windows look
and

six

four on

only

northern side

the

on the southern, and the eastern and western sides are almost

The columns

blind.

courtyard:

the

into

are separated by deep niches, and the intervening

surfaces are fretted with spezzalo treatment, giving depth and

life to

the solidity of the stone facades.

The
•'t:9n* Sy*"
rf'

mg*f~T** *1*JM* rtW'~/«jW*

»'

from which you look out over

ponds which abut,
el

|t

Su*t~ MM

U,7r> /rir.3 f

«wriU«rA.

W

*s Mi/

r"*

""*

«.* '

lency
is
if

up

it

in

annoyed.

is

when

I

I

can

feel

can receive

The

is

greatest

myself

to

when Your

Excel-

can

know

glory

I

And
may lock me

be in your favour.

Your Grace's pleasure, you
that big room until it is finished'.

be

to

deep rectangular

fish-

moat, upon the outer side of the eastern

fac-

a pair of

like a

ade. Before you

lies a

garden ground, enclosed by

stretch of

wall on either side and terminated about a hundred and

away by
of a

a tall esedra, a semicircle of

Roman

rounded arches,

a plain

yards

fifty

like a

fragment

aqueduct, against which, falling across the level garden,

strike the rays of the setting sun.

PART OF A LETTER FROM GIULIO ROMANO
TO HIS PATRON, MARCHESE FEDERIGO, 31
AUGUST 1528, EXCUSING HIMSELF FOR THE
DELAYS IN COMPLETING THE FRESCOES AT
THE PALAZZO. THE LETTER READS: 'The
greatest affliction

archway on the east leads

fnt

*H-^Kt^ frrntv
* tl « f*tf*

^ -*jS»W fM<^

gateway that pierces the mid-

a simple

ffy-"*-"*

r,*4 cdu if>*r *>£)'

Hvrf

through

is

dle of the western side; an answering

T'/ifr-r*r

a loggia
La

entrance

In the left-hand corner of the
a cluster of
a grotto

of water that

made music

is

the Casino della Gratia,

a tiny 'secret garden', with a logctla

where courtiers and
as

guests could bathe
it

fell

in

a

ami

cascade

little

over the shells and pebbles that

encrust the walls.

The external aspect
built. The courtyard has
no doubt,

THE ESEDRA THROUGH THE ARCH
OF THE LOGGIA

rooms enclosing

garden

a

walls,

its

corlile,

its

back

now

was

waste of grass;

a

in

the

to the setting sun,

which depended for

ornament, the change has been greater.
of the internal design
is

it

in a

empty

still

fish-

stretches

hand-clasp by the arched

eastern end.

In the interior,

the palace

since

from the esedra; the frescoes have vanished

long arms around the garden, to meet

esedra at

is

little

formal garden, once,

and the fountains play no longer

ponds; but the low
its

lost its flag-stones; the

labyrinth of topiary patterns,

the plaster has peeled

from the

of the palace has altered

It

a single

sides,

any design

at all.

leading one out

corlile.

All are on the ground

of the other

all

For

chain of rooms, half-a-dozen or so

none of them much more than thirty

across,

passage-way to be seen. In

upon perishable

has exposed the simplicity

or, rather, the lack of

no more than

on each of the four

effect largely

floor;

these

round the
there

is

not

feet

four sides of the
a

staircase

or a

rooms nothing remains of past

splendour save the

plasterwork that

fine

still

marble

cling

Federigo

grand Roman

in

doorways have

lost their

letter

moulded

ceilings,

and delight

to

doors of bronze or carved wood, the walls
gilt

the furnishings that

In all this chain ot

palace

the Salti di Psiche, the Slanza del

Stanza delle Metamorfosi,

the

Sole,

rooms

the

Sala

Medaglie, the

delle

^

luxury

entirely hare.

is

O **"r

has vanished from the

made it once a place oi
have disappeared: every room in the voluptuous
all

a

and strange Renaissance Latin. The

have been stripped of their tapestries; the
mouldings, and

and

doorway, doing honour

frieze or over a

inscriptions along a

lew

upper walls and

the

to

frescoes and

the

fire-places,

£T
i-ii.

'

r<

w
L

tll

Sala di Cesare, the Sala di Fetonte - there are only two that achieve

more than

may

merely decorative

a

for the rest, the Sala di Psiche

effect;

That famous room shows Giulio

statu! as representative.

most lavish: Ovid and Apuleius have come
and nymphs and Bacchanals

riot

over the walls and vaulted

If

it

inventive and accomplished decorator,

it

nothing more. Not

beauty of
his

a

not a

scene,

own; none dwells

its

proves that Giulio was an
also

memory

master Raphael ennobled the Stanze

Mantegna

suggests that he was

has a

figure,

the

in

gods and satyrs

to life;

an unbroken Olympian tapestry

in

ceiling.

at his

in

or dignity or

life

which

like those with

the Vatican or his rival

Even

the walls of Federigo's ducal palace.

as a decorator,

Veronese or the swagger of

Giulio cannot boast the splendour oi

Tiepolo.

The
The

Sala dci Giganti stays

non

effects:
piii

exceptions are the Sala dei Giganti and the Sala del Cavalli.

si

orribile e

memory, but only

the

in

spaventosa

di qaesta.

without a side-glance, perhaps, at

feet square

-

its

grotesque

pensi alcuni, says Vasari, di vedere opera di pennello
I

[ere Rinaldo

Mantovano has
scale Olympus

who tried to
any who might have

trayed the downfall of the giants

the house of

for

Gonzaga): the whole small room is

tumbling about one's ears:

(not

designs against

only thirty-six

is

it

por-

windows, doors,

ceiling,

by a series of lrompc-l 'ceil devices, are involved

in

the ruin, and the

grotesque giants, like swollen dwarfs, struggle

in

vain contortions.

The Sala dei Cavalli, on the other hand, though
impresses not as a curiosity but as
largest in the palace;

it

has a

fine

a

work

marble

coffered ceiling; the walls are painted

in

ot

it

too

is

unique,

The room

art.

is

the

whole chamber

Rinaldo's

is

the

fire-place

and an elaborate

grisaille

with trompe-V ceil

dom-

statues in niches between Corinthian columns. Rut the thing that
inates

series

of

THE GROUND-PLAN SHOWS THE SQUARE COURTYARD
ENCLOSED BY THE MAIN HOUSE, AND THE GARDEN
TERMINATED BY THE SEMICIRCULAR ESEDRA

life-size

portraits

(for that they are actual portraits one cannot doubt) of six splendid
horses.
tural

They

stand at window-height, breaking the painted architec-

framework they are placed

piece of

rounded breathing

reality

in;
in

patient and powerful, the one
the

room

or,

indeed,

in

the

whole palace. They record the glories of the Gonzaga breed of horses:
Federigo's stables adjoined the palace,
still

and

just

beyond the esedra

stands a training-stable, where, peering through the arches, one

can see the thoroughbreds at exercise; alive, but no

more

real

than

their painted ancestors within.

On

a

summer's day

it

is

not hard to picture the

Gonzaga Court

THE EASTERN FACADE OF THE LOGGIA

(9

IN

PLAN

t.(«*4L«4f

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CEILING OF THE

GROTTO

IN

THE CASINO DELLA GROTTA

assembled on the loggia to receive some Royal or Imperial
as the

Emperor Charles V

Dukedom

the

of

himself"

was there received

Mantua was conferred upon

visitor

15.30,

in

when

- or taking

his host

their ease in the garden, 'listening to music, to the reading of
delta's novels, to the

Throughout

the

sound of water,

High Renaissance

be brought to a frightful end after

Mantua

fell

a

it

flies'.

these delights continued,

century.

It

the Palazzo del

Te was

in

was

in

to

1630 that

history, and, with the rest of the

put to the sack.

After the Imperial troops had worked their
its

Han-

before the combined assault of the Imperial forces and

one of the most terrible plagues
city,

to time as

-

splendour remained but what we sec today.

nothing of

will,

And

is

it

all

perhaps

in

autumn, when the mists are rising from the marshes, that the deserted palace inspires the most genuine emotion, bringing to mind

from Wordsworth that might almost have been written
it:

'Chambers of transgression', one murmurs

apartments, 'Chambers of transgression,

a

line

to describe

as one paces the desolate

now

forloml'.

John Sparrow

64

GIULIO ROMANO'S OLYMPIAN BANQUET IN THE SAI.A HI PSICIIE

'

:

'

"

fame*

W

k
gift
//•//.

THE

above:

-

SAI.A

DELLE MEDAGLIE

A DETAIL OF

THE SAME Room

65

PHE SALA

Horses and giants
66

in

HI-

1

CAVALLI

the Palazzo del
apposite:

THE »ALA

DEI

Te

CIGANT1

l^MTj^^

--

*

itf"*

J'
\

\

.

-!

^a'. A
v

"

^K

/If

<

4

W-^tt

Chambord
A

French chateau of ingenious vastness
ENGLAND has been

unfortunate

in

losing the

remarkable palace

Henry VIII endeavoured to introduce the style of the
Renaissance into his country. Nonsuch is now no more than a name.
France, however, has been more lucky; and Franqois I's Chateau de
Chambord, which was begun sixteen years earlier than Nonsuch, still

with which

stands ten miles east of Blois with
a great

domain

structure intact. Lying within

encircled by a ten-foot wall twenty miles in length,

presents the appearance

still

its

its

it

founder envisaged.

Franqois did not choose a virgin

site;

a

fortified

structure had

stood here from which Joan of Arc set out for the siege of Orleans.

The
ing

King, however, had no strategic consideration

was

to be purely a

Maison de

for

its

only

It

was indeed

in

his build-

to be a hunting

sort ever constructed. In the event,

two centuries third

exceeded

mind;

plaisancc - a centre for hunting and

for relaxation from the affairs of state.
box, the finest of

in

it

remained

importance of the royal palaces, being

by Versailles

and

Fontainebleau,

extinction of the Valois line on the death of

Henri

though
III in

after

1589

it

the

was

used decreasingly as a residence.

The site is low-lying, but well adapted
thickly wooded country provided the best
the

little

river

Cosson supplied water

chateau was to be surrounded. In

to

to Francois' purpuse.

hunting

fill

1519,

the

in

The

Touraine, and

moat with which

the

four years after Francois

had ascended the throne, the enterprise was begun.

THE WIDE TERRACE ON WHICH THE CHATEAU STANDS
BOUNDED BY THE RIVER COSSON
opposite:

68

IS

»

:\ t
wv
I u.
I

Jf»k

)--<

JI

I1jl:i-

m

t\ m* *\
.1

ii

H

It

I

ii

?!

Illll

II

II

II

II

1

*

f

I

; ii

i

"illll

ii

I

GflilJUi
iUMILi

L*4«4;*«*a

'•yw. p»«"«y»» yy
,

N

ft

ak

b1

CTIAMBORD

he arts had not blossomed freely during the reign

I

France remained

in

determined

that of Italy;

men

and

progress by the standards of which the arts

in

at a deplorably

make

to

the preced-

was well aware that beyond the

ing King, Louis XII, but Francois

Alps movements were

<>l

low

From

level.

his court a centre of culture

to this

end he induced many

the

lirst

he was

which could

artists, sculptors

rival

and

of letters to leave Italy for France. Even the great Leonardo

da Vinci was persuaded

1516

in

valley of the Loire at Amboise. It

these exponents of Italian culture,

to
is

bring his

illumination

to

the

generally supposed that one of

Domenico da Cortona, provided

the original plans. If so, the design must have been radically altered
as building proceeded, for the chateau

conception and

the

is

emerged

as an inherently French

most splendid example of French Renaissance

architecture in the country.

The
rides

A DRAWING OF FRANCIS
I BY HIS COURT PAINTER
CLOUET

usual approach

from the north, along one of the wide

is

through the farm lands and forests

sight of the chateau at the

The massive

structure with

the domain, and the

end of an avenue
its

has an outline as delicate in

its

filigree

detail

Bourre stone

retaining an astonishing, even excessive,

From

is

lirst

supremely dramatic.

elaborate crown of turrets and cupolas

trees themselves; while the pale

to the sensational effect.

ol

this

as
in

the leaves of the

which

it

is

built

-

freshness of colour - adds

north aspect, with the long facade

punctuated by four robust circular towers, the true form of the building

is

not apparent, but this becomes clear on passing to the entrance

on the south
courtyard.
is

side,

Here

where

it

a single-storeyed range encloses a rectangular

can be seen that the central section of the chateau

form of that traditional feature of FYench mediaeval buildkeep - a keep of Cyclopean proportions, with a huge round

in the

ings, a

tower at each corner. The wings, which extend the north facade

THE SOUTH FACADE

to

such immense length, are shallow three-storeyed galleries connecting
the keep

outlying towers at the east and west ends.

the

to

come Irom an

This plan hardly seems one to have

and

tect,

yet

in

arrangement of the keep incorporates a typically

the

Each of

Italian feature.

the three

main block, one

in the

floors

cross into four corner divisions.

plan which was early abandoned

upwards of two

At

continued

in Italy,

French chateaux

in

the central point rises the staircase which, with the fantastic

the

is

outstanding feature of Chambord.

undoubtedly one of the triumphs of the

is

This apartment

a spiral stair.

centuries.

decorations of the roof,
It

corner tower, with a number

in the

of small rooms for servants reached by

for

divided by galleries

is

apartment consisting of two spacious

division forms a complete

rooms, one

main

Greek

the form of an equal-armed

Each

Italian archi-

upward

of wide stone steps, entwined but never meeting, lead

sets

Twin

Renaissance.

by gentle gradations within an open cage of massive stone pilasters.

Here

there

is

none of the barbaric exuberance of design found on
an admirable purity and restraint

in

so essentially a French production that

its

the roof, but instead there

decoration.

And

yet

it

is

is

From

designer can hardly have been Italian.

now

so useful for conducting hordes of visitors over the chateau

- one emerges onto the roof

A

carved ornament.

riot,

strictest rules
rise

riot

a

of stone decoration and

at first appears, but in

it

detail

The

of symmetry.

fact the

disposed and ordered on the

is

corner apartments, as on the lower

here from the terrace,

forming probably the

thus

into

indeed,

main masses and the opulent

floors,

this beautiful structure

on

to

which their doors open,

RENAISSANCE DETAIL SEEN THROUGH AN ARCH

examples of pent-houses. Their

earliest

roofs are covered with fine grey-blue slates, against which are outlined

and

dormer windows with elaborate

chimney stacks,

tall

circular turrets containing spiral stairs. All are lavishly,

recklessly, decorated with classical

ings

crestings,

and textbooks of

Italy.

Above

tumult

this

rises

to a height of

was improbable that so huge and elaborate

a

fleur-de-lys.

building could

be completed within the reign of one monarch, particularly as
case operations were discontinued between
cois

was

in captivity in Italy.

However, on

was begun again with renewed vigour.

workmen was employed on

1524 and 1526 when Franhis return to France,

An army

some works were

still in

XIV

of an

surrounding the court; but
Louis XIV,
to

in

Chambord and

progress

The west

in

i'.iiijiii

1571. Since that time
fabric, except for the

attic floor to the single-storeyed buildings

this

was removed

a

few years ago.

the earlier years of his reign, paid several visits

for

him the rooms on

front of the keep were rearranged.
the cross,

was

1550, three years after Francois'

till

no material alterations have been made to the
addition by Louis

work

of eighteen hundred

roofed, while two years later the east wing was covered.

death, and

in this

construction and, in 1537, the keep

wing, however, was not completed

fact

ornaments borrowed from the build-

one hundred feet the lantern and cupola crowned with a
It

in

By

the

first

floor of the north

closing the northern

two corner apartments were united so that a

rooms was provided for the royal

use.

arm of

fine suite

of

Simple boisseries, with tapestries

L

1

fi

THE SOUTH-WEST TOWER OF THE KEEP

71

2S

and

the remainder oi

the cold stone halls ol

in

chateau. Louis

XV

ture of which

was sharply out of tune with the

was

who had

in-law, Stanislas Leckzinski,

fering severely

the

dedicate taste of
it

to his father-

come

inconveniently

kingdom of Poland. Here

his

the

attracted to the place, the robust architec-

little

period. lie was doubtless happy to he able to otter

on being ousted from

CHAMBORD

quality which

rooms an agreeable domestic

give these

from prevalent

tar

is

now

pictures,

to

France

the cx-king, suf-

from rheumatism, for which reason he suppressed the

moat, spent a number of gloomy years
of Lorraine. There,

made governor

he was

until

Nancy, he was able happily

at

indulge his

to

for pure eighteenth-century classicism in creating the exquisite

taste

square which bears his name.

Soon after

cupant surprisingly appeared

This

illustrious figure,

from Chambord, another

departure

Stanislas'

the person of the

in

received a grant of the chateau

almost regal

life

down,

it

was

was never again

At

carried on a train

1750 he died suddenly - worn

in

Chambord

the ardours of love than of war.

fully occupied.

Revolution

the

of France,

service

the

in

Here he

1748.

in

but

style,

in

more by

said,

Marechal de Saxe.

an illegitimate son of the Elector of Saxony,

and one of the most successful generals

of

had

which

chateau,

the

returned

Crown, suffered the usual damage; everything moveable doors, panelling
structure

was

-

was used

either

to a life of grandeur, Berthier

with

Small

title

of Prince de

stature

and unaccus-

the
in

was singularly

'Quittez ce triste Chambord',

had retired there with

lie

wrote

their children;

later Berthier died, falling

from

having been driven to suicide,

divided loyalties during the

The

Princesse

tie

in

and

less

window

a
it

Chambord. At

to

live

there.

April 1814 to his wife,

who

than fourteen months

in the

Bamberg

palace at

was supposed, by the agonies of

Wagram

had not the means nor the wish
and

in

who was

to

1821 the estate was bought

from her by public subscription, and given
Charles X,

THE EAST WING

Hundred Days.

restore anil maintain the chateau,

anil heir of

IN

ill-suited to the

rooms of Chambord, and he seldom attempted

vast

-

estate

1809.

in

A DORMER-WINDOW

furniture,

must have been with misgivings that

as a prison. It

Wagram from Napoleon

the

to

while the dismantled

or burnt,

sold

Marechal Berthier received the

tomed

oc-

to

the

known

henceforth

infant grandson
as the

young prince

the revolution of 1830, the

Comte de

left

France

with the rest of the royal family, and did not re-enter the country
till

forty-one years later, when, after the repeal of the law of exile

against the Orleans family, he

Chambord -

his only visit.

came

His refusal

to accept the Tricolor banished

hopes of restoration, and three days later he

all

for ever.

At Chambord are preserved various

tor his triumphal entry into Paris as
is

and on 2nd July, 1871 to

to Paris

in the hall,

and

in

the

little

in

arms of the Comte and

satin-lined coach

church on the adjacent slope arc various

his wife.

The

women

France with

of

Prince died

IS 83,

in

and

1930 the chateau and domain were acquired by the State from

his heirs,

opposite

pathetic objects prepared

Henri V; the

panels of needlework finely stitched by the
the

France again

left

the Princes of Bourbon-Parnic.

THE BED-ALCOVE OF LOUIS

XIV

,,

,

,

Ralph

,,

I Jut ton

THE RECONSTRl tCTED BEDROOM OE LOUIS

73

XIV

cn.winoRi)

The

staircases are

A TCRRET-STAIR

IN'

among ChamborcTs

THE NORTH-EAST COURT

A LANDING ON THE GREAT STAIRCASE
74

right:

A MORE MODEST

Tt RRET-STAIR

greatest glories

THE DOUBLE STAIRCASE, A TRU'MIMI OF [NGENUITY

;::iilj::iHa^
THE

THE FOOT OF

<;ROI'N!>-l>l.AN

Tin. (IRF.AT STAIR,

REVEALS THE FORTRESS-LIKE CONSTRI CTION

WITH

IIS

TWO

FLIGHTS

THAT NEVER MEET
7S

THE VILLA STANDING ABOVE THE FOUNTAIN OF THE DRAGONS

Villa cTEste
A

among

Cardinal's villa

the cypresses and cascades
'.

the present entrance
off a

piazza

in

to the Villa d'Este

is

a

modest doorway

the town of Tivoli, in an angle beside the Church of

San Francesco. Through

a

passage one reaches a cobbled courtyard,

with vaulted arcades of great beauty and simplicity round three sides,

resembling a Florentine cloister of the Quattrocento. Only a grotto

on the fourth

side,

with a figure of a sleeping Venus,

High Renaissance when
formed

former Benedictine Abbey was trans-

the garden side of the courtyard

these has

is

a

reached by an internal staircase and
is

ularly successful,

The garden

a further series of

facade
is

is

The

an arched portico

in

is

partic-

down

to

a

From

the

sole

upper

broad balustraded

on which the lower portico stands, containing

a

Minerva. From the terrace one can for the

>,?>t»,<i/r:

Its

the centre, in two storeys,

preciate the full beauty of the Villa's position.

76

central hall

Doric columns below and Corinthian above.

figure of

a lower

passage wjth grottoes

a

plain to the point of monotony.

portico a double staircase leads
ace,

rooms.

On

frescoed with arabesques and classical figures.

architectural feature

with

frescoes

painted coffered ceiling with the arms and

crest of Cardinal Ippolito d'Este, the builder of the Villa.

and fountains,

rooms.

a series of high

original coved ceiling, decorated with

its

and stucco; another has

floor,

the

into a Cardinal's palace.

On
One of

this

recalls

We

ter-

grotto with a
lirst

time ap-

are on a hillside,

A SUBTLE COMPLEX OF PATHS AND STAIRWAYS LEADS TO THE GARDEN

-—

-

«

'•T**,
,,

V

r

*R.

»
w.&>•••

'

#

...

Y"
.

*

r*~

m

L

^
s*t?

»1V

A

i
•"»

J/i

-

*

"5 J

<HS

-

m

>

VILLA D'ESTK

the

right

arc

pink

the

towering

the garden,

roofs

tiled

cathedral.

Below

oleanders,

lemon

its

the

ilexes,

an

and red

walls

mulberry campanile of
the

Rome. To

height above the plain that stretches beyond

first

and the

Tivoli,

us are the giant cypresses.

and agapanthus

trees

and shade. And

variety of greenness

infinite

of

the

ol

from

every side comes the sound ol running water.

The

paved walk parallel with the
of the garden.

A

The upper

row of stone

'Way

the

set-piece,

first

of a

Villa's facade

side

Hundred

Fountains',

and extending the

narrow

lined with three long

is

form

fountains, in the

ol

lull

is

a

width
basins.

the eagles and fleurs-de-lys

of the d'Este arms, alternating with obelisks and urn-shaped boats,

The

lines the lip of

the topmost basin.

mouths with

contemptuous expression, the other emblems shoot

a

upwards and sideways, while other

eagles spew water from their

jets

into the middle, creating

fall

more magical

patterns as delicate as the tracery of Gothic architecture,

change and movement. At one end of the Viale dclle Cento

their

in

Fontane
is

is

the Romelta, a

model of ancient Rome. At

the other end,

the majestic oval of the Fontana dell'Ovato. This

the hillside on

two

levels.

grotto surmounted by Pegasus

hoof.

From

built against

is

Gigantic figures of two river-gods anil of

loom mysteriously from shaded

the Tiburtine Sybil

his

it

cavities in a vast

the act of striking Parnassus with

in

the grotto three cascades

fall

below

to pass

curved

a

terrace.

From
THE PORTICO ON THE CPPER TERRACE

'Hundred Fountains', runs

the middle of the

Two

axis of the garden.

sphinxes are crouched at the top of a magnif-

from

curved double stairway, water shoots

icent

limpid but impure

jets',

guide to the Villa) and
trade of the stairs.

the central

observes
is

Dr De

Vita

down

the balus-

of the staircase, meeting above at an

arched grotto of golden stone with Ionic columns and joined
foot by a low parapet, enclose the Fountain of the

end has

was inspired by
honour of

single night in

a

in

that this

it

family,

Gregory XIII. Around

("in

the admirable official

in

carried in a catena d'acqua

The arms

breasts

their

a

at the

Dragons. Leg-

Buoncompagni arms and

the

sudden

visit

built

by the Pope of that

a great central vertical jet are

grouped

four dragons; real creatures of the Pleistocene, low-browed and ageless,
strayed from some primaeval
into the basin

swamp

spewing water

to squat eternally,

round them with the

concentration of

full

their pea-

sized minds.

The

last set-piece

comprises three rectangular basins, with vases

on the parapets playing thin

jets.

At one

against the

end,

which the town of Tivoli stands, the superposed fountains

and the Organ form

a single

towards the centre. Inside an arch
half seen through

from

a

a

THE FOUNTAIN OF THE ORGAN

78

at

a

the

native element.

monumental arch standing on

surmounted by

A

his

a

foot,

in

a

heights

It

facade,

familiar

from

a

increasing

fountain starts
in

is

broken pediment with the d'Este eagle

two
in

storeys.

the centre.

beyond the three basins

vantage-point to look backwards up the garden.
Villa's

Neptune

muscular Neptune

The upper

terrace.

circular clearing planted with cypresses

the

on

grandiose composition of falling sheets

of water and jets rising from different levels

is

of

cliff

famous

series

I

is

he austerity of

of

drawings by

Fragonard,

hidden by trees; only the portico stands out, aligned

is

above the Dragons

top ol a Bight ol steps.

at the

Cardinal Ippolito d'Este was horn

Duke

1509, son ol

in

of Ferrara, and of Lucre /.i a Borgia. Archbishop

the age of ten, Cardinal at thirty, son of an

of

Pope, he hoped

a

empty

vain

in

Governor of

distinction of

The

monastery

years were lully occupied

first

in

clearing the

houses were

forty

tunnel was

dug through

the

into a

During the

was obliged

make

new

Pontificate of

and

to retire to Ferrara,

the

subjects.

A

River

water

built to carry the

from Monte Sant'Angelo below the courtyard,
jets.

Vineyards,

to harness the waters of the

hill

and an aqueduct was

to the fountains,

site.

destroyed to

garden, not without complaints from the Cardinal's

highest

with the

off

Neapolitan architect Pirro Ligorio

to convert a disused Benedictine

groves and about

Aniene

grandson

Italian ruler,

residence.

suitable

olive

at

Immediately alter the Cardinal's

state entry into Tivoli in 1550, the

was commissioned

Milan

Tivoli, he sought in building consola-

tor the ruin of his ambitions.

tion

I,

ol

Papacy. Fobbed

the

for

Alfonso

order to operate the

in

Pope Paul [V, Cardinal d'Este
it

was not

1560 that

till

new

a

period of intense activity opened. Inside the Villa, Federigo Zuccaro,

Gerolamo Muziano, with

Livio Agresti and

were

work on

at

the

their respective pupils,

together with a team of stuccatori.

frescoes,

Excavations were set on foot on Hadrian's Villa below the Tivoli
hill
it

supply antique statues

to

for the

house and garden.

was estimated that two years would be enough

1571

In

work,

to finish the

but the Cardinal died the next year and his grandiose scheme has never

been completed.
Cardinal Ippolito
or

in

default ol

any,

left

to

the Villa to the Cardinals of his family,

Deacon of

the

the

College of Cardinals.

Cardinals Luigi and Alessandro d'Este enjoyed
latter's

death

in

to

Under

them.

a reversal of the will

their

tures

were

a

fell.

passed, through
to the

I

Iapsburgs.

orders, he was
infatuation of
in vain,

er's boy.

The

sculp-

SLEEPING VENUS IN THE

ENTRANCE COURTYARD

the care of Cardinal Hohcnlohe,

rooms

for the

in

the Villa in

1865 and spent part of

remaining twenty years of

was that he took refuge - for although by then

teen:

Maria Beatrice

In the latter half of the last century

summer under

suite of

each year there
it

it

charge au Austrian representative at the Vatican. Liszt

in

was given

property

gift of the

removed, the water-channels became choked, the

filched or

enjoyed an Indian

who was

when

Archduke Ferdinand,

stonework crumbled and
it

and the

remote supervision the Villa suffered from pro-

gressive neglect, accentuated
d'Este, wile ol the

turn; after the

Dukes of Modena, secured from

1624, the d'Estes,

Pope Urban VIII

in

it

still

by no means unattractive to

Olga Janina,

compositions. Cypres de
In

Italian

State.

sixty

and

women

holy

in

from the

passionate Cossack Countess of nine-

I.is/.t's

la

There

life.

however, as she gained admission disguised as

As memories of

d Este.

a

his

J "ilia

residence

we have

his

a

two evocative

d'Este and Jeux (/'can de

1917 the Villa was confiscated

as

garden-

la

/'ilia

enemy property by

the

Anthony Hobson

COAT-OF-ARMS OF CARDINAL
II'l'OLITO

D'ESTE

79

VILLA D'ESTE

THE 'HUNDRED FOUNTAINS

-

<

<

.

1

s**^to
L

'

_

"

:';-

IrkM
HHHIHIHI^IH
THE FOUNTAIN OF Tin; DRAGONS IS SAID TO HAVE
BEEN CREATED IN A SINGLE NIGHT

'MM

THE SUPERIMl'OSFD FOUNTAINS
OF NEPTUNE AND THE ORGAN

MM

right:

**

80

k

«

<#

K.'

The

water

MONTAIGNE COMPARED THE FOUNTAINS TO GIANT MECHANICAL TOYS

reates an architecture of

its

own
81

(J

~f~

s\*r
m

~
-•?:
9«L-n^^
*
*-~'.
,V*"^—

-?

;

\

«*

at!

\~.

.

'•!?

.

T

.

.

.

«

4
-*4

i;

jH

t
»'
'**-

*v«

*«l

.•-1

\T*

cm

*\.>»>»

^

THE GARDEN WAS LAID OUT

THE

IN

1730'S

Egeskov
The proud memorial
the DANES believe that
lived

in,

and so
on
the

this

it

So
is

site

name

great houses are

possible by the family which has

if

tions past.

Danish nobleman

of a

it

is

with

many

the better for being

all

owned them

for genera-

of the great manorhouses of

today with Egeskov. Since the

Denmark,

farmhouse was

first

1405, Egeskov has had thirty-two masters.

in

Bille iirst

built

1533

In

appears as that of an owner of Egeskov. About

1616 Jakob and Frant/. Ulfeldt owned the

and today

estate,

is

it

the

property of Count Gregers Ahlefeldt-Bille.

From

the village of

Kvaerndrup

a noble

short neck of water, and

the visitor to a causeway, which spans a
to the west

door of the

castle.

On

brick of two semi-circular towers

This sheet

ot

is

unique attraction, was, however, no

BrockenhtlUS,

who

pointed Martin

of,p„ sl t,-:

site

acquired

reflected

from the

Egeskov much

whim

was chosen

ot

lor

a

rich

Bussert as his architect

PILES

ot

in

little
its

lake.

almost

patron or

defence,

Egeskov by marriage

THE RED-BRICK CASTLE STANDS ON A FOINDATION OF OAK

warm, ancient

the eastern front the

water, which today gives

landscape gardener. This

avenue of limes leads

by

1545.

tor the castle

his

Frauds
lie

which he

apat

83

EGESKOV

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL MANOR-HOUSE

IN

DENMARK

once set himself to build. Bussert was the pioneer of Renaissance
architecture in
soldier,

The

and had

castle

lake,

Denmark,

was

but, like his

employer, he was also a notable

keen eye for military needs

a

on oaken

built

piles,

The main

of the castle

shell

buildings, separated by a wall seven

passages, staircases and

A

an unsettled time.

driven into the bed of a small

and could be approached originally only by

of drawbridges.

in

feet

thick,

complicated system

a

composed of two

is

riddled with secret

what we should now perhaps

call

booby

suspension bridge gives access to the east front of the castle, but

the

main entrance

as

is,

it

has always been, on the western side.

elaborate portico which was erected in front of this ancient
in
it

traps.

doorway

1880, was demolished thirty years ago, leaving the west front as

was designed, more than four hundred years before.
This great mansion

classified as

is

not an ancient monument, though

one by the Danish Government.

handsomely furnished and equipped
but no longer a part of this one.

- Niels Krag,

who

laid

It

is

in

a

the

It

is

a

officially

not a sterile box.

manner of

past

a

Hi lie,

TOMB OF THE BROCKENHUUS AT KVAERNDRUP
THE WOODEN MAN IN THE LOFT

right:

84

Egeskov and loved

it.

by the present owner,

a

who

willow which he had taken from

Napoleon's grave, and which grew and flourished at Egeskov
twenty years ago, and those of

age

home. The portraits are there

out the garden, Admiral Steen

brought back from St Helena

left:

An

hundred others who had

until

lived at

But these hang with the trophies brought home

who

is

one

of

the world's

most celebrated

big-

THE EASTERN ENTRANCE, APPROACHED BY A SUSPENSION BRIDGE ERECTED

game
hall,

There are gardening gloves and

hunters.

visiting-cards in the

the tradesmen

come driving out from Kvaerndrup and Odense.

The rooms,

might be expected

as

in a

house which has survived

good for four more, represent most

four centuries and seems

IN 1880

styles

and periods of the past four hundred years. They range from the
sternly

cellars,

and designed

utilitarian

to

withstand a long siege,

through panelled chambers to elegant eighteenth century salons.

Of
tower

course,

lies,

its

to this day, a little

respect, for

it

is

each year, he

is

into the lake.

times that

Egeskov has

legends. In the roof of the stairway

wooden man. He

is

treated with

said that unless, on the night before Christmas

some

Eve

given clean straw for his bed, the castle will sink

So seriously did the family take

Egeskov was always empty

this threat in

former

at Christmas.

But Egeskov has survived. In Kvaerndrup church

is

the

tomb

who built Egeskov, and of his wife, through
it. The village churches of Europe are full of such
people who built and dwelt in the great houses

of Frands Brockenhuus,

whom

he acquired

memorials to the
under which they

nestle.

But too often those houses are empty now,

or put to some excellent,

never envisaged, and

Brockenhuus and

if

many

his heirs

utilitarian,

purpose which their builders

of them have vanished altogether. Frands

have been allowed to build on firm ground,

and for that every discerning traveller

in

Denmark

should be thankful.

Ewan

THE GROUND-PLAN OF THE ORIGINAL CASTLE

Butler

85

EGESKOV

M
i

*

fl
'ifl

CAST-IRON STOVE IN

THE PARLOUR

THE CELLARS UNDER THE WEST WING

A

private

house enclosed

in a fortress

THE THICK WALLS PROVIDE CONVENIENT NICHES FOR GARDENING GLOVES
AND A TELEPHONE

87

AN ENGRAVING OF THE VILLA

Villa
Palladio's

IN 1874

Maser

Barbaro,

charming

embellished by Veronese

villa,

as he drives east from Milan, or

south at Rovigo, the observant traveller

change. All around him

Adige from the

crosses the
is

once conscious of a

at

evidence of ancient prosperity; country

is

houses are more numerous; churches more imposing, their

tall

cam-

paniles silhouetted against the foothills; gardens are filled with sculpture; even the villages are built with dignity

more

fruitful,

legacy,

its

more than

and

half after

a

to Friuli, villas are scattered across the

equalled
Villa

in

a

:

any other countryside

Barbaro must rank

as

its

From

benehcient rule of the Venetian Republic.

concentration along the Brenta

soil itself

and more abundant. This

cultivation denser
a century

and the

extinction,

the

Lake

of

Venetian plain, with

seems
is

the

of the

Garda
a thick

density of architectural merit unin the

Among

world.

primus inter pares.

It

is

all

of them,

the only one

where we can admire the collaboration of two supreme geniuses
Palladio and Paolo Veronese; and thanks to
care of successive owners, none

The most

is

good fortune ami

chi

better preserved.

agreeable approach to

Maser

is

from Padua. The road

passes through a green luxuriance of vines, olives and maize, through

town of Castelfranco, with

the mediaeval walled

by Giorgione

in the

church, and skirts the

Caterina Cornaro's palace.

country road.

The

Maser

is

hill

a

famous

altar-piece

of Asolo crowned by

about two miles further along a

Villa stands at the end of a straight gravel drive on

the left of the road, seen through a railing flanked by stone figures of

helmeted warriors, holding spear and
statues line the gravel.

the Villa's chapel,

opposite:

is in

THE ENTRANCE FACADE, WITH ONE OF THE TWO

shield. Jupiter,

The church, constructed
front.

On

the right

SIDE-PAVII.IONS

is

in 15

Juno and other

SO by Palladio as

a fountain with a ligure of

89

VILLA KARHARO. MASER

Neptune and
The facade

a long
is

avenue of limes opposite the centre of the

two

of

storeys, consisting of a central block, said to

have been modelled on the Temple of Forttma
three pairs of

support a

Ionic columns which

and pediment. Lower recessed arcaded wings on

either side, with keystones carved with grotesque masks,

77

mm

were intend-

ed as granaries, store-houses, stables and agent's quarters for the

A

jiiOQ

n
- -

Rome, with

Virilis in

windows between four engaged

frieze

Villa.

estate.

shallow projection at each end supports a square surface adorned

with a sun-dial, topped by a small pediment and flanked by curved

U-iU hi

> " r * - *H 'KM-

buttresses.

a lively

the

The low

movement,

silhouette,
is

to

strikingly in

of trees behind.

its

rhythm

architectural

At

and the slope of the

the dancing hills of

hill

its

white-

emphasised by a plantation

has been ingeniously used to reduce the height

garden

Daniele and Marcantonio
built,

is

stucco,

the rear, the wings project to enclose a courtyard

to a single storey, bringing the

THE VILLA

harmony with

Grappa beyond. Constructed of brick faced with

ness as well as

PALLADIO'S PLAN OF

which the three pediments impart

level with the

Barbaro,

for

Piano Nobile.

whom

the

Villa

was

belonged to one of the oldest, most distinguished and most
below:

THE VILLA STANDS ON A SLIGHT

RISE

ABOVE THE PLAIN

cultivated

families

had held high

of Venice, which

as the ninth century.

office

early

as

respectively in 1513 and 1518.

They were horn

Daniele inherited the family tendency to humanist scholarship.

performed the various duties expected of
culminating

in his

a

He

young Venetian nobleman,

appointment as Ambassador to Edward VI of Eng-

land from 1548 to 1550. Shortly after his return, he re-entered the

Church and became Patriarch of Aquileia. Marcantonio was Ambassador to France from 1561 to 1-564 and to Turkey from 1568 to
1574. There

now

no documentary confirmation of the date, but

is

to be accepted that

seems

it

was about 1560 that the brothers decided

it

on their estate at Maser. Although intended chiefly for

to build a villa

the use of Marcantonio's family and descendants, as the senior branch,
it

is

probable that Daniele, as the connoisseur of

art,

was

the

first

originator of the idea; and the choice of architect and artist was
certainly his, as well as of Alessandro Vittoria for the sculpture.

The Piano Nobile

of the

divided into several relatively

villa is

small rooms round a central cruciform hall,

On
At

with coved ceilings.

THE

CHAPF.I.

WAS BUILT BY PALLADIO

IN 1580

on the main facade, are two rooms known

either side of this hall,

as the Sala di

all

Bacco (now the dining-room) and the Sala degli Sposi.

the garden-end the top of the cross has been divided off to

a square saloon, the Aula,

from which

rooms extends

to left

ceilings of all these

rooms

a line of

and right along the garden. The walls and

form

are decorated with frescoes by Paolo Veronese assisted by G. B. Zelotti

and others. Painted at the height of
thirty-two, this cycle of frescoes

is

not only the most important surviv-

ing record of his art, but must rank
estic

open

powers, when he was about

his

among

the most beautiful

dom-

decorations ever created. In the central hall, which was originally
to the south, the frescoes

have suffered and the landscapes are

mostly modern restorations. Fortunately they seem to have been the

work of

assistants,

survived.

Only

and Veronese's own paintings

and leafy branches' on the

'the festoons

ed by Cavalier Carlo Ridolfi
in

1646, have

now

cellent condition,

Handsome

in this

in his life

room have

ceiling, describ-

of Paolo Veronese published

disappeared. But elsewhere the frescoes are in ex-

and seem

to

have been painted with

a special gusto.

THE COLONNADE OF THE WESTERN LOGGIA

large chimney-pieces in the Sala di Bacco and degli

Sposi are the only architectural features inside the house, but the cycle
of frescoes follows an architectural plan which harmonises perfectly

with Palladio's conceptions.

The

walls are painted with Corinthian

columns, landscapes seen through arches,
es,

more

allegory,

statues on

gilt

and marble statues

in nich-

pedimented overdoors; the scenes from myth and

no doubt chosen by Daniele Barbaro, are mostly confined

to the ceilings or overdoors.

Each room

is

made

to

appear an open

arcade looking over the countryside, an effect of depth and variety
without which the cruciform

hall,

with only a single window, would

gloomy monotony. The landscapes are derived
from the Venetian lagoons or the Grappa hills; innumerable details

scarcely have escaped a

convey the summer riches of the mainland - no doubt the season when
he was at work.

A

sense of abundance pervades the whole cycle. All

the skies are blue; clouds appear only as a necessary support to the
divinities

of Olympus; even when Winter and

Autumn

are personified,

THE

'NINFEO'

GROTTO BEHIND THE HOUSE

91

VILLA BARBARO, MASER

THE CENTRAL HALL, WITH TWO FIGURES BY VERONESE

I
3

ANDREA PALLADIO (left), and PAOLO VERONESE,
FROM ENGRAVINGS BY GIOVANNI BATTISTA CECCHI
the sun shines on them;
ane, beautiful

and the gods and goddesses themselves, hum-

and glowing with health, are unmistakably Venetians.

Religious subjects appear only

Around

in

two of the bedrooms.

Aula where the coved

the

ceiling starts,

painted a bal-

is

cony on which various members of the household stand. Marcantonio's
wife, richly dressed, looks

down

at the visitor;

an old nurse at her side

glances across her at a small boy, the six-year old Alvise, her third
son.

On

the parapet are perched a

puppy and

a parrot.

On

the op-

two elder sons: Francesco, aged fourteen,

posite wall are the

a stu-

dious boy clothed in black and reading a book; and twelve-year old

Almoro,

and fondling

gaily dressed

a hunting-dog, with a

monkey on

the parapet between them.

The

final trompe-l'ceil

the suite of

reserved for the walls at either end of

is

rooms along the garden. Both are painted with

On

entering from outside.

the left the mistress of the house

from the heat of the garden and fanning

ed, flushed

dapper young sportsman

the other end a

two hounds. The

latter figure

is

figures

depict-

is

From

herself.

enters, with a shotgun

traditionally identified as

and

Veronese

himself. If so, the artist's audacity in portraying himself for posterity
in a position that

belonged of right to Marcantonio Barbaro,

is

breath-

taking.

The

small garden, enclosed on three sides by the house,

turfed and partly paved with
side,

beyond

statues

a

round pool,

is

ornamental pebbles.

On

is

the

partly

fourth

the Ninfeo, a curved facade with stucco

and ornament topped by a long low pediment supported by

two youthful, and two mature, Atlases. In the centre an arched grotto

god and

contains a river
niches

on either side hold

aphorism

in

classical

died out

in the

the Basadona, then to the

of Venice.

sion

The

nineteenth century

into decay. Villa

of a

though
still

with

a

Five

satyrical

rich

his restorations

more fortunate

hospitality of

its

was

many

a

in

were

some

the wise

and

passing into the posses-

in

who

preserved

it

lovingly,

instances ill-judged.

It

has been

Giacomelli,
in

bad time for the Venetian

of which were demolished or

Barbaro was lucky

industrialist,

Maser passed
family of the last Doge

eighteenth century and

Manin, the

aristocracy and for their villas,
fell

each

figures,

a pool.

verse engraved below.

The Barbaros
to

goddess pouring water into

a

tactful

present owner, Contessa

care,

and the generous

Marina Luling

Buschetti

Volpi.

Anthony Hobson

93

V

w
f
f \\I

.

1

|

\:

I

m

v

THE BALCONY SCEN

Veronese's frescoes are masterpieces of decoration
94

VILLA BARBARO, MASKR

HIS VIVID

OVE THE AULA, UPON WHICH MARCANTONIOS WIFE LOOKS

right:

COMBINATION OF CLASSICAL WITH DOMESTIC SUBJECTS

DOWN

THE FIGURE DESCRIBED AS VERONESE'S SELF-PORTRAIT

95

VILLA BARBARO, MASKR

*

,

&

'

THE SITTING-ROOM, WITH A VIEW OF VERONESE'S 'SELF-PORTRAIT'

A BEDROOM, WITH A PORTRAIT OF MARCANTONIO'S WIFE

below:

The
is

opposite:

THE SALA

UI BACCO,

Italian

countryside

reproduced indoors

NOW THE DINING-ROOM

A CORNER OF THE AULA

'

if

*

-5

>

iii

i*

a

Fry

'VIS?'
-r

r

THE WEST FACADE, 'MORE GLASS THAN WALL'

Hall

;

ck

Elizabethan architecture at

most adventurous

its

ONE WRITER HAS CALLED HARDWICK HALL

most Successful

'the

and best preserved of the great Palaces of the Elizabethan Renaissance'; another, 'the last

Hardwick

ular'.

and belated masterpiece of the Perpendic-

in fact is both,

and

its

attraction

largely due to this

is

bold blend of the classical and the late mediaeval.

Perpendicular Gothic, a manner native to Britain, was an
clesiastical idiom,
its

finest

but at the very

it

England was

ceasing. In such circum-

was natural that many features of Perpendicular -

for curves, an insistence on

and

the style produced

achievements, such as King's College Chapel at Cambridge,

the building of great churches in
stances

moment when

ec-

a love of walls that

flat

a distaste

surfaces and rectilinear construction,

were largely glass - should

find expression in

domestic building. Thus at the end of the sixteenth century a number
of imposing houses relate to Perpendicular, and for

all

their Renais-

sance decoration are as unlike Continental building as the style from

which they derive.

Hardwick

is

the most notable example of such a

translation of at least one

Hardwick
wall'.

in

the

opposite:

the popular adage,

The immense glazed

comparable,

late

is

'Hardwick Hall, more

areas of the faqades at

until the architecture

windows of

SOUTH END OF THE LONG GALLERY

feature of Perpendicular

house.

The

reflected

at

glass than

Hardwick were

of the twentieth century, only with

Perpendicular churches.

Though houses such

as

99

HARDWICK HALL

Wollaton, Wooton, and Doddington are related to Hardwick, the
Perpendicular idiom was never achieved elsewhere

in a

country house

with the same monumental effect or the same easy assurance.

The

j^
-erf

^«*T»

.A-»A.V~f> »

/

of lardwick was

remarkable as the building. The

as

I

Countess of Shrewsbury, familiarly known as Bess of Hardwick, was

^

.1

builder

who married

a squire's daughter

four hushands, and so profited by

the death of each that at last only the other Bess,

England, was

richer.

Her

Queen of

the

devotion to her second hushand, Sir William

Cavendish, does not obscure the fact that she was a tough scheming

woman, but
-1

*;£&

«

25gl

she earns her place in sixteenth-century history by the

much

fact that she loved building as

-cer'

as

money. In addition

to

lard-

I

-

wick, she built large houses at Chatsworth,

eo7 J

are
rtsu
#L^l

Worksop, Oldcotes, and

Bolsover. In 1590 the death of her fourth husband, Lord Shrewsbury,

whom

from
F

*»'7i.

ec*/'-«->3

made

she had been long estranged,

additional resources.
the building of

A

month

her seventy-first year, she began

later, in

Hardwick, only

her mistress of vast

a stone's

throw away from an

earlier

now ruinous, where she had been born and to which she
had already made ambitious additions.
Though his name does not occur among the accounts which
mansion,

iaj

7 a- *-U^f «**—

-'

yatfowt Wit

*«*

TT

W iry w ^
!

"

ISfiWh

have survived at Hardwick, Robert Smythson, associated with such
great sixteenth-century houses as Longleat and Wollaton, was perhaps

On

her architect.

BUILDING ACCOUNTS, 1593, SIGNED
BY THE COUNTESS OF SHREWSBURY

the other hand, the formidable

many
Hardwick to

widow

herself must

almost certainly have dictated

of the features of the building.

On

her favourite son William,

her death she

left

Earl of Devonshire, and
family. This

and

was

thus passed into the powerful Cavendish

it

The Cavendishes owned

providential.

number of great houses. Before

a

first

vast estates

the beginning of the eighteenth

century Chatsworth had become their favoured Derbyshire seat, and

consequently throughout the

HM

^

f

Hardwick Hall
passed

U

[AH

by and

it

hundred and

Changes

transformation.

little

years

fifty

fashion

in

preserved, like a vast private warehouse, the taste

and furnishings of Bess of Hardwick and the seventeenth-century

1 If

I'

it

suffered

ensuing two

'

Cavendishes

M

who

succeeded her.

England, both inside and out,

One of

the least altered houses in

passed into the care of the National

it

-

Trust

in

1949.

Unlike most houses of

ELIZABETH, COUNTESS OF SHREWSBURY
it

its

time

Hardwick

stands on a hill-top, and

dominates the Derbyshire countryside. The park with

stag-headed oaks climbs steeply to the gatehouse and
forecourt whose low walls

are

surmounted with

a

aging

its

the

formal

crenellation

strange pinnacles. Across the forecourt the house rises tier on

At

sunset

it

is

a

shimmer of

glass, the light reflected

of

tier.

from thousands

of diamond panes. Architecturally the impact of the building

is

largely

due to the apparent contrast between vast areas of window, increasing
in size

with each storey, and a design which

house soars, yet
effect

of

sits

is

as firmly as a tithe barn.

unnumbered mullions and transoms

The severe
is

100

I

AT HARDWICK

rectilineal-

wonderfully

by the fretted cresting of the roof-line, where the

PORTRAIT OF ELIZABETH

The

notably compact.

initials

set

ES

off

(for

Elizabeth Shrewsbury) appear

among

At ground

towers of the south facade are linked

by

a

level the

two

salient

coronets and dancing

sturdy Tuscan loggia, the most striking classical element

scrolls.

in

this

Perpendicular design.

Though
tine

common to most
- hall, Long Gallery, and Great Chamber its own way unusual. The hall is perhaps the

[ardwick incorporates the

I

Elizabethan houses

Hardwick

each at
first

England

in

runs, counter to

in

is

to he treated simply as

features

an entrance

and

hall,

its

axis

mediaeval precedent, transversely from the front of

the house to the hack, though the conception of the usual hall 'screens'
is

retained

Tuscan columns. Over the

a line screen of

in

fireplace

is

an enormous heraldic cartouche with elahorate strapwork, incorporating Bess of Hardwick's

a

notable

example of those
renowned.

is

work of an English

plasterer,

Smith, they have a boldness, a simplicity, and a poetry that

are native.

many examples

the hall are also

In

collection of
leled in

is

hut largely the

in derivation,

Ahraham

It

and friezes for which Hardwick

plaster overmantels

Flemish

arms.

needlework and tapestry,

any private house

Hardwick

of the

a collection probably unparal-

Europe. The most unusual, and beautiful,

in

of the needlework panels are the astonishing representations of the
Virtues at the east end of the hall. Applied 'on cloth of golde velvett

and other

work throughout

house

the

Hardwick, and some of
to

The

like stuff', they are really a type of collage.

Mary Queen

of Scots.

Lord Shrewsbury

largely contemporary with

is

needle-

Bess of

not without reason, has been attributed

it,

Though

she was never confined at Hardwick,

fourth husband) was the queen's

(the Countess's

SOUTH WING.

'E

S'

ARE THE COUNTESS' INITIALS

goaler for fifteen years.

The Long
Hardwick

Gallery, a peculiarly English development,

the whole length of the east front. In size

to the gallery at

Montacute

in

Somerset, and

its

it

is

runs at
<r

second only

walls are covered with

the thirteen Brussels tapestries, depicting the story of Gideon, which

Bess of

Hardwick bought

1592. Against these tapestries are hung,

in

and apparently have been so hung for generations, portraits of Queen
Elizabeth and

Mary Queen

of Scots, of successive Cavendishes, and
,S

of figures associated with the long history of the house.

The Great Chamber,

next to the

Long

Gallery,

most beautiful room, not

Sitwell's opinion 'the

in

is

in

England

To

Sacheverell
alone, but

N,J
-ri

whole of Europe'. With

in the
tries,

and furniture,

untouched, and

it

with the past that
frieze,

is

it

its

certainly one of the

perhaps expresses most

in

v

most homogeneous and

finely the sense

Hardwick repeatedly conveys. On

now muted

V|-.

contemporary plasterwork, tapes-

colour but with a poetry that

of contact

the deep plaster
is

unfading, the

chase proceeds under green trees and Diana holds her court. Beneath
the frieze the story of Ulysses

is

told in a set of Brussels tapestries

which the Countess bought two years before she started building.

marble

fireplace, while incorporating the

the period,

comparable

is

in

like others
this

at

respect

strapwork characteristic of

Hardwick of

to

the

The

a

OVERMANTEL OF THE DINING-ROOM FIREPLACE

splendid restraint and

great fireplaces

at

Bramshill

in

Hampshire. The tables and sideboards of elaborate design, deriving
from Franco-Flemish prototypes, occur as does much of the other
furniture at

Hardwick

in

an inventory of 1601, and the farthingale-

chairs are covered with an original sixteenth-century needlework.

contrast a set of rich Charles

II stools

By

seems almost a modern importa-

101

HARDWICK HALL
tion.

On

the floor-Ms rush matting of the particular

weave

always heen used at Hardwick, and that has come to he

that has

known

else-

where as 'Hardwick matting'.
Authenticity
possibly

more

the note struck.

is

beautiful, but the impression of a great house as

have looked and

felt in

nowhere

else so

is

surely

decoration,

its

There are houses more

the late sixteenth

immediate.

panelling or

its

Room

it

must

and seventeenth centuries
after room, with

its

plaster

tapestried walls that muffle sound,

its

moved, remains after four

furniture that seems never to have been

hundred years complete and convincing. Hardwick
an almost oppressive feeling of time and, for
a

elegant,

all

its

is

a

house with

great windows,

house of shadows.

Even

the garden at

Hardwick has

retained, like Chastleton in

Gloucestershire and a few other houses,

and escaped 'improvement'

in

Countess might well have walked.

approved the

early formal character

the eighteenth century.

hedges and down the alleys of pleached
the

its

Between yew

fruit trees such as

still

exist,

Bacon himself might have

lay-out.

Robin Fedden

THE WALLED ELIZABETHAN GARDEN

THE QUEEN OF SCOTS BEDROOM
left:

STONE STAIRCASE TO THE UPPER FLOORS

opposite:

BEDHEAD TAPESTRY

IN

THE STATE BED-CHAMBER

sAi

'*1

^
*<lW\

^
'•

«.»*

'

L^i m~*'

^
-

&

5

l

[

ft*.'-'

A

I'
'•Tf^M

4*

'1

z

y

P.

a

5*

$
f

pi

6JPV

ff

:*<)>

HARDWICK HALL

ENTRANCE TO THE GREAT HIGH CHAMBER

Hardwick remains almost unaltered
'SUMMER', DETAIL OF PLASTER-WORK

I

AN ENGRAVING OF THE PALACE

IN

ABOUT

1580

Caprarola
Vignola's masterpiece in the Monti Cimini
the monti cimini,
thirty-five miles to the

the

modest

down which

village of

hills,

lie

north-west of Rome. After travelling through

woods over empty country

reaches a gorge
the

range of thickly wooded volcanic

a

roads, past the

Lake of

rushes a noisy torrent.

Caprarola

is

built

houses merging into the background.

on the

At

On

Vico,

one

the far bank,

grey stone

hillside, its

the top of the

stands the

hill

vast bulk of the Farnese Palace, reddish gold in the sunlight, dominating the village like a lion.

The

contrast between Caprarola's towering

Renaissance architecture and the wildness of

surroundings

is

unique

dramatic impact.

in its

Cardinal Alessandro Farnese,

who

from Titian's portrait of him with
Paul

III, at

Naples. But

this painting,

his

built

Cardinal's

own

qualities.

Caprarola,

is

familiar

grandfather, the aged Pope

which has come to be considered

the classic portrayal of Papal nepotism,

his

its

does not do justice to the

Contemporaries are agreed on

his generosity,

courteous manners, the dignity of his presence and his patronage

of artists and men-of-letters. In 1550, however, the Cardinal's fortunes

were

down
in the

at their lowest.

It

was the policy of Pope

the Farnese from the

commanding

position they

had attained

previous reign. Cardinal Alessandro decided that

advisable to retire for a time from
as the place for his retreat

106

Julius III to bring

it

would be

Rome. His choice of Caprarola

was determined by various considerations;

opposite:

VIGNOLA'S ASTONISHING SPIRAL STAIRCASE

,.»••'

^V/

w

CAPRAROLA

THE SCALA REGIA

A

RISES

fortress softened

by the humanism
i

A

ROW OF HUGE STONE

CANEPHORAE ENCIRCLES THE
PARTERRE OF THE CASINO

of the Renaissance

THREE STOREY

it

lay in the Farnese fief of Ronciglione;

it

was neither too near nor

too far from the capital; and the wildness of the country both guar-

anteed warning against any surprise, and,

felt the

may

be,

The Bolognese

the apparent ruin of his ambitions.

who had

it

harmonised with
architect Vignola,

powerful influence of Michelangelo while

in

Rome,

and started work

in

March

was commissioned

to plan a suitable villa

1550.

The
tress, a
in

was already chosen for him, the remains of an early

site

Rocca, that had crowned the

hill.

The

building

shape and stands on a platform supported by

corners. It

live

is

for-

pentagonal

bastions at the

surrounded by a narrow moat crossed by three draw-

is

bridges, one on the faqade, the other leading to the garden at the

back.

The

architecture

severe,

is

decorated only with pilasters and

pedimented windows, alternately round and triangular, somewhat
ing the Escorial in

its

austerity.

An

recall-

extra storey, the Sotterranei,

was

excavated out of the tufa below the foundations.

An
palace.

ingenious series of stairs and terraces joins the village to the

From

a piazza at the top of the village a double flight of

steps leads to a large rectangular terrace, used for the manoeuvres of

From

the Cardinal's cavalry, supported on three rusticated arches.

here another balustraded double-staircase, on either side of the arched
entrance to the Sotterranei, a warren of kitchens and store-rooms,
rises to the
six

main entrance. This

windows

ground

in

again a rusticated arch, set between

the front of the platform,

floor, the

The

is

and giving access

to the

Piano dei Prelati.

centre of the building contains a circular arcaded courtyard,

supporting, on the level of the Piano Nobile, a balustraded gallery

with Ionic columns arranged
once to have held busts of

in

pairs around niches which are said

Roman Emperors.

A

magnificent circular

staircase, the Scala Regia, in the left angle of the fagade, leads

the

ground

Superbly proportioned,

floor to the higher storeys.

carried on pairs of columns the sight of which,

it is

Cardinal Alessandro to seize Vignola's hand and

Walls and

Vitruvius'.

related,
call

him

from
it

is

provoked
'a

second

ceiling are frescoed with arabesques, allegories

and symbolic devices by Antonio Tempesta. The twelve staterooms

on the Piano Nobile are notable for

GALLERY OF THE CIRCULAR COURTYARD

brothers.

The

troduced

in

their

frescoes by the Zuccaro

down to the smallest detail
of composition and figures, were laid down by Annibale Caro, the
Cardinal's secretary; the specifications for a single room occupy eighteen printed pages in Vasari. The deeds of the Farnese family were
naturally prominent among the subjects; Alexander the Great is ina child he

subjects of the paintings,

compliment

to the Cardinal;

was nursed by

Hercules figures because as

the goat Amaltheia, a punning reference to

Caprarola thoroughly typical of humanist thought.

The lower garden
Piano Nobile.
tains, statues

It is

is

reached by a drawbridge from behind the

of the usual formal type, box parterres with foun-

and grottoes, now much decayed and lacking the unique

inspiration of Villa Lante.

One

grotto,

ported by huge stucco fauns, was used
a theatre

TTT-irrrr

VIGNOLA'S ORIGINAL

hung with
in

stalactites

and sup-

the seventeenth century as

and witnessed many performances of Guarini's colourless

DRAWING OF THE GROUND-PLAN
109

CAPRAROLA
drama

oak-woods

From

From

Pastor Fido.

//

the lower garden one ascends through

to arrive, across a lawn, at

an open space with

fountain.

a

here an elaborate architectural composition rises to the celebra-

ted casino, one of the

most admired features of Caprarola, constructed

Odoardo Farnese. Two

after Cardinal Alessandro's death by Cardinal

rusticated arches enclose a ramp, divided by a catena d'acqua

sets ot

Hows from

(similar to the one at Villa Lante) which

ed by two gigantic river-gods.

The

is

it

another parterre,

with box-hedges and fountains, surrounded

hill,

by a low wall supporting

surmount-

casino has an arcaded loggia, fres-

coed with arabesques, and a tiled roof. Around

on the summit of the

a grotto

row of huge Canephorae, stone terms

a

car-

rying baskets on their heads.

Caprarola
which

even more empty and desolate than the country

is

so incongruously stands, and an effort

it

the activity that filled

it

at the time of

terraces and along the balustrades

guards,

its

needed to imagine

On

completion.

the lower

would have been the Cardinal's

uniforms powdered with the Farnese

in

is

in

lilies.

Horsemen wheel-

ed and galloped outside the entrance to the Sotterranei, while inside
the latter

all

was

hectic with hurrying cooks, butlers

the Piano del Prelati

and

office,

guests.

and

cellarers.

On

were the guardroom, Annibale Caro's rooms

no doubt also the rooms for the Cardinal's distinguished

But the centre of the household was on the Piano Nobile, where

groups of gentlemen-in-waiting, chaplains, prelates, petitioners - even
sightseers like

and

Montaigne -

collected or

again, reigning in the

in

1589, leaving Caprarola to his fam-

Duchy of Parma, and more

A

the use of any future Farnese Cardinal.

1731 the

brilliance, for in

last P'arnese

Bourbons.

and the

of Italy

it

The Farnese

Ferdinando,

lived in by the

in

ed to

by the Old Pretender
flicker of

of

Caprarola's

Parma died and

and thence

to the Neapolitan,

and library were removed

to

Nap-

Count of Caserta, younger son of King

state.

The

casino in the upper garden

reserved for the Italian President and a special permit

visit

the

circumstances of mounting decay, and has only recently

been acquired by the Italian

now

particularly for

entered a long period of neglect. After the unification

villa

was

collections

final

Duke

family's property passed to the Spanish,

is

visit

following century was perhaps the

in the

les

the Cardinal

his intimates.

Cardinal Alessandro died
ily

made way before

is

need-

it.

If the first

impression of Caprarola

is

amazement

at

its

size

and

wild surroundings, and the second of admiration at Vignola's resolution of the peculiar difficulties of the site, this should not blind us to

the real beauties of

its

architecture. It

is

the finest achievement in a

landscape setting of the Italian Renaissance school, based on the principles of Vitruvius,

which strove to use ornament with the utmost econ-

omy, to avoid the merely decorative and

to achieve the

harmony of

ideal proportion.

Anthony Hobson

110

THE HALL OF THE FARNESE ANNALS, DECORATED BY THE
ZUCCARO BROTHERS WITH SCENES FROM THE HISTORY
OF THE FAMILY. A PORTRAIT OF PHILIP II IS ABOVE THE
CENTRAL DOOR

1

u

IjJir

x

Hudf
W/
JvImSn _ja

1

n

l

JHn^Hi^a:

OT

5BI

!

THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. HOTEL LAMBERT MARKED

PARIS IN

'F'

Hotel Lambert,
A

house on an island

President's

in the Seine

Paris semble a mes yeax un pays de roman,
J'y croyais ce matin voir une

Je

la laissai

enchantee

lie

deserte et la trouve habitee...

CORNEILLE, struck by

the oddness of the sudden transformation,

saluted with these verses in

he Menteur

the expansion of the lie Saint-

Louis, twin island to the Cite; in the heart of Paris, yet
in aspect,

Up

history and customs.

how

different

Henri IV,

to the reign of

it

had

heen waste land visited only by strolling players and archers; washer-

women
in

landed from boats to spread out their

green pastures. In

ent-day aspect.

less

than thirty years,

it

linen,

was

and cows browsed
to

The Pont Neuf having been thrown

assume

its

pres-

across from the

other side of the Cite, a contractor was tempted to take advantage
of this space belonging to the

Chapter of Notre Dame. Between

1630 and 1650, the quays were paved, the bridges

finished, the

roads

outlined, all these being at right angles to the back-bone of the island.

Jean-Baptiste Lambert, Lord of Sucy and of Thorigny, Secretary to
the King, bought the portions which, joined together, serve as a base

for the superb Hotel Lambert.

Louis Levau worked there for two years - probably with d'Orbais, as

a

is

now

suggested - and was so taken with the

that he built

modest medium-sized dwelling for himself. At Easter 1644, Jean-

Baptiste

Lambert

installed himself there; for a short time only, since

he was to die on the
heir

was

Chambre

opposite:

site

his

22nd December

brother Nicolas,

who

at the age of 36. Jcan-Baptistc's

in

1671 became President of the

des Comptes. In the reign of the Great King, Nicolas I.am-

THE SALON, FORMERLY A BEOROOM, DECORATED

IN

THE LOUIS

XVI STYLE

113

/

BRONZE RELIEF BY VAN OBSTAL

livres.

He

at a million livres,

and

bert enjoyed a fortune estimated at

more than 3,000,000

was implicated

was taxed

saw

Foucquet

in the

trial,

fourteen estates seized and put up for sale.

his

enormous

tax,

however, remained

a

landowner, and

The
Le Brun.

Chambre

of Louis XIV.

Blondel's engravings allow us to hover over each storey in

main courtyard

Rue

Saint- Louis,

The

fruit loft;

first

we

on each side of the

flight

floor at the height of the steps

is

left,

its

penetrate into

on the right are the kitchens, the servants'

:

and, under the great gallery, the stables; on the

and the

1685 mar-

three artists engaged on the house were Levau, Lesueur and

original condition. Entering by the

the

in

paid the

Alexander Bontemps,

ried his eldest son Claude to the daughter of

the all-powerful First Valet de

He

hall,

the coach-houses

of steps, the wine-cellars.

on a level with the garden

ornamented with flower beds. Anterooms precede the

library, under-

neath the gallery.

The ceremonial
mount by

floor

amazes

the great staircase,

us after

whose two

its

flights

each side of an arched semi-dome, decorated
a river-god

and

a naiad, attributed to

recent restoration.

in

We

of stairs wind on

black and white with

Eustache Lesueur.

The

steps

bring us majestically to the oval vestibule decorated with bas-reliefs
in

black and white after Lesueur. Going straight through between

two Corinthian columns we enter the gallery of The Apotheosis of
Hercules, 'which', says Blondel,

'is

one of the most beautiful works of

Charles Le Brun'.
It is the

first

monumental work of

the great scene-painter

later embellished Vaux-le-Vicomte, Versailles, the

who

Louvre and Sceaux.

Five windows look out onto the garden, opposite recesses decorated

Mazarin Gallery of

with landscapes as

in

que Nationale, the

sister building of

114

the

the present Bibliothe-

1645. Three windows looking

HOTEL LAMBERT

LEVAU'S GALERIE D'HERCULE DECORATED BY LE BRUN

115

THE FACADE FROM THE PONT SULLY

ENTRANCE FROM THE COUR D'HONNEUR
over the Seine open

poop of

the

a terminal half-circle slightly reminiscent of

in

a ship-of-the-line.

Between the casements and the

are alternate octagonal and oval medallions

ses,

Van

in

reces-

bronze stucco by

Obstal, dedicated to the exploits of Hercules and supported in

graceful fashion by Cupids, sad-faced Sphinxes, spreading Eagles and
busts of the

god Terminus. The

decoration

richness of the

is

not

detrimental to the grace of the whole. This alliance of Italian gran-

deur and of French moderation
all

is

a Parisian miracle that

still

moves

visitors.

Three resplendent rooms, antechambers or
the oval vestibule.

One

of them, called the

open upon

salons,

Room

of the Muses,

painted by Lesueur with a variety of subjects: on the ceiling,

is

.1 polio

lending his chariot to Phaeton; on the circumference, The Nine Muses.
In a closet, says Argenville, 'Lesueur painted the
in

the

This
in

is

the

Moon

in

her chariot

form of Diana, preceded by Lucifer, who marks the dawn'.
an original painting which has been preserved

form of

a picture.

in

the mansion

Everywhere, gilded wainscotting, decorated

with arabesques, with garlands of flowers and medallions supported

PRESIDENT LAMBERT DE TIIORKAV

116

by Cupids, gives the

final

touch

in

according to the reception room

sumptuous character which makes

that

undoubted offspring

the

it

Farnese.

of the Galerie

Lambert, who was surnamed "Lambert the Rich', was enjoying
Parisian mansion

the unequalled splendour of his

May, 1692.

the 8th

I

son Claude only kept

lis

years and, departing this

when he died on

for a period of ten

it

1702, passed on his inheritance to his

life in

who

younger brother Nicolas-Louis, President of the Parlement,
bachelor

a

Emilie

tie

of Emilie
a

in

1729.

in

1739,

In

little

Marquis du Chatclet, and

Florent-CIaude,

bought the building for 180,000

Breteuil,
is

to introduce Voltaire.

room on

the upper

house

made

In

'Mme

for 200,000

they have had

francs

wife,

To

speak

inexhaustible letter-writer

du Chatelet has

for a philosopher monarch.

bourhood far from everything: which

livres.

his

1742, he was already lodging

The

floor.

gives us his opinion of the place:
a

died

It

how

is

what

happily

is
it

just
a

in

to

THE GALERIE OIIERC TLE

IN 1740

neigh-

come about

has

two millions

cost

bought

that
build

and ornament'. The beautiful Emilie's fancy for the author of Candide

much longer than

lasted

As

bert.

early as 1744,

the following year

it

farmer Marin de

la

Marin de

lover,

Edmee
1776.

in

la

had conceived for the Hotel Lam-

that she
it

was

let to

was sold

the Portuguese ambassador,

20,000 francs

at a loss of

Haye. Cold ami unpleasing, yet

Haye

died childless

de Saint-Marc, occupied

Nephews and

his

in

and

to the tax-

fervent art

a

1753. His widow, Marieher

residence until

own death

nieces then hastened to disperse the collection

and the mansion's treasures.
In 1781, a

Davesne de Fontaine, Correcteur aux Comptes, was

owner of the impoverished

the

building,

and

in

1809,

the

Comte

de Montalivet, Minister of the Interior, installed himself there.

<FP IF3?

It

appears that he decorated his chateau of Berry with painted panels
surviving from the previous dismemberment.

What

the state of the house during the Restoration, in

its

could have been

THE SALLE DAMOIR.

F.N'CR.WIXGS BY 1MCARH

humble functions

of a boarding school for young girls and then of a storehouse for
military beds?

Banished from Poland

in

1831, after one of the Polish insur-

rections against the Russians, Prince

France. In

in

city

May

Adam

Czartoryski took refuge

1842, Princess Czartoryska contended with the

of Paris for the Hotel Lambert, where they wished to

their Library,

and she obtained

it

install

by bidding 5,000 francs more than

the

175,000 offered by the municipality. During the second half of

the

nineteenth century,

the

Hotel Lambert was the capital of the

Polish province into which the
I

he heirs of Prince

Adam

ile

Saint-Louis had been transformed.

Czartoryski have recently permitted Baron

de Rede to take charge of an elegant restoration of the reception
floor,
I

which

in

the Great Century

he painted panels wrested

was the admiration

from the

Room

of the

ot connoisseurs.

Muses have been

replaced by reputable paintings which best suit the sumptuous frames.

Rare furnishings, emblazoned books, silverware, bronzes of peerless
elegance, animate with their presence the magnificent apartments resurrected after a sleep longer than that of the Sleeping Beauty.

Rene

1 1 iron

de

I

"die fosse

CHARLES

I.E

BR1

N.

LOUIS XIVS

cofRT PAINTER

17

HOTEL LAMBERT

Few houses have

LOOKING BACK FROM THE GALERIE

irilERCri.E

recovered so splendidly

Till

fr

OVAL VESTIRri.E LEADS INTO THE GAL £ ^

*-

UN.

from

a

temporary decline

ORMOLU DECORATION ON A LOUIS

THE LIBRARY

XVI

CABINET

ENGRAVING OF THE GARDEN FRONT BY ISRAEL SYLVESTRE

Chateau de Tanlay
A

splendid union of stone and clear water
visitors TO THE chateau
hundred-year-old limes. As the
broad village

in a

right,

Petit

a

gateway

lime-trees finish, they

few houses on each

front and beyond

in

To

it,

through the arch

themselves

lincl

church on the

side, a

doll's-house chateau, the

a

dummy windows and

Chateau de Tanlay, with

ation. Passing

yard.

street, a

de Tanlay turn into an avenue of two-

in its centre,

elaborate rustic-

they enter a huge court-

the right, a similar wall hides the older - and in itself very

beautiful -

farmyard

court.

To

the left

is

at last revealed the

moat,

the obelisks which flank the bridge, the gate-house and the chateau.

Tanlay, except for minor changes to the wings, remains as conceived by

owner

its

at the time of

as realised by his architect, Pierre
fortified castle of the

layout and

Intendanl

its

el

building,

Michel de

Le Muet, who used

round towers

and

rectangular

its

Michel

corners.

the

at

Particelli,

as a basis the old

Coligny d'Andelot family with

Particelli.

tie

Controleur General des Finances, bought Tanlay from

the Coligny d'Andelot family in

following year.

The

the vast fortune

1642 and

reconstruction

was

set

Le Muet

work

to

the

finished in 1648. Particelli hail

which the project required, and Le Muet had the

genius for turning Particelli's
Particelli's

its

money

into a great

work

of art. After

death, the property passed, through his sister, to Jehan

Thevenin, Conseilleur du Roi, Governor of Saint-Denis, Marquis de
I

anlay, and has remained in the

marquis died
ter,

the

five

covered

120

years ago and the chateau

Comtesse de

The chateau
tiles,

the

Tanlay family

is

la

since

1704.

now belongs

The

to his

last

daugh-

Chauviniere.

built of

warm, yellowish

domes having

a shiny

stone, the roof of slate-

smoothness which looks almost

opposite:

THE BRIDGE AND THE GATE-HOUSE

'

TANLAY

metallic.

courtyard

The garden side of Tanlay

is

even more elaborate than the

Between the lanterned corner towers, ingeniously

side.

corporated by Le

Muet

into his design, are

in-

two rows of almost severely

simple windows. But simplicity turns to fantasy at roof level as Le

Muet

alternates his ceil-dc-ba'iif

ped oblong ones,

all

is

triangle-top-

elaborately carved, giving the building a gaiety

as well as an elegance that

Tanlay

dormer windows with

makes

surrounded by

a

the visitor gasp with

amazement.

moat twenty-one metres wide, profuse

with yellow water-lilies and ancient carp.

look of moats, stagnant, slimy,

full

does not have the usual

It

of algae and weeds, because

it

is

supplied with fresh water. Particelli's project included bringing fresh

water from the Cistercian Abbaye de Quincy about two miles away.
canal - at rather a strange angle from the chateau -

The

functional but

surroundings.
tive wall

is

the

in

it

and

away,

sees, half a mile

of pillars and niches, which the French

many rewards within as
courtyard front. One enters a dead

Tanlay has
is

landscaping of the chateau's

a feature of Particelli's

One looks along

not only

is

as

call a

without.

white

a decora-

chateau-d'ean.

The

hall,

entrance

richly ant-

lered, leading into the pillared Vestibule des Ccsars, white again,

room of extreme
THE GROUND-FLOOR PLAN, WITH
(B)

THE

HALL,

(C)

(A) THE GATE-HOUSE,
THE VESTIBULE DES CESARS

classical simplicity,

eight Caesars in niches in the wall.

only decoration the busts of

its

These two rooms are the width

of the chateau and give a sense both of
Historically, the

the towers,

most interesting room

La Tour de

la

a

is

its

strength and of

its

size.

on the top floor of one

ol

Ligue. There Admiral Coligny and his

The

on the
ceiling represents the court of Charles IX, dressed - and undressed brothers,

all

ardent Protestants, used to meet.

as mythological characters:

Admiral Coligny

is,

fresco

appropriately,

Nep-

tune; Diane de Poitiers, Venus; Catherine de Medici, Juno.
Architecturally, the
floor,

most curious room

is

the gallery on the

decorated entirely - walls and vaulted ceiling -

trompe-l'aeil.

in

first

grey and white

Several of the rooms contain chimney-pieces from the

^

22

w
THE GARDEN FRONT FROM THE NORTH-WEST TURRET
right: THE DOME REFLECTED IN THE MOAT

Coligny days,

fine

examples of Louis XIII before the refinement and

simplification of taste
is

under Louis XVI. The furniture, whieh

the accumulation ot generations of the

is

superb,

Tanlay family: Louis XIV,

Regence, Louis XV, Louis XVI. There are eighteenth-century Savonnerie carpets on the Boor, eighteenth-century curtains are

and
are

all

some

tine

among many

chandeliers and,

collection of

arrangement has

a

Compagnie des hides

perfection oi

torically

painted

la

Comtesse.

porcelain.

charm and good

The

Everywhere

taste.

The

members of

chapel

M.

-

le

pictures are interesting both his-

the family.

contents survived the Revolution.

were not absentee landlords and the

local

The Tanlays

peasantry had nothing against

them. Although the Marquis and Marquise spent from
to

the

and aesthetically: Nattier, Largilliere, Mignard, for example,

The house and

1793

There

other objets d'ail, a re-

another of the towers - has two prie-Dieux, signe Jacob, for

Comte and Mine

its

hanging,

the bedspreads ami bed hangings are of that period.

markable

in

still

October 1794 under

arrest,

during

this

December

time the house and

contents remained intact.

Robin McDouall

THE MOAT, GATE-HOUSE AM) COUR D'HONNEl

R

THE CHATEAU

D'EAU, BY

C.

SAUVAGEAT

THE GARDEN FACADE WITH

below:

ITS

LANTERNED CORNER TOWERS

THE RUSTICATION ON THE PETIT CHATEAU

One

of the most

attractive chateaux
in

Franc
A CORNER OF

Till

MAIN SALON

TANLAY

-

in

HE QUEENS BEDROOM

THE GREAT GALLERY, DECORATED THROUGHOUT

IN

TROMPE-LTE1L

125

_ £

t.

-i|

mQQ

fr^

^1

llrrrij

Isola Belld
».

,

Sj&A

-+

Grandeur which does not destroy romance

MMMP

MMi^M

[SOLA BELLA

I

sola BELLA -

the very

words hold the sound of lapping water, cap-

memory

turing our imagination, evoking the
Italy seen
its

from the windows of

gardens hanging

a train.

in terraces

of our

glimpse of

first

The great baroque building with

of oranges and myrtle above the

blue-

waters of Maggiore appears as a symbol rather than a house.

when nearly all Italy lay under Spanish
domination, the Borromeos were already among the most powerful
families of Lombardy and Piedmont. Their strongholds controlled
In the seventeenth century,

and

the greater part of the Ticino

to the glory of their family scut-

cheon was added the saintly halo of San Carlo Borromeo. But for
all

their saints

and cardinals, legend claims the Borromeos

And

been descended from pirates.

perhaps

was

it

memory

in

Borromeo, great-nephew

pirate forefathers that Vitaliano

have

to

of his

to the saint,

cousin to a cardinal, conceived his palace as a floating galleon anchored
to

stony island with a garden shaped

a

the

like

prow of

a

ship

suspended above the water.
Tt

was

a

bold conception, and the leading architects and engineers

of Italy were consulted on the plans. Morelli presented the

designs,

first

Barca laid out the gardens, but nothing would satisfy Vitaliano Bor-

romeo

Fontana, the great architect of papal Rome, was enlisted

until

in his service to

design a palace on so vast a scale that both owner

and architect died long before
Seventy families

THE COAT-OF-ARMS OF THE BORROMEOS

live

centuries have married

was completed.

it

on the Borromean

islands, families

among themselves and look upon

who

for

the great

house as a part of their heritage, while the attitude of a Borromeo

towards the

is

rather that of a captain of a ship

all

part of a single unit, and no large

inhabitants

local

crew - they are

towards

his

party

ever given at the palace without the islanders being invited.

is

From

custodian

the

woman

to the

her

selling

on the quay,

laces

from the boatman plying between the island and the mainland
the

padrone welcoming guests

at stake in the house

which

bringing

not only the local inhabitants

It is

Now

at last after three

When

completed.

everyone has an interest

to his trattoria,
is

in

such handsome dividends.

who have grown

rich

on the

tourists.

hundred years the Isola Bella has been

he declared that

all

to

money

finally

collected at the gates

would be spent on keeping up the house, Prince Borromeo can never
have imagined that within the

money

few years, there would be

sufficient

not only to restore, but to finish the palace on the plans left

by Fontana.
his

first

It is a

labour of love to which the humblest visitor paying

modest entrance

The

fee can feel he has contributed.

great hec-

tagonal building which rises three storeys high above the water

balanced and harmonious, the cupola
hall soars with the

The wood and
ribbon,

a

same

in

is

now

the newly completed vaulted

aerial grace as Fontana's cupolas in

Rome.

plaster carvings with the ever-recurring motif of twisted

motif one finds

in

baroque tradition. But even
large flamboyant

other Borromean

in its

full glory,

woman, depends on

its

villas,

is

in

the best

the Isola Bella, like any

setting

and

its

dress to give

the illusion of beauty.

The
THE BALLROOM

128

sunlit waters, the

mimosas and azaleas

flowering gardens where camellias follow

follow

camellias,

the

terraces

sheltered

by

hedges of express and of yew, decorated with obelisks and statues,
the cascading fountains

and pavements

cessories which enhance

its

charm,

inlaid with mosaic, are the ac-

charm which despite

a

remains essentially romantic, the setting for the
the

same

theatrical at the

on [sola Bella without feeling one

which

stalls

for one never lands

time,

taking part

is

The gay holiday crowds coming

play.

coloured

off

the

in

the boat,

act of

first

the brightly

only street, the hawkers display-

line the island's

ing their wares in a shrill chorus, the

women

wash

singing as they

their linen in the lake, are all part of the overture
in

of Foga/./.aro,

background for the canvasses of Turner and Corot.
Romantic and

a

idylls

grandeur

its

which culminates

the dramatic ascent up the granite staircase to the house.

On
now we

first

we are

realise

impact

in a

somewhat

is

of

a

shock:

is

it

only

seventeenth-century palace rather than a

palace designed for viceroys and cardinals rather than for

a

villa,

entering, the

From

country gentlemen.

with family coats of arms,

a hall sculptured

decorated with weapons, we pass into the throne room, where three

Borromeo dispensed

centuries ago a

name of

justice in the

king and Hapsburgs, Bourbons and Buonapartes have

The throne room

court.
a

came

time he

quarters at

Napoleon paid two

as a

Here in this alcoved bedof Campo Formio had made him

picture gallery.

room, Napoleon slept after the treaty
Italy.

first

driving over from his head-

came

the second time he

French accompanied by Josephine and
of courtiers.

Bella: the

visits to the Isola

victorious general,

Mombello;

turn held

leads to a library, the library to a ballroom and

somewhat disappointing

master of

all in

a foreign

Emperor

as

a large retinue

The Borromeos, who had had

CEILING OF THE LONG GALLERY

of the

of generals and

their stronghold of

Angera

destroyed by French troops, can hardly have been enthusiastic over
entertaining the conqueror, but the fete champetre they gave in his

honour, at which Grassini the leading diva of the Scala sang his favourite arias,

was on

so magnificent a scale, as to earn Napoleon's thanks

and gratitude.

Napoleon, and after him Mussolini - men whose over
personalities

and love of dramatic gestures

rored rooms. Here

in

the so-called music

life-size

into these gilded mir-

fit

room Mussolini presided

over the Stresa Conference when he promised peace

in

Europe and

Then just as we
we come upon one

no-one stopped to question his intentions overseas.
begin to pall of these

pompous

state apartments,

room decorated by Zucharelli with pastoral scenes
various Borromean properties, Arona, Senago, and the rock

small unpretentious

of the

of Angera. Fight and delicate

charm,

room

this little

in

conception, with an almost bucolic

introduces a

human

splendour of the Borromean palace, as

mind

the cardinals

outside their gates.

if

note

in the

the artist

somewhat

had wished

arid

to re-

and statesmen of the simple pleasures which lay

And we

in

turn are tempted to leave the palace

by the long gallery hung with Flemish tapestries which leads into the
gardens. For

it

is

the legend of the

only

in

the gardens that

Borromean

we

will find the

islands, a legend fostered

answer to

by generations

of poets, treasured by generations of romantics.

Alexandre Dumas declared that the view of

Isola Bella seen

from

WOOD AND PLASTER MOTIFS OF TWISTED

129

RIBBON

PIGEONS SETTLE ON A STONE UNICORN

the mainland

and that the
the worst he

was so entrancing that
articles

it

distracted

him from working

he wrote while on holiday at Baveno were

had ever published. But what Dumas found distracting

On

helped to soothe a greater and more tormented genius.

Wagner

of the Isola Bella Richard

had

among

lost after his

sudden

the terraces

re-found the peace of mind he

from Zurich and the emotional turmoil

flight

Wesendonck menage.
Writing to Mathildc Wesendonck from

of the

his excursion to the Isola Bella

missed the gardener

and

all

in

of a sudden

marvellous that

I

still

'As

I

already

order to be alone.

it

me

It

knew

was

serene and at peace.

felt

I

knew

has become a part of

:

could not
is

last.

our love and

At

the time of writing, Tristan

in

embryo, and one

is

a lovely
It

described

the place,

was

But what can

my

he

Venice,

need of

I

dis-

summer day
a

feeling so

last

and what

you'.

was barely completed, Parsifal was

tempted

to

wonder whether Kundry's

enchanted garden was inspired by Wagner's memories of the Bor-

romean

islands,

of those flower-laden terraces rising

tier

upon

tier

above the water, linked by a chain of fountains, with obelisks placed
like

masts guiding the course of a ship and the water dripping

fountain basins echoing the

murmur

in the

of the waves lapping against the

shores of the Isola Bella.

Joan Haslip

m II

•:.-•'

THE PEACOCKS ARE AS OKNAMI NTAL AS THE STATUES

-

ISOLA BELLA

X

W

EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY ENGRAVING
below:

TURNER'S IDEALISATION OF THE SCENE

THE GARDENS LAID OUT BY BARCA ABOVE A SMALL LANDING STAGE

THE ENTRANCE FRONT

IN

THE LATE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY

Vaux - le- Vkomte
The most

splendid house and garden in

the park AND CHATEAU
their purity

youth.

and

They

of Vaux-le-Vicomte,

their unity, are linked in one's

represent a

first

already of mature years and
creators appear to be
Italy

still

it

in full

mind with the

idea of

at the

dawn

was the work of men who were

possession of their powers. If

marked by

its

is

because

their talent

had not

Italian influence, this

was very much the fashion, and not because

come

France

their perfection,

bloom unfolding

perfect

of the Great Century. Nevertheless

in

all

to maturity.

Nicolas Foucquet bought the land of Vaux-le-Vicomte

in

1641 at

the age of 26. But he waited fifteen years before undertaking the

building of the magnificent house, in which he flattered himself that he

would

live

sumptuously for many years, surrounded by

and beautiful women. So

it

was only

in

artists, writers,

1656 that the work began.

The

Foucquet was 41, Levau 44, Le Notre 43, Le Brun 37.

'Benjamin'

of the team was, at 28, Girardon, and the oldest Nicolas Poussin,
at

62 doubtless appeared venerable

They were

a

in

comparison.

group of remarkable men. Nicolas Foucquet, one

of those financial wizards whose daring methods

fill

the state coffers

at critical

moments, but whose fortune provokes the envious and the

jurists to

plan their ruin; Poussin, master of a school of painting so

radiant that artists of the abstract

was not without

influence on

still

use

first

ardon, the elegant sculptor of goddesses

THE GARDEN FRONT AND PARTERRE FRANCAISE

its

name, and whose work

William Kent, Chambers, and the pioneers

of landscape gardening; Le Brun, later

opposite:

who

painter at the Court; Girin

ethereal

draperies;

Le

133

VAl'X LK

VICOMTE

THE CUPOLA DATES FROM

1658

A MOAT AS WIDE AS A RIVER

Till

GIRARDON'S STATl'ES STAND

AGAINST WATER
Notre, greatest of

all

AN' 15

HEDGES

the gardeners of France; finally, the architect,

Louis Levau.

But of

all

the people involved in the history of Vaux, the youngest

XIV was

was the King. Louis
!

I

^GES W

I

KE REMOVEI5

TO CREATE THIS VISTA

He

of the drama.

and

had always

18 in 1656, and 23

no doubt had often infuriated him;
fresh linen and clean sheets. It

and

relative destitution

complete with

edifice

Mazarin,

it

The

Cardinal's luxury

said that he himself lacked

is

was easy for him

to

compare

own

his

tumble-down chateaux with the splendid

his

modern improvements,

all

1661, the year

lived under the tutelage of

childhood had not heen very happy.

his

in

built

by the Super-

intendent of Finance.

Through
the people. It

hands of the

was

certainly the custom to remunerate high officials

with percentages of the

advantage of

passed the taxes levied on

the

latter

money gathered. Did Foucquet take

too

much

or did he conform to the generally accepted usage

this,

of his time? This was the whole crux of the

trial

which was to be

his

undoing. For a long time, his relations with Mazarin and Colbert had

been stormy. Alarming reports, of whose gravity he was not unaware,

had been rained upon him by

his

numerous informants; but he was

reassured by his knowledge of the immense services for which the

Queen Mother and

the Cardinal were indebted to him.

The thought

that the ostentatious display of his wealth might be ill-advised did not
cross his mid.

The work

Vaux-le-Vicomte progressed:

at

1656: Three villages were demolished to free the necessary space.

The stonework was

1657:

finished, marble-cutters laid the

pavements

and carpenters the panelling.
1658: The lantern was

1660: The

ceilings

were decorated, and during

laid the flower-beds

In

1661

sovereign

work

upon the cupola.

set

and excavated

to prepare the

illuminations,

in

great

pomp

of water.

the

young

to be his son. lie interrupted the

most dazzling

intendent's household took part in

Le Notre

time

sites for the sheets

Foucquet chose to receive

who was young enough

this

fete ever
it.

known. All

the Super-

There were fountain

displays,

and performances of Les Facheux, which Molicre caus-

ed to be played on the terrace.

On

the 17th August, the

King was

at

Vaux,

his heart full of bitter-

ness unceasingly stirred up by Colbert, and already resolved on
ruin of his host.

On

rested, imprisoned
later.

Louis

XIV

the 5th September, the Superintendent

and sent
pursued

to Pignerol,
his

was

the
ar-

where he died nineteen years

vengeance. lie had hundreds of trees

transported from the park to Versailles and the Tuileries, and the

left:

LE NoTRE'S SKILFUL CHANGES OF LEVEL

135

VAUX-LE-VICOMTE

paving of the salon taken to the Louvre; he seized the tapestries, the
brocade furnishings, the pieces of

Le Brim, Girardon, Moliere, would
to their

and most

Vaux was returned
intelligent

It

is

and admir-

their friendship

monarch never forgave.

ation for their benefactor. But the

active

within the royal orbit.

live

honour that they always retained

Eventually,

Henceforth, Le Notre,

silver-gilt.

Madame

to

Foucquet, the most

defender of her husband, and she exhaus-

ted herself in vain efforts to secure his liberation. After the death of

who

her son, the chateau was bought by Marechal de Villars,

dec-

orated the faqade with his coat of arms; where, however, the celebrat-

ed squirrels, emblems of the Superintendent,

still

remain under the

coping.

The

Vaux was

third purchaser of

whose descendants retained

The

tions until 1873.

above:

LE NOTRE,

WHO

DESIGNED THE GARDEN;
Uft:

LOUIS XIV

WHO

THE PROPERTY

SEIZED

Duke Theobald through

1842 was made with knowledge and good

gardens remained neglected, the sheets of water dry

and the statues dilapidated. The

FOUCQUET, WHO
COMMISSIONED THE HOUSE;

above Uft:

Praslin,

through the vicissitudes of the Revolu-

restoration undertaken by

the architect Visconti in
taste; but the

it

Due de Choiseul

the

was put up for

estate

sale

M. Alfred Sommier. It is to him, to his son and
widow, Madame Edmee Sommier, that we owe the

and was

bought by

to the lat-

ter's

admirable

made

restoration of the original whole,
a scrupulous care for accuracy.

The

with great knowledge and

and A. Duchene

architects Laine

were their principal collaborators.

For those who enjoy gardens

in

Vaux

the French style,

supreme example. The park abuts onto

whose lower

a hill,

is

the

slope, sup-

ported by the grotto with seven arcades, becomes a terrace.

A

little

higher up, stands the great and gilded statue of the Farnese Hercules.

Leading
turf,

to

this

decorative

point are canals, paths,

whose lay-out

conceived so that

is

may

it

flowerbeds and

be seen from the

flight

of steps. Looking back from the foot of the steps, only the chateau
is

but from further away, the outbuildings and pavilions of

visible,

the Court of

Honour

gradually emerge as part of the principal build-

unfolding themselves round

ing,

A

like a fan.

it

few steps more, and

one discovers what up to then has been unperceived
canals, at the ends of

known

ornamented with basins and fountains; and

side, the

entrance to the kitchen-garden and to a grotto

as 'the Confessional'. Further on

dimensions, which, from

its

is

rounded end,

Thus new

perspectives astonish the stroller

the steps,

had thought

The
the

dome.

size,

and

principal

To

right

two transversal

which are revealed the trelliswork of water which

includes three terraces

on the other

:

the whole

park

a third canal,
is

called 'the Frying Fan'.

who

in a first

glance from

visible.

room of Vaux-le-Vicomte
and

of very large

is

the oval salon under

to left, other salons, of pleasantly habitable

are ornamented with gilding, with painted ceilings, with books
fine

furniture.

Not much of

the original

poor P'oucquet could not have been

less

furniture remains, but

than charmed with the pieces

placed there by the last owners of the place, so perfect

The splendour

of Vaux-le-Vicomte

is

is

their choice.

warm. The continual occupation

of the house as a private dwelling gives

it

a particular grace.

Jacqueline de

36

Chimay

opposite:

THE LIBRARY

.

*»,*l/*,, «*

timm*'**^
iiiii^IIO'

I

sa
''

i

^^^*1

^

i»»

•.

ras

'.

VATX-LE-VICOMTE

The magnificence
A BRONZE STATUETTE OF HERCULES

of the interior

does not destroy

its

friendliness

THE BILLIARD-ROOM, DECORATED BY LE BRUN

138

right:

THE STATE BEDROOM OF LOUIS

XIV

*

:

>

l i

r

-o
wL

Km,
**'
•-o

^\

M

ms&~

^\>

f/^\"»* hiH.'jri

CEILING OF THE STATE BEDROOM,

1660

'
:

5

\

ii

THE GARDEN ABOUT

1

.

AND THE FACADE AS ORIGINALLY DESIGNED

1633

Wilton
A

classical

scene created by centuries of discernment
TO MEN OF THE LATE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY Wilton was
house which, before

all

the

others, flattered the pride of English connois-

seurship and artistic achievement.

had everything. There was

It

a

porch which was plausibly ascribed to Holbein; a grand facade and
noble apartments which they

knew

to be

by Inigo Jones; great paint-

by Vandyck; a magnificent collection of antiques marbles; a

ings

Palladian bridge by the Architect Earl;

and

a

triumphal arch by

William Chambers. In short, Wilton represented everything

Sir

English taste which was
fashion.

The

It

was

solid,

tested

and unassailable by

tides

in

of

a classic.

opinion remains

just. It is true that

we cannot allow

the

Tu-

dor porch (re-built as a garden house) to be by Holbein or the south
front to be wholly and absolutely by Jones; and

more value on
James Wyatt
ition

the original

to rebuild

it.

Tudor house than

we would have

did those

set

who allowed

But Wilton remains an exceptional compos-

of beauties - the pattern embodiment of the English patrician

attitude to the classical arts through four centuries.
Sir
politician
in

1544.

William Herbert,

first

under Henry VIII, was granted the abbey lands of Wilton
lie

built

the

house with the 'Holbein' porch.

second Earl held a court of

The

intellect

third Earl entertained Charles

suggested the creation of a

140

Earl of Pembroke, a tough soldier-

Here

the

and genius

in

Elizabeth's reign.

here and

it

was Charles who

I

formal garden and the building of a

opposite:

THE SINGLE-CUBE ROOM

'

WILTON

new south

front in the

Italian

the course of the

In

style.

1630s

spectacular garden was laid out and the Italian front began to

The garden
part of

The

we

front

see was,

until

well as

intrinsic merits,

its

of classical house design

however,
that

its

Mr Howard

history

On

employ Inigo Jones, that

own works

come

to

working

architect then

was,

it

He recommended

who

It

French

was de Caux,

south

the

built

a

of

front

originally designed, this south

front

It is

odd

be only one of a pair of wings flanking

in fact, to

an applied portico of

Corinthian columns.

six

to think of this

famous faqade

But how much

vaster composition.

When,
Civil War,

in

mere fragment of

as a

of character

originality

unknown

it

but most likely

gained by the reduction.

for reasons

connected with the

the Earl decided to be content with

than one half of his architect's proposal,

less

window with

able Venetian

point of the design.

In

1800

the time of the fourth Earl

in

the war.

in

Inigo Jones to restore

to

Wilton;
pupil,

it.

In

John Webb, and

Designed to

set off the

new

became the

figures

it

old.

is

to

Webb, with

we owe

the

flat

its

own

to the cornice; then

Emanuel de
rich

of

ceiling with

Chevemy

-

lire-place

still

his school,

right. Sixty feet long
a

cream-coloured

comes

a plaster cove,

is

Edward

Pierce,

moulded panels containing paintings by

is

curiously un-English:

and reminds one,

the Court of Charles

man

Double Cube Room.

Critz representing the legend of Perseus.

and elaborate

was

his relative

the great

painted with cartouches, vases, garlands and figures by
finally a

It

busy to come

Vandyck and

family portraits by

wood up

to

This time he sent

a masterly architectural interior in

fire.

insolence he called

1632 Inigo had been

by thirty wide and thirty high, the Double Cube

and

focal

sided with the Parliament

to us a sort of

the distance, that

casket of carved

that the admir-

equilibrium.

who had

1649 he was too

in

is

a

With what may seem

commanding

it

meant

part of Wilton was gutted by

this

in

and

it

The two pedimented towers appeared. Accident

1648 or 1649,

in

and

shield

its

and genius between them created

JAMES VVYATT'S GOTIIICK CLOISTER, ABOUT

far too busy with

appears) was to be more than twice as long as the front we

see today;

a

was

celebrity

to Wilton.

As

all.

It

or about 1632, advised the

England - Isaac de Caux.

in

not

is

in

I,

with Jones advising and approving,

Wilton. But that

historian, has discovered

good deal more complicated than we thought.

a

is

the strength of that suppos-

Oxford

Colvin, the

third Earl to

now

least -

became one of the corner-stones

that although Charles

(it

At

eighteenth century. Quite recently,

the

in

it

now appears
the King's

is.

supposed to be a complete

lately,

and personal work of Inigo Jones.
ition, as

front

classical

rise.

there.

is

it

no longer there, but the

is

a

too,

that

in

The immensely
it

reminds one

Jones's last days

at

the taste of a French Queen, Henrietta Maria,

I

had prevailed.
After
Jones's

touched

FIREPLACE IN THE CORNER ROOM

this architectural

name may
till

with which as presiding genius

be associated, Wilton remained virtually un-

the eightenth century.

In

1705

lire

visited

it

again and

gave the eighth Earl the opportunity of rebuilding some of the older
part of the house.

142

still

exploit,

He

bought the Arundel marbles -

first

of the great

English collections - and formed the major part ot the art collection
as

it

exists today.

The

last

phase

the architectural history of Wilton began in

in

1800 when the eleventh Earl brought

in

James Wyatt. Wyatt respected

Jones, but he respected nothing else about Wilton and set about a

replanning

vigorous

whole

the

ot

fabric.

He made

a

entrance on the north approached by a formal courtyard.
a

He

mam

brought

triumphal arch which Sir William Chambers had designed as a

park ornament and made an entrance feature of
I

new

lolbein*

the old

done

all

porch and rebuilt

it

the classical

in

man

any

readily than

stand higher than
be Gothic and

we

it

style

his

Wilton into

Wyatt had
which he could command more

it

into

a cloister.

If

does today. But he and his patron must needs

cannot find Wyatt's Gothic either as clever or

still

must have found

it

(indeed, the

determined attempt to release Wilton

from

over-weening mediaevalism). Yet somebody had to

make

saw

1913-15

some of

tore out the

of his time, his reputation at Wilton would

as evocative as his contemporaries

years

He

the garden. Finally he reconstructed

made

inner courtyard and
this

in

it.

a

modern house,

Wyatt's general plan
Visiting

a

is

fit

for the nineteenth-century Earls, and

certainly admirable.

Wilton today

it

is

through Chambers's ornamented arch,

with Marcus Aurelius on top, that

we

enter.

Then we meet Wyatt,

traverse his cloister and proceed to the great interiors of which the

Double Cube

is

interiors stand

comes

last.

dows of

rooms

is

these

the

climax.

naments and extending

The Jones

facade behind which these

Before that facade and seen from the win-

a stretch of
to the river;

lawn untroubled by paths or

or-

and standing across the river we

THE VENETIAN WINDOW
below:

THE SOUTH FRONT, A CREATION OF INIGO JONES AND ISAAC DE CAUX

IN

THE SOUTH FRONT

INTERIOR OF THE HRIHCE

Wilton

see the other architectural show-piece of

The
ing and

the Palladian Bridge.

expression 'Palladian Bridge' has for England a special meanall

of

is

it

conveyed by the bridge here

almost exactly like

are two others,

it,

one at Prior Park and the

other at Stowc; and none of the three

Andrea

signed by

Palladio.

Andrea

There

at Wilton.

is

very like any bridge de-

(though he did

did, indeed, design

not execute) a three-arch bridge for Venice with colonnades and a
central

portico,

turning

it

and our English type pays homage

inside out

to

while

this

and creating something wholly new within the

The Wilton example

general Palladian argument.

English group, having been finished

in

is

the

1737. That was

first

in

of the

the time

of the ninth Earl, the 'Architect Earl', a nobleman whose interest
architecture

was so intimate and

practical that a

tant buildings have been attributed to him.

however,

in

whose was

Roger Morris and nobody
the

mind

'Palladian' bridge
It

is

seen

in

which the

He
will

number of impor-

had a valued executant,
ever

know

brilliantly original

for certain

notion of the

was born.

from the photographs that the bridge does not

on the axis of the house but at the end of a path running beside

Thus

it

is

in

the object which attracts the visitor before he has

lie
it.

become

aware of the Jonesian faqade. lie approaches the bridge and, from
its

steps, turns to sec the

facade.

bridge, turns again and becomes

and the facade as one picture
portico;

lie

will

Me

passes through and across the

aware of the bridge, the
in

deep recession.

scarcely regret the curtailment.

river, the

lawn

Me may imagine
He may picture

the
the

formal knots, tortured hedges and statues of the third Earl's garden;
he will be happier with the lawn. Standing here he
the

way

in

which a scene so

classical, so deliberate,

may

reflect

upon

so complete, has

been accomplished not by the decisions of one mind at one

time

but by a combination of accident, selection, genius and the tides of taste.

John Summerson

THE
44

BRIIXJE SEEN

FROM THE

SOl'TII

FRONT

u

VANDYCKS

IN

A PERFECT SETTING

A SETTEE ATTRIBUTED TO KENT

The Double-Cube
inspired by

Inigo Jones

THE FIREPLACE IN THIS MOST
FAMOUS OF ENGLISH INTERIORS

right:

'A

CREAM-COLOURED CASKET OF CARVED WOOD'

^

J.

1
<

_

I

ENGRAVINGS OF THE WATER-APPROACHES

IN 1694

Drottningholm
The white

palace of the Swedish Royal Family

when,

Hedwig Eleonora

in 1662, the Dowager Queen

of Sweden

ordered her Court architect, Nicodemus Tessin the Elder, to build
a

country palace on the island of Lovo, she chose a

site

on which,

eighty years earlier, King John III had built a small country house
for his Polish wife. She intended that the chief approach to her

made by

palace should be

water.

The

new

walls of the rear elevation rise

serenely from a terraced garden and are thrown back in reflection by
the

still

A

water of the lake.
steamer travels

in

less

than an hour from Stockholm into a

world of pale green foliage through which the Palace, almost
lingly white in the clear northern light,

glide
its

away with an

surroundings,

the great

of Westphalia, signed

powers of Europe.

It

Vasa Kings

and there, dominating

tor the house

in

Europe.

1648, placed Sweden

to

among

break away from the grim

as they

were enshrined, for

in-

Gripsholm, and to turn to the France

The long northern winter had ended.

tor inspiration.

Tessin's design

in

was time

stance, in the fortress-palace of

XIV

apprehended. Swans

one of the most beautiful houses

traditions of the earlier

of Louis

first

air of dignified resentment,

lies

The Treaty

is

start-

was

in

the classical

French tradition,

and for the landscaping of the gardens he was inspired by Le Notre,

who was making
gardens

of

Drottningholm

Straight paths of

opposite:

THE DOriU.E STAIRCASE PAINTED HV

Versailles one of the

I).

K.

are

wonders of the world. So the

orderly,

symmetrical

and

civilised.

red gravel lead past tidy geometrical flower-beds,

EHRENSTRAHI.

149

DROTTNIXGHOLM

between hedges arrayed with military precision, around statues of
bronze and marble.

The Palace as we see
projecting wings,

Nicodemus

The
in

is

the

it

work

now, a central block terminating

in

two

of three generations of the Tcssin family.

and the

the Elder and Younger,

hitter's son,

Carl Gustav.

paintings on the ceilings above the sweeping double staircase and

the salon which bears his

name

are those of D. K. Lhrenstrahl, the

greatest painter of seventeenth-century Sweden, and the Gobelin tapestries are of the

of

Queen Louisa Ulrika,

added
in

same period,

to the palace

Carl Gustav Tcssin, on the orders

licit

sister

of Frederick the Great of Prussia,

and embellished

it

the

in

any way disturbing the harmony which

is

Baroque

without

style

one of the charms of

Drottningholm. The swains and shepherdesses of Chardin and Boucher
smile

down from

the walls.

The bedroom

of Gustav

III

incomplete without the blue-and-gold Baroque alcove which
cipal

would be
is

its

prin-

feature.

While Louisa Ulrika was adding an upper storey

to the palace

which she loved, her husband, Adolphus Frederick, presented her, as
a surprise,

with a 'Chinese Pavilion'. This celestial doll's-house,

as 'Kina Slott' or 'China

Castle',

is

one of the earliest examples of

the technique of prefabrication which the
to such a high point of perfection.

It

Swedes have today carried

was brought

Stockholm by water, and reassembled on the

THE CHINESE HOUSE

below:

!?i

.

GARDEN FACADE

-wr cs

known

site

in

with

sections

from

the

fash-

all

ionable elegancies of chinoiscrie combined with Swedish Rococo which

The

decorator, Jean Eric kchn, could devise.

its

upper storey, so

the

most modern

to

It is.

full

architects.

however,

a

theatre which confers unique distinction on Drotta

typical

ment, decided that Swedish Court

daughter

ot

the age ot enlighten-

might well be enlivened. At

life

embarrassed courtiers found themselves dragooned

and pageants, but

in

built at

cesco Uttini

1753 the Queen,

Drottningholm.

was imported

An

into acting plays

tiring of amateurs,

French actors, and

resident troupe ot

was

in

of space and light, might serve as an example

ningholm. Louisa Ulrika,

tirst

octagonal room

a

Italian

year

the

later,

engaged

first

a

theatre

opera company under Fran-

to reinforce the

French players: both com-

panies delighted the Court and set out to train Swedish actors.
In 1762, as their Majesties

watched an opera,

scenes upset a cask of turpentine.
iately

the

The

at once

boy behind the

building caught

and the Royal Family narrowly escaped

King and Queen

a

to safety.

lire

immed-

Undaunted,

commissioned Carl Frederick Adelcrant/.,

the architect of 'Kina Slott', to build a

new

theatre.

Flis beautifully

proportioned building, undecorated except about the main entrance

which faces the palace courtyard, looks like
of the period.

The
is

It

interior,

as simple

and

a

Swedish manor-house

the oldest theatre in regular use in Europe.

is

by the French Court painter, Adrien Masriliez,

effective as the theatre's exterior.

sixty spectators can

be accomodated on

Three hundred and

wooden benches which

still

bear the original place-cards by which the seating was regulated with

helixw:

THE INTERIOR OF ONE OF THE OLDEST THEATRES

IN El'ROPE

A PAINTING OF THE PALACE BY
AN UNKNOWN ARTIST IN ABOUT

1740

DROTTXINCJIIOLM

THE GALLERY

THE HALL OF THE

DECORATED

KING'S BODYGUARD,

IN 1694

proper regard to Court protocol. Thus, the King's personal Guard,

Master of

the principal Lord-in-Waiting, the

numbered from

dignitaries occupied seats
five seats

were reserved for

staff'.

land witnessed Pergolcsi's

Maestro

much

The
holm

same

the

accession

to 17, while the last tifty-

1

When Queen

of the kitchen and household

1955,

Hallo

in

II

of Eng-

Drottningholm

at

in

etiquette prevailed.

of Gustav

III,

1771,

in

life.

despot whose assassination at a masked ball

Un

Elizabeth

Musica

Hi

as the centre of Swedish cultural

opera

similar

and barbers of the Court, members

'valets

//

Horse and

the

Maschera, was himself

Drottning-

established

The

King, a benevolent

1792 inspired Verdi's

in

a gifted playwright

and an

excellent actor by any standard.

Under

and Eurydice was presented

Drottningholm before a Parisian audi-

at

Gluck's Orpheus

his inspiration

ence had been given an opportunity to hear

During

it.

a great part

of each year four performances a week were given at the theatre
while,

THE ALCOVE

IN

Gl'STAV HIS BEDROOM

the

in

park beyond, Gustav organised tournaments and pag-

eants, the brilliance of

With

the

which are

murder of Gustav

still

legendary

the lights

and remained extinguished for more than

Vasa kings, and
theatre
a

became

to

went out
a

Drottningholm

in

hundred years. The

their Bernadotte successors, disliked the palace.

in

turn a granary, an officers' mess,

lumber-room. Then,

ningholm

Sweden.

in

in

1921, Professor

Agne

a

Beijer

\

last

The

egetable store,

came

to Drott-

look for a painting which might have been stacked

among

the rubbish in the old theatre. Beneath the dust and cobwebs he found

the original stage sets
III.

52

The

from the days of Louisa

elaborate machinery installed

in

opposite:

:

l lrika

1768 by the

and Gustav

Italian

Donato

THE BLUE AND GOLD STATE BEDROOM

•\* B

i
&<• S
'

-».

".— "^S^w^

v-

******

'>-*'
'

'

Id net

,,.<"""""

IIIMIM MHMMIMMMIIII

"^

•N<«

I

x
.

% t-L^^-

tf

w««t«Wuli

.

»

DROTI M.M.HOLM

Stopani, which enables the entire scenery on the large stage

changed

in ten

Thanks

to Beijer, the

Drottningholm theatre

Jacques Mauclair's company from the

opened

their

1949 season

at

opened

Company,

the

first

their season with the

eum, housed

is

again

with

filled

a strange coincidence.

Theatre de L'Athene

in

Paris

Drottningholm with Moliere's Le

nage Force. Two hundred and
the Rosidor

be

seconds, was intact.

and laughter, with music and poetry. By

talk

to

Ma-

years earlier, almost to the day,

fifty

French troupe

same play

in

to visit

1699.

The

Sweden, had

theatrical

mus-

the theatre, which

is

based on the collection which

Carl Gustav Tessin ruined himself

in

assembling, recalls the past of

the

in

European theatre

as does

no other museum

in the

world.

King Gustav V, whose famous grandmother, Desiree Clary, almost
married Napoleon and became the

QUEEN HEDWIG ELEONORA BUILT THE PALACE;
right: QUEEN LOT ISA ULRIKA ADDED THE THEATRE

dotte

line,

lived in

first

Queen Consort of

Drottningholm during the

the Berna-

last

years of his long

a

country residence

/«•//:

life

and died there

in

1950. Every

summer

it

is

of the Royal Family, the park one of the favourite resorts of the

people of Stockholm.

The

palace

here the past predominates, as

it

is

a

living link with the past,

hut

should, over the present.

Ezvan B tiller

A CHINOISERIE CABINET
154

DETAIL OF THE CABINET
opposite:

STUCCO CUPIDS ON THE HALL CEILING

i

4

GRANITE PANOPLIES SURMOUNT THE ALBA COAT-OF-ARMS

Palacio Liria
The Alba town-house

with

superb art-collection

its

THE NAME OF THIS MAGNIFICENT BUILDING shows how
hands of

into the

(a

present owners. For the

its

of

title

small town near Valencia) was given as a

Duke

V

of Spain to the

James

II

of England by Arabella Churchill (sister of the

of Marlborough). This

first

of Spain's best generals

in

of Liria

of Berwick, illegitimate son of King

Duke

the

Came

Spanish honour by

Philip

Duke

it

first

Duke

of Berwick and Liria was one

War

of the Spanish Succession. His

great-grandson married into the family of the Dukes of Alba and,

on the death of the
as

last

Duchess of the old

1802 (celebrated

line in

Goya's patron and mistress), the already double dukes of the

family of Fitzjames gathered to themselves the proud and seemingly
endless

titles

of the Albas, of which the

dukedoms of Alba de Tormes,

of Hijaron, of Montoro, of Arjona and of Olivares (Conde-Duque)

The present holder of the title
Duke of the Fitzjames family.
middle of Madrid, a short way from

are only the foremost of thirty-two.
is

the only daughter of the last

The

Palacio Liria

is

in

the

the Plaza de Espafia along the Calle de
in

la

Princesa.

It

was begun

the year 1770 by the architect Buenaventura Rodriguez. Sheltered

from the

street

by

severe but elegant
consists of

woody garden, the house itseli is a
oblong with two handsome facades. Each of these
a

large and

Doric columns

in the

middle and pilasters on either

Above, the arms of the family of Alba stand out on

The

entrance hall of the Palacio

is

a granite

a large light

side.

pediment.

room, decorated

throughout with hunting pictures by the seventeenth-century Flemish
painter

v

THE

SAI.A

ITALIANA

de Vos,

and hung with various trophies

oi

the

chase.

A

157

%

J

B£i

COLUMNS AND PILASTERS DIVIDE THE GREAT FAQADE
passage leads to the library, and thence to the hall-room, the Goya

room, the dining-room, the print rooms and the duke's drawingroom, and the small room of showcases normally belonging
Duchess.

wards

A

magnificent ceremonial staircase of three flights leads up-

bedrooms, including the

to the

The remarkable
Second only

to

the

in

bedroom.

rich ducal

feature of this house

of paintings unequalled

is

the superb collection

any private collection

paintings

are

eighteenth-century carpets, nearly
estry

to the

the

all

in the rest

Gobelin

tapestries

manufactured

of Spain.

and

the

the royal tap-

in

workshops of Madrid.

The

paintings in the Palacio Liria

number nearly three hundred.

Outstanding are the portraits. These include

Alba

portrait of the Duchess of

in

a

in the

Goya room Goya's

white dress, the Countess of

Montijo and her four sons, and Dona Maria Palafox Marquesa de
La/.an.
illo's

THE DUCHESS OF ALBA,

I5Y

GOYA

very

There

is

Titian's portrait of the great

portrait of his eldest son,
tine

ing galaxy

is

man

by Raphael. Isolated but not ignored

a

a

portrait of

in this glitter-

one of several portraits of the Empress Eugenie (one

There

is

Duke

of Alba) by Win-

an interesting Annunciation by an unknown Spa-

nish painter of the fifteenth

the donor, seen at praver.

158

Mur-

Cosimo de Medici by Bronzino,

of whose sisters married a nineteenth-century

collection

of Alba,

Veronese (a portrait of Bianca Capello) and

an unknown

terhalter.

Duke

century,

with the

Duke

first

Other paintings include

a

of Alba,

comprehensive

of works by Fra Angelico, Jacopo Bassano,

Caravaggio,

THE ENTRANCE FRONT
Guercino, Andrea del Sarto, Breughel the old and Breughel

Velouns,

le

Van Dyck, Rembrandt, Rubens and Ruysdael. This collection
was chiefly made in the seventeenth century by the De Harot family,
Poussin,

and would have been even more remarkable had

Duchess of Alba and her

quarrel between Goya's
(the

Duchess of

Liria).

not been for the

it

The Duchess hated her

family so intensely that

her will - she died

in

over to servants and friends nearly

all

sister
in

Of

in

politics,

somewhat

became Foreign Secretary

He

also

rid,

but

palace,

in

in his

l.iria

part

all

gather-

in

museum and

the paintings

right,

last

who found

Duke

himself

later

He

last cabinet.

Ambassador

London,

in

of 1936-39. During the Civil

in the

part

on several occasions.

King Alfonso XIII's pathetic

War

was bombed

own

reluctantly,

became Nationalist agent, and

during the Spanish Civil
Palacio

and succeeded

one might single out for special mention the

of Alba, a distinguished historian
involved

Godoy,

estate.

of these paintings and selling them outside.

the leading owners of the

residence,

sister's

the specially prized paintings

the Prince of Peace, intervened in the quarrel

many

and her

1802 - she made

and other treasures that were not entailed with the

ing together

and heir

sister

War

course of the battles around

the

A SPHINX AND CUPID FORM WHITE SILHOUETTES
AGAINST THE GARDEN SHRUBBERY

Mad-

and the greater part of the other treasures

were successfully preserved. After the end of the war, the
supervised the restoration of the Palacio Liria to precisely

its

Duke

original

condition.
1 1 ugh

Thomas

59

IWL.U'K) LIRI A

THE EMPRESS EUGENIE BY WINTERHALTER

A Museum
within a private house
THE STAIRCASE

THE SALA DE GOYA
160

IS

MORE A WORK OF ARCHITECTURE THAN OF DECORATION

THE DINING-ROOM, HUNG WITH GOBELINS
opposite:

THE SALA FLAMENCA

.'/•n**H,

THE EAST FRONT: AN ENGRAVING OF

1717

Blenheim Palace
'England's biggest house for England's biggest man'
BLENHEIM PALACE,
arms and
borough.

a

besides being a house,

the

first,

its

a

monument

to British

John Churchill, Duke of Marl-

royal gift bestowed on

From

is

architecture

was conceived

as an elevated

expression of the Duke's glory - or, perhaps, of military glory as an
abstract quality; and the result

is

performance more complex and

a

intense than anything in English classical architecture, excluding only

St Paul's Cathedral.

The house

name

bears the

(anglicised

from Blindheim) of the Bav-

arian village where on 13 August 1704 the

Duke

of Marlborough and

Prince Eugene crushed the combined forces of Tallard, Marsin and
the Elector of Bavaria. In February 1705, in response to the tremen-

dous impression made

in

England by

this feat

of arms,

Queen Anne

announced that she would give the Duke the royal manor of Woodstock and replace the ancient palace there by a

new

building.

The

Duke was allowed to choose his architect and he chose Sir John
Vanbrugh, a man of forty-one - soldier, wit, playwright and, by
some favour of which we know little, the Comptroller (under Sir
Christopher Wren) of the Queen's Works. Vanbrugh's experience of
architecture
hall

was

small.

He

had

built himself a little

and was building the Earl of Carlisle

shire.

Duke

He

was accepted

could not have

as a genius

made

a

a

two men -

to

Hawksmoor, an

know now

very big one

in

White-

York-

in

and such he undoubtedly was; the

more fortunate

untutored genius alone would scarcely have

Blenheim, and we

house

choice.

been

that the achievement

Vanbrugh himself and

to

his

Nevertheless

enough
is

to

really

build

due to

collaborator Nicholas

architect ot vast experience anil with a vision in no

wise inferior to Vanbrugh's.

The two worked happily together and

by 1707 parts of the great masonry shell were being roofed.

62

opposite:

THE FOUNTAIN, IMITATED FROM

BERNINI,

AND BlILT

IN

1928

BLENHK1M
a

The architecture of Blenheim lends
movement of classical music. Observe

- the heaviest elements
in

in

itself to analysis as readily as
first

the four identical towers

the whole. Bulky, rusticated, almost squat

themselves, they are additionally weighted by

a

load of piers and

arches. Pinnacles fashioned as coronetted grenades flare at the corners

These towers are scarcely
forts.

The

define,

- they are almost as ahstract as

classical

Blenheim moves

classical architecture of

depends on their fixedness for

power of

ticulacy for

its

of the

Roman

five

its

the space they

in

mobility, on their dour inar-

rhetoric. Classical

Blenheim

is

an affair of two

orders - a fifty-foot Corinthian and a Tuscan

less

than half that height. Although Englishmen always think of Blen-

heim as very big indeed,
above

left:

JOHN

great order at St Peter's

CHURCHILL, FIRST
DUKE OF MARL-

and Bernini's Tuscan

BOROUGH; above:
QUEEN ANNE;
left: SIR JOHN

(which

VANBRUGH

164

IN

is

in the

is

nothing much. Michelangelo's

more than double Blenheim's Corinthian,
piazza much more than double Vanbrugh's

worth remembering, for there

angelo-Bernini

in

is

a curious echo of Michel-

the total perspective of Blenheim

proach). But Blenheim seems big enough and
the

drama

the

windows of rooms and not of
It

THE STATUE OF QUEEN ANNE

is

fifty-foot

THE LONG LIBRARY

is,

it

intends;

and after

all

however, also a temple.

THE SOUTH CORRIDOR

it

a

is

a

is

in

the

main ap-

big enough to enact

house and

its

windows are

Cathedral nave.

The

Corinthian order announces the

Observe how

fact.
in

centre block the whole fabric

in the

columnar terms: there

The

or impost.

no wall-space. All

is

moves forward

portico

columns, and presents four piers and only two columns

and the piers are

articulated

column

pilaster, pier,

is

movement of

a

in

is

piers, not

in its elevation;

coupled pairs. This grave, massy procedure

in

is

maintained inflexibly on the horizontal plane, and then too on the ver-

The

tical.

piers of the portico are projected upwards, as

reappearing on

pediment,

the

if

through

raking cornice and carrying the

its

sharp points of another pediment - the sharp points only, like the
crags of an antique ruin; for this second pediment does not belong

here but to the roof of the hall, rising behind and above the portico.

This

is

while

it

and the miracle

surprising, an outrageous, gesture

a

shocks

it

convinces. It

is

a visionary exaggeration but

that

is

ordered

THE LOCK ON THE MAIN DOOR

by an unerring sense of grammatical expression.

The Corinthian order

not only composes but penetrates the facain its angles

and

another portico like the

first

columns

de. It regulates the hall with four sentinel

emerges on the garden side of the house

in

but with an inscribed attic instead of a pediment and thereon the marble bust (captured at

Tournai) of the conquered Sovereign, Louis XIV.

The Tuscan order

(not quite Tuscan but not quite

Doric either)

runs through the whole of Blenheim but does not always declare
It

itself.

resident in the entrance front of the centre block in the rudi-

is

mentary guise of imposts

lower windows.

on either

of the wings

projecture

first

to the

emerges

in

with a

double

stops

side,

wheels through

beat before the curves begin,

It

six

the

bays to another

double beat, turns, halts (a slower double beat) and enters the towers.

Emerging,

open

in

An
a

it

marches through nine bays of colonnade and concludes

surmounted by trophies.

distyles

English architect two generations later than Vanbrugh and of

Robert Adam, admired Vanbrugh for

very different school,

'movement' - exactly the word which
Sir

this

his

Tuscan manoeuvre evokes.

Joshua Reynolds admired him for the same quality, though he

expressed

found

later,

him as
ment,
than

'the
this

in

there

it

different terms.

in

his

'bold

architects'.

Here

at

more room

his
in

a

Blenheim

irregularity, this wildness of imagination

any other of

is

John Soane, again

generation

of irregular fancy' enough to qualify

flights

Shakespeare of

Sir

is

move-

this

more evident

works, perhaps for the simple reason that

which

to exercise

it.

For one could continue

the demonstration of Blenheim's 'movement' almost indefinitely the

Tuscan

and

to a

massive rusticated Doric which controls the kitchen

stable courts;

from the Corinthian

Or

nance of the towers.
with

its

lively articulation

pressive in

its

from

own

to the strange abstract

ordon-

one could concentrate on the plan alone

- perhaps the

right on

the

first

English plan which

paper plane and

almost the only English plan which has found

its

is

ex-

(very naturally)

way

into a

French

textbook.

Notwithstanding

The
sky

this,

it

is

possible for Blenheim to disappoint.

great entrance front faces north and to

may

be to stare

unmoved

interpretation of light,

and

visit

it

at a sullen yellow mass.

fullness of light

under a grey
It

needs the

comes only early and

late

THE GREAT

IIALI

165

and sometimes not

at

all.

Then

again, to feel the intensity of Blen-

heim one must share Vanbrugh's and Hawksmoor's passion for the

Roman

orders and the emotional modulations of which they are cap-

able; one

must

akin to a

Roman

its

ranks of arches as something

aqueduct. For Blenheim

house and

chitect's

hall with

see* the

it

is

is

above

all

useless to try to escape the fact, useless to

pretend that the paintings by Thornhill and Laguerre
saloon are

more than very

in the hall

and

able and appropriate specimens of their inter-

rooms

national kind; or that the other
the splendid

things an ar-

Long Library -

at

Blenheim - excepting only

contain anything one would

remember

for

a lifetime.

As

for the history of Blenheim

the present day,

little

need be

said.

from
It

criticism

and interference she

left

building in 1705-10 to

starts with

of Vanbrugh's quarrel with the Duchess, of

THE ENTRY UNDER THE CLOCK TOWER

its

how

him with no

the tragicomedy

after years of vicious

alternative but to break

with her and leave his masterpiece to be finished by others.

Duchess did

live

almost to

umn

of Victory

acres of land
that

it

was

it

with

park. After that Blenheim

in its

was so fabulously magnificent and so

difficult

improvements
ever,

in the

Hawksmoor returning to
Duke's memory and a magnificent col-

finish

build a triumphal arch to the

to

The

two thousand

utterly complete

indeed for any of the Duke's successors to find

which they could

set their hands.

There were, how-

two - the fourth and the ninth - who made the attempt; but

ironically

some of the changes made by

the fourth

Duke were

bitterly

regretted and the ninth

Duke

BLENHEIM

part restored the status quo.

in

These changes were not in regard to the house but to the gardens
and park. Vanbrugh's conception of the house had naturally enlarged
itself into a

formal layout of the kind which the early eighteenth cent-

ury inherited from Versailles. Before the entrance front was a great

garden front

court, before the

a parterre

unequalled

in

England.

A

straight avenue struck across Vanbrugh's gargantuan bridge, a straight

canal beneath

with too

it.

All this remained until the fourth Duke, embracing

much enthusiasm

dissolved

it

away.

the naturalism of the later eighteenth century,

The Blenheim

indifferent landscape of a

has

its

qualities. It

was

neath the bridge, giving

umental

and

it

ditch.

was

this

landscape today

park 'improved' by

the soft, vague,

'Capability'

an

a fine gesture to create
it

is

Brown.

artificial

lake be-

something worth crossing, instead of a mon-

But the destruction of the parterre was a disaster
that the ninth

Duke

of the French gardener, Duchene,

in

sought to repair, with the aid
1925, by creating a

new parterre

on the west. There he erected an imitation of Bernini's fountain
the Piazza

It

in

Navona, Rome.

Blenheim does not lend

itself to

no changes have been made.
history found itself the

Nor

change and to the fabric virtually

has Blenheim

background of notable

in

its

events.

250 years of
Except indeed

one - Sir Winston Churchill, grandson of the seventh Duke, was born
there in

1874.

John Summerson

THE GARDEN FRONT

left:

BLENHEIM

IN

1745,

THE GREAT COURT

BLENHEIM

THE SALOON, DECORATED BY LAGUERRE
right:

far right:

LIBRARY

THE LONG

£2

X

,«£**

475,

WITH TWO FLANKING HOUSES, BY CASPAR

PHILIPS, 1770

4 J5 Heerengracht
A

fine

example of
NUMBER
beautiful

a

Dutch

patrician

I

I

town-house

47 5 Heerengracht stands by a canal in one of the most
streets in Europe. Of Amsterdam's three main canals the

Heerengracht's

lies

nearest to the centre of the city;

was begun

it

in

about 1660 for the expanding class of wealthy merchants, the ancient

ramparts being destroyed for the purpose. Part of the magic of

comes from the

street

makes

it

reflection

unmistakably Dutch

of the houses

some

The

'clock', others 'neck', others 'stepped',

houses are

in

tall

and some simply pointed,

each typical of a different decade of building fashion.
they carry

the water which

and
and varied collection of gables -

in character.

narrow, and crowned with a lively

in

this

On

their facades

sculptured relief porpoises, dolphins, or shells - symbols

of the sea which the Dutch loved and upon which they then controlled
the largest commercial empire

from Caspar

Philips'

known

to the world.

Grachtenboek, published

elegance of this architecture:

gracht has not lost the

in spite

in

The

1768, illustrate the

modern building

of

engravings

the

eighteenth-century character which

HeerenPhilips

portrays.

In his engraving the imposing facade of 475
notice. Built in

character
in

not pure Dutch.

its

effect

is

The shape

rich

and dignified; but

of the house,

rises to a

piano nobile, are what

Amsterdam; but

we

the details are not the

normally be found upon such a house.

windows

expect to see in the heart

Dutch

Its taste is

which would
distinctly French -

details

sophisticated and light: indeed, in the twisted forms of

opposite:

five

its

width, the parapet above, the double flight of steps, the 'stoep',

which
of

is

grey sandstone,

once attracts

at

THE FACADE ON THE CANAL

its

ornamental

171

475

HEERENGRACHT

detail there

is

foretaste of full-blown rocaille.

a

Removing

in

imagination the plate-glass windows, and replac-

them by the smaller sash-panes of the seventeenth century, we

ing

see that the front

door (which

is

original)

dressings and 'composite' pilasters.

The

is

framed with good stone

classical faces

carved

in

each

of the capitals remind one of the later English decoration under the

Adam

The most

brothers.

beautiful feature of the facade

of female caryatids, which

flank,

the central

window on

the pair

is

the

first

floor

with restrained voluptuousness. Their bodies are gracefully curved,
their

turned slightly away from the window, and their heads

legs

facing each other.
is

wrapped round

Each

the plain columns at the sides of the windows.

Unless the trees which
it

is

is

a

one breast, and their drapery

figure exposes

line

both sides of the canal are

leafless,

not easy to see the detail at the top of the house, but the cornice
fine

one.

Concave balustrades sweep away from the

man and a woman to each corner of
where we might expect to see a family coat

reclining

figures of a

the house; in the

centre,

of arms, the car-

touche carries two cherubs playing with fruit - heraldry was rarely

played upon a burgher's mansion. Above the cartouche
sphere

DAVID DE NEUFVILLE, BY MUSSCHER,

1696

in

gold-painted iron - an emblem, familiar

It

is

this

house was

to the

when

in

1763 with

debts totalling three million guilders, the whole of Dutch

commerce

seemed

political influence;

government

affected until, with

debts were repaid the following year.

bought

a

house

in the

designed the garden.

m^f»>j

LJfF
k

^
^^

kdiu
THE DE NEUFVILLE
.

,

FAMILY,

BY

J.

M.

18th

It

country,

was

a

Heer

help, sixty per cent of these
In

1696 David de Neufville

en Berg, where Daniel

few years

later that the family

475 and Marot was almost certainly concerned

in its

Marot
bought

building or redec-

oration.
,

_^~

-

we owe 475. As silk
Amsterdam, they enjoyed an

family of de Neufville that

their fortunes failed in

important

W\

over Holland,

built.

merchants and the leading bankers

I J9

an armillary

of worldwide commerce, and a reminder of the sources of the wealth

with which

$

all

is

dis-

CENTURY,

QUINKHARDT

Marot was born in Paris, the son of Jean Marot, a Huguenot
engraver to Louis XIV; but at the age of twenty-four he had to leave
France upon the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.
the

Hague and soon

He

received commissions from the Prince of Orange,

one of whose chief architects he became, working for him

and

in

settled at

in

Holland

England. Marot, with something of the genius of the Renais-

sance 'universal man', was always influenced by France. Mathematician,
painter, architect, engraver
at a time

when her lead

J?
do Dini;iiim
Bine

BBIiJSL

BIAP

172

<s

Mil

I ]|

Hk

in

and designer, he was brought up
the

world of

taste

in

France

was unaffected by her

Besides Marot's buildings, the extent to which he followed

politics.

French taste can be seen

Marot

It'

one of

not

did

in his

published designs.

build

475,

someone may have worked

designs - perhaps his son, Jacob Marot.

his

Two

for the stucco decoration of the staircase and hall are

One

house.

in the

not signed but

is

van Logeteren: the other

is

known

is

drawings
preserved

work of

to be the

signed and dated -

still

to

Ignatius

H. Jacob Husly, 1736.

work of several generations - exquisite
carving in the Louis XIV manner and a marble Louis XVI mantelpiece,
which was carved for the house in 1782. One room contains vednte

The house

by Isaac de Moucheron

di fantasia

475

its

is

contains the

Regence stucco work and

Immediately inside the front door

(1667-1744). But the glory of
staircase,

lies

nisters.

The

hall

not overloaded.

is

finely

its

and help

two paces

and yet

it

is

cramped did not the mouldings create

feel

to

period.

carved wooden ban-

lavishly decorated in deep stucco,

One might

a sense of space

Marot

its

a small, square hall;

is

the foot of the stairs, with

beyond

from

prepare the visitor for the climax of

the staircase. It rises the full height of the house to a lantern, invisible

from the

outside,

mouldings

in

a favourite

bold

Marot

and

like the entrance hall

is

covered with stucco

Between 'gartered' columns and

relief.

design which

we again

notice in the

pilasters

-

window-frames

THE FRONT OF THE HOUSE

IN

WINTER-TIME

of the stables at the back of the house - the figures of Apollo with
his lyre,

stand

Thalia with the mask of drama, and Euterpe with a trumpet,

in fine

proportion to their setting.

Above

there

is

a balcony in

stucco which gives the illusion of a second storey, a kind of
I'ceil,

reminding one, even to the rug which hangs

in

trompe

folds over the

balustrade, of a Veronese fresco. Sixteen figures are playing a diversity

of musical instruments -

So dramatic

is

flutes,

mandolins, violins, violas, kettledrums.

this vision that,

moment, one wonders why the

for a

music cannot be heard.

when they were
seventeenth century. They were

475 was embellished by the Neufvilles
casting off the thrifty habits of the

members of

at a time

the Baptist sect of Mennonites and

had led simple,

relig-

ious lives until the beginning of the eighteenth century; then they be-

gan to use some of their accumulated wealth.
they had connections with

Marot who

ional

Dutch forms with French

until

1907,

when

it

ideas.

We

are fortunate that

so excitingly enlivened tradit-

475 remained

in private

was bought by the Hollandsche

Levensverzekeringen as their head

office.

The

Societeit

FAQADE OF THE ORIGINAL STABLES
BEHIND THE HOUSE

hands

voor

magnificence of the fa-

cade and of the staircase has thus been preserved for us - an unforgettable contribution to the domestic architecture of Europe.

Colin Fenton

see,

11:1
i

THK FULL RANGE OF THE HEERENGRACHT
475 IS THE HOUSE MARKED 'A'

IN

1770,

BY CASPAR PHILIPS

173

475

HEERENGRACHT

The mouldings
create a sense of space
A ROOM ON THE FIRST FLOOR

MMM
DETAIL OF A FIREPLACE

THE CORRIDOR ON THE FIRST FLOOR
174

opposite:

THE UPPER PART OF THE STAIRCASE WELL

M

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THE ENTRANCE FRONT

Palais Schwarzenberg
The grandson

preserves the deeds of his ancestors

OUR GENERATION knows

only too well the enormous relief which

peace and security can bring to a country that has suffered a long
war. With their great victories
allies

in

1683 the Imperial army and

freed the city of Vienna from the Turkish menace, and the

enemy's retreat to the East across Hungary
that

finally

lifted

a

burden

had weighed heavily upon the Austrian people. Their fear and

uncertainty

now gave way

to a spirit of enterprise

was gradually transformed
renowned

in

Every

song.

as the Imperial residence
officials

and

a cultural re-

their architecture.

Vienna

into the beautiful Imperial city that

became

surgence that was particularly manifest

and

its

effort

and

in

was made

to

emphasise

importance

its

capital of the empire. Ministers, generals

of the court embellished their palaces to match the

pomp

and splendour of the immediate entourage of the Emperor. Vienna

became one great building
city that
first

site.

All the houses in the outskirts of the

had been destroyed by

to be rebuilt.

fire

or suffered from the invader had

From 1690 onwards Vienna was

encircled by a

great garland of lovely palaces.

One

of the

first

patrons of

this architectural revival

When

the

Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736).

Prince bought a

for his

site

perial Council of

summer

palace, the Belvedere, on a gently

from the town, the President of

vicinity for his

own

architect Fischer

future palace.

He

in

von Erlach, but entrusted the work

LORENZO MATTIELLI

the immediate

did not engage the Imperial

Hildebrandt (1668-1745), who was also

SABINES, BY

the Im-

War, Count Heinrich von Mansfeld and Prince von

Fondi, almost simultaneously acquired a vineyard

THE RAPE OF THE

fa-

mous Field-Marshal

sloping hillside facing south

Opposite:

was the

to

Lukas von

to erect the Belvedere.

He

177

SCHWAR/KNHKRG

was

known

less

in

Vienna

soon became Fischer's great

at the time, but

For several decades, when the two men were

rival.

Vienna was destined

their powers,

was

aspirations of the baroque style that

on contemporary architecture

nor was

in

Vienna.

the Prince's

it

He

have

to

I

artistic

a Leading influence
in

Germany.

lildebrandt started on his

was not destined

good fortune

the

fulfil

Europe, particularly

in

With Prince Fondi's commission,
garden-palace

and

inspire

to

at the height of

first

complete the work,

to

to see his ambitious

wish

ful-

The story circulated in Vienna that his design was to surpass
even the Emperor Leopold I's favourite residence, the nearby Favorita,
filled.

but

when Prince Fondi died

A

done.

in

1715 there was

a great deal to be

still

Adam

year later, the Prince's daughters sold the palace to

An

Franz. Prince Schwarzenberg (1680-1732).

early record shows that

by then only the western half of the building had been

The new owner terminated

while the eastern half remained incomplete.

made with Hildebrandt and appointed no

the contract

than Fischer von Erlach to direct the work. So

combines the ideas of the two great

For

fully furnished

the

decoration of

the

an

less

artist

famous building

this

rivals.

Prince Schwarzenberg com-

palace,

missioned the great Austrian fresco painter, Daniel Gran,

who

first

came

It

said

Schwarzenberg family

to the

was employed

that he

as a domestic servant.

is

young kitchen hand, and when the Prince

as a

discovered his talent for painting he was sent to Venice for his education.

By

the time

Gran returned

advanced

sufficiently

him

to give

was

the construction of the palace
full

scope for the knowledge he had

acquired and to show his gratitude towards his benefactor. His

work

in

creation,

so

much

1725 was on the dome of the great central

The

hall

where

a

bomb

satisfaction that

it

was followed

a

year later by another

domed

destroyed the great fresco of the

1945, the magnificent paintings on the wall

damage by

his

victory of light over darkness, gave his princely patron

Though

contract to decorate the gallery of the East wing of the palace.

'AUTUMN', ONE OF MATTIELLI'S FOUR
FIGURES REPRESENTING THE SEASONS

first

a miracle.

The room

is

the triumph of Apollo, the

many

The theme
arts

February

among

most

the

of these brilliantly

so typical of baroque,

figures,

god of the

in

the gallery escaped

without doubt

colourful interiors of Austrian baroque.

coloured frescoes with their

in

hall

and

sciences, the

is

guardian

of truth, goodness and beauty. Besides Gran's monumental frescoes

and gorgeous stuccoes, the gallery
in

Vienna that has retained

of art

in

the Palais

its

is

also

remarkable as the only one

original pictures.

Among

the finest

works

Schwarzenberg are two precious paintings, The

kidnapping of Ganymede by Rubens, a glorious picture dating from
1610-11, and the impressive male portrait of Antonello da Messina

from 1475. The outstanding quality of the Persian carpets
palace could hardly be matched

of them belong to the Golden

of this art, the sixteenth and seven-

teenth centuries, but the most valuable piece

carpet showing

A FOUNTAIN

178

IN

THE PARK

a

garden scene with

The garden was planned on
all baroque summer places. In 1783
park. The observant visitor today

this

any other princely collection. All

in

Age

in

all

is

the

kinds of plants and animals.

architectural
it

famous Medallion

lines,

was transformed

can

still

like

those of

into an English

clearly see traces of the

work of

the landscape gardener J.

from Paris

to plan the

later Fischer

ramps, terraces,

To

<>l

who was summoned

Schonbrunn. But Hildebrandt, and

and Gran, also altered the original design. The gentle

was transformed

front of the palace

slope in

models.

garden

P. Trehet,

into

great parterres,

fountains anil ponds like their Italian and French

the foreign plants which he acquired, Prince Schwarzen-

berg added the statues by the court sculptor Lorenzo Mattielli and
other ornaments that

many

made

of the figures are

still

his
in

garden unique
quite

good

in

Vienna. Fortunately

repair, like the allegorical

representation of the four seasons and the famous Raptus group depicting mythological rapes.
the

most

skilfully

The Raptus

figures,

in particular,

belong to

executed examples of Viennese garden sculpture,

THE FACADE FACING THE PARK
179

A STOVE

IN

THE WRITING-ROOM

THE CENTRAL HALL BELOW THE DOME
for they combine liveliness and grace with a decorative quality that

makes them

Thanks
sions in

wonderful subject for photography.

a

enormous wealth derived from

to the

Bohemia, and the dignity of

Prince Schwarzenberg had
his palace in the style
ities

all

his position as

means

the

and manner that

of a grand seigneur.

He

his

vast posses-

Court Marshall,

at his disposal to

reflected the ideals

complete

and qual-

died from injuries resulting from an

error of judgement on the part of the

Emperor Karl VI,

while hunting

with the Court.

The Schwarzenbergs belonged to one of the most noble families
of the Holy Roman Empire and the Austrian monarchy. In the great
square named after him in front on the palace is the equestrian statue
of the Field Marshal and statesman, Prince Karl Philipp, who was
Commander-in-Chief of the

allied

armies at the battle of Leipzig

1813. His nephew,

Felix

(1800-1852) was the

Prince

Minister to the young
rich

Emperor Franz

first

in

Prime

Josef, while his brother Fried-

(1809-1885) rose from Archbishop

in

Salzburg and Prague to

become one of Austria's greatest Cardinals.

The

palace suffered

beautiful

damage during

Vienna on 21 February 1945. Although the
our generation have robbed

DETAIL OF GRAN'S GALLERY IN THE
EAST WING

in

his

bombing of

the

political

upheavals of

family of their extensive properties

Bohemia, the owner of the house today, Prince Henry Schwarzen-

berg, considered

it

his

duty to carry on the great traditions of princely

patronage, and by the end of 1957 completed his tremendous task
of restoration.

On

the

medal that was

cast to

mark

this

happy occasion

can be read the words: Avi servare gesta ncpotem decet -

grandson to preserve the deeds of

'It befits

the

his ancestors'.

Franz JFindisch-Gractz

THE FAMOUS PERSIAN CARPET, KNOWN AS THE MEDALLION
CARPET, ONE OF THE GREAT TREASURES OF SCHWARZENBERG

Opposite:

180

THE FACADE

IN

THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY

Palazzo Labia
A

Venetian palace immortalized by Tiepolo
THE LABIA WERE RICH,
noble families

in

foreign upstarts

in a city

ruled by the oldest

Europe. They bought their way into the Venetian

aristocracy in 1646

when

this

became possible for the

first

time owing

to the State's desperate financial crisis brought about by the

Turkey. Thereafter,

until the fall of the Republic, they

war with

compensated

became

for their lack of ancestors by a display of wealth that soon
their chief claim to

At

renown and has remained legendary

the beginning of the eighteenth century they built the palace

which bears their name
Rio

The
little

di

to this day.

in

the parish of S.

Geremia overlooking

the

Cannaregio, the most important tributary of the Grand Canal.

architects

they employed,

known. They showed

Tremignon and Cominelli,

their

originality

are

by breaking with

still

the

dramatic faqades, heavy with detached columns, that had dominated

most Venetian palaces
climax

in

since the late Renaissance

Longhena's grandiose schemes for the Pesaro and other

noble families.

The

facades of the Palazzo Labia are indeed equally

rich in effects of light

and shade, but much calmer and

There are three facades - an
wealth of the

Labia,

for

indication,

in

itself,

less

of the

most families were content

to

powerful.
fabulous
attach

a

noble front to that part of their palace which overlooked the

Grand

The Palazzo
behind from the large Campo

Labia,

Canal and not bother too much about the

however, looks equally splendid

182

and had reached a

rest.

S.

Ge-

THE BALLROOM, WITH TIEPOLO'S PAINTING OF CLEOPATRA AND MARK
ANTONY AT THE HARBOIR
183

remia which

dominates, from the Cannaregio

it

Grand Canal from which

The

it

rooms on the

State

and these the Lahia

filled

surround the central courtyard,

floor

with a

PALAZZO LABIA

somewhat withdrawn.

stands hack
first

and from the

itself,

of paintings. Old

collection

fine

masters, accumulated by noble families over the centuries, were clearly
unavailable, but they acquired the best of their contemporaries, above

number of

large

a

all

to

visits

Venice helped to stimulate* the great

eighteenth

The

century.

older and

more

Within

two brothers,

any of

escape political duties,

to

commoner

His main

for wife.

may

it

explain his

were

interests

literary.

organised a marionette theatre which caused something of a

He

also wrote savage satires in Venetian dialect on such

few signs of change and new ideas
society

stir,

perform

for there were real singers concealed behind the scenes to
the parts.

its

and mother. The elder

their wives

but this did not prevent him marrying, though

He

them,

into

easily vie in richness with

Angelo Maria, became an Abbe

choice of a

revival of the

aristocratic rivals.

lived

it

artistic

had canvases inserted

ceilings

and by 1750 the palace could

brother,

Luca Giordano, whose repeated

pictures by

around him. In

his later years

more

servative ideas in a

as could be seen in the stagnant

he showed his devotion to con-

way by sending

practical

secret reports of

any potentially subversive conversations he had overheard to the

dreaded Inquisitors. But even he was forced

was no longer what
poetry written

had been, and

it

in

the

recognise that

to

most beautiful

life

line

THE FAQADE ON THE GRAND CANAL

of

Venice during the eighteenth century, he revealed

in

the sadness that underlay the fabulous ceremonies that

attracted

still

the tourists. After describing the glories of the Regatta of 1775

{Che

Canal, che traghetif oh Dio, che Donne/), he ends with a sob:

E

pur, non so el perche,

(And

yet,

His younger brother,

I

know

mi piansaria

not why,

I

wanted

to

weep)

Paolo Antonio, married conventionally into

the old aristocracy, but he too took no part in public
lively character

in

The most

life.

the palace seems to have been their mother.

In

her younger days she had been a great beauty, and her portrait by

Rosalba Carriera was said to have been that

work. In 1739, well past middle age, she

tality

flirted

jewels, the finest private collection in

These were the people who

in

by calling on the greatest European

palace. Tiepolo revelled in splendour

the critical

with

work

in

Italy.

On

him and

Europe.

artist

of the day, then at

rooms

and ostentation, and

in their

his frescoes

the Salone of the Palazzo Labia are certainly the finest

of his

attractive

about 1750 ensured their immor-

the very height of his powers, to decorate one of the

in

most

charmed

still

French traveller Charles de Brosses, as she

showed him her

artist's

example

one wall he painted that defiant manifesto

of aristocratic extravagance - the

moment when Cleopatra

Roman conqueror Mark Antony

with the splendour of the entertain-

ment she

offers

him by dissolving one of her pearls

in a

Tiepolo had treated the subject often enough before, but
it

here, so suitable as a symbol of the Labia's

own

dazzles her

cup of wine.
his choice

of

position in Venetian

THE GREEN DAMASK SALONE CONTAINS HUGE ALLEGORICAL SCENES
BY POMPEO BATONI

THE DECOR REFLECTED

IN

A SPANISH MIRROR

opposite:

185

PALAZZO LABIA

was surely dictated by the fame of

society,

of jewelry. Maria Labia, 'femme sur
et fort galante',

retour, qui a ete fort belle

le

probably found no great

his patroness's collection

difficulty in identifying herself

with the beautiful Egyptian queen.

On

the other wall Tiepolo painted her

at a harbour. It

is

A

that
sail

some
is

certain

Mark Antony

is

quite certain

tenseness

sort of farewell

in

is

whether they are meeting or

Cleopatra's pose

On

seems to suggest

intended. Above, the winds blow, the

fully extended, flags flutter in the bree/.e, a

at the leash.

together

typical of the Venetian artist's lack of interest in

psychology that no-one
parting.

and

greyhound

the ceiling of this great room, as

strains

to lift these

if

scenes into the range of legend and timelessness, Tiepolo has painted

mythological allegories which have not yet been adequately interpreted.

But no description can do
features

is

watching.

justice to the

room, for one of

With

The banquet

his collaborator, the architectural painter
infinite spatial

complete, and yet

its

and yet as elusive

The

Mengozzicomplexity.

illusionism

teasing quality suggests something

than mere virtuosity for

its

own sake -

as that

which

still

In the nineteenth century the palace

186

is

takes place above a series of painted steps on which stands

a dwarf, half in Cleopatra's world, half in ours.

THE CLASSICAL VENETIAN INNER COURTYARD

essential

the relationship of the spectator himself to the scenes he

Colonna, Tiepolo has devised a scheme of

real

its

is

much more

a world of enchantment as
existed in Venice in 1750.
fell into

decay, and because

PAINTINGS OF VENETIAN VILLAS IN THE SALON

of Tiepolo's unpopularity there were few to express more than conven-

The

tional regrets.

the artist's
ions boat

greatest danger, however,

fame was

at

came much

when

later

height. In 1945 the explosion of a munit-

its

shook the walls and caused fragments of the Banquet

Cleopatra to

fall

to the

ground. Since then some brilliant restoration

new

has largely concealed the damage, and the palace has found a

owner,

Don

who

Carlos de Beistigui,

of the grandeur

it

enjoyed

in

has brought back, to

heyday.

its

Many

among

tunate Venetian palaces, anil
is

a writing table

pictures of notable

the pieces

which belonged

interest

to

Roman

for-

less

from the Palazzo Mocen-

Byron who

have been acquired,

huge copies by Batoni and other

some

it

of the rooms have

been provided with splendid furniture, often acquired from

igo

ol

lived there.

in

Some

particular three

eighteenth-century artists of

famous frescoes by Raphael, Annibale Carracci and Guido Reni.

Above

all

scenes

from the

there are
life

some superb

tapestries beginning with a set of

of Scipio Africanus

woven

in

A LOUIS XIV TORCHftRE,
DESIGNED FOR VAUX-LE-VICOMTE

Brussels at the

beginning of the seventeenth century, and including a

series of

fine

Chinese fantasies from the Beauvais workshops and the 'Tapisseries
des Indes'

made

for Louis

XV. But

beautiful as all this undoubtedly

the eighteenth century, the Palazzo Labia

is,

to-day as

its

reputation as one of the great houses of

in

Europe

to

still

owes

one single room

of fabulous enchantment.

Francis Haskell

^1

JT 4
THE PRESENT OWNERS TRIBUTE TO VENETIAN ADMIRALS

/
f
LOUIS XV TAPESTRIES IN

t\
THE SALON DES INDES
87

PALAZZO LABIA

THE CEILING OF THE BALLROOM

THE MEETING, OR PERHAPS THE PARTING,
BETWEEN CLEOPATRA AND ANTONY
below:

Tiepolo's world
of

enchantment

A TIEPOLO SPANIEL

opposite:

TIEPOLO'S CEILING

IS

ARCHITEC-

TURAL PAINTING OF GREAT SUBTLETY

NYMPHENBURG

IN

1701:

ENGRAVING BY

WENING

M.

The Nymphenburg
The

airy palace of the Bavarian Electors
THE architectural
the year

1664

1758 when the

until

Nymphenburg

history of the

extends from

Rondell was

last building in the

summer

finished. It

was conceived

today

part of the outskirts of Munich, and accessible to

is

it

as a

residence in the country; but
all

by

a twenty-minute ride in a tramcar.

Four successive generations of the Wittelsbachs are responsible
for

in its

it

present form.

The

five-storeyed central block, a lynch-pin

holding together an immense arc of variously-sized

always

edifices,

joined, but often only by a stretch of wall eaved with ancient red

was

built

by Agostino Barelli for Adelaide of Savoy.

was

It

tiles,

a gift

from her husband, the Elector Ferdinand Maria, on the occasion of
the birth of their son

grandeur already

Max Emmanuel. They

in their

Residenz

in the

had plenty of space and

centre of

Munich; but what

the princess - a devotee of rural delights long before

- now wanted was

ette

burg
by

in

a

summer

villa.

It

was

Marie Antoin-

to be called

Nymphen-

An

engraving

honour of the goddess Flora and her nymphs.

M. Wening

today, with

its

in

1701 shows the central block very much as

it

is

balustraded double staircase above the three arches,

but without the six fine central windows, beneath three smaller oval

now ornament the facade.
Nymphenburg assemblage, as one might

ones, which
I

lie

modesty

ot

a

ducal palace.

manor

When

it,

has the

house, rather than the magnificence of a grandthe grand duchess died, in 1676, E. Zucalli had

already been asked to complete Barelli's work.

190

call

opposite:

Her

son,

Max Em-

DISTANT VIEW OF THE HOUSE FROM THE GREAT FOUNTAIN

r »

*•-.

*?*fc

i^^W

**

*

m*

THE NYMPHENBURG
manuel, succeeded

and

in

father as Elector three years later,

his

1701 he employed another

Italian,

1679;

A. Viscardi, to add two

further hlocks, either side of the central one,

windowed

in

and joined

to

by

it

whose arches

corridors, running above an arcade through

one can glimpse parkland and flower beds.

For ten years

Max Emmanuel

Spanish Succession. But when

ed the Bavarian architect,

draw up plans

J.

ended

in

who had

Effner,

well. It

War

1714 he immediately
studied in

further gloritication of the

for the

mother had loved so

it

was occupied with the

was decided

'villa'

it.

which

stables

and

Clock Tower
brecht,

official

quarters;

at

(only completed by

who followed

his

father as

to
his

that the central hall should

windows

Further rectangular buildings

were planned for either end of the existing structure;
end,

instruct-

Paris,

be carried up through several storeys, and six highly arched

introduced into the facade to light

of the

the

Max

north,

in

the south

an Orangerie and

Emmanuel's

Elector

at

son,

1726).

In

Karl Althis

way

Effner brought into being the immense cour d'honneur which achieved
its

THF AMALIENBLRG, RV

F.

CLVILLIfiS, 1734-1739

present vast proportions and became a Rondcll

successor,

Max

Josef

III,

added three further separated building on

either side, linked together by connecting walls.

above and right:

AMALIENBl'RG ORNATHF. SPIEGELSAAL

MENTATION OF

AMALIENBl RG VIEW FROM THE
EDROOM TO THE SPIEGELSAAL

PPosile:

:

:

when Karl Albrecht's
In

1761, he

moved

THE NYMPHENBURG

the Royal porcelain factory, which he

one of these modest and agreeable

into

Despite the fact that

many

to

and

had founded some years before,
edilices.

took long

it

architectural influences, Italianate, French, baroque, rococo,

that, in the early nineteenth century,

was transformed
burg possesses

into the

charm and

simplicity,

On

The

formal baroque garden

Nymphcn-

From whichever

integrity.

towards

direc-

along an avenue of

it

the side of the Rondell this ends presently in a huge final

from which

basin

its

of an English park, the

style

tion one approaches, the eye travels

water.

and was exposed

build,

to

fountain throws a white jet high into the

a

air.

upon the horizon

buildings round the huge crescent are low

and could never be called pretentious. Karl Albrecht envisaged

town ('Karlstadt') behind them, with the palace
this project

The rooms

never came to anything.

as

its

a

nucleus; but

Nymphenburg

of the

are impressive; slightly less restrained than the exterior; but Effner's

wealth of decoration, the stucco ornament and brightly-hued paintings

by the seventy-year-old Zimmermann and

framework of white and
and other Olympian
is

his

son Franz,

gold, avoid actual exuberance.

divinities

in their

varied

We

Diana

see

paying delicate attention to Flora. Here

Kephalos and Procris, Mars and Venus, and delightful pastoral

scenes over the doors. In the long north

found a whole

series of

huge

oil

1756

at the

of

Hall, which was used for court

Max

ceremonies and for concerts under the music-loving
partitioned in

galleries can be

Nymphenburg and

paintings of the

The Great

other Wittelsbach palaces.

and south

was

III Josef,

suggestion of Cuvillies, and three lofty

arches reveal a balustrated gallery of great lightness and charm.

Max Emmanuel
to develop

NYMPHENBURG: MINIATURE BY

M.

VON GEER,

1730

He was

it.

The

1720

most of

Max Emmanuel

all

and

talent

sent

when

Cuvillies erected the

the rococo cunning, so that

than that of the

little

to Paris

who was

Residenz theatre

little

generally given
'the

peculiarly fitted

interior

to

more

Opernhaus of the Margravine

to

is

in

Mun-

some white and gold phoenix

we have an

This theatre for many of us

regarded as

him

young man. The Elector was amply recompensed, perhaps

from the flames, remodelled by hands which seem

is

his talent,

under the famous Blondel,

ich for him. It has recently arisen, like

title

him

enabled

soon detected

Munich and then

to Effner in

first

to study for five years

a very

still

Cuvillies'

future court architect had begun as court dwarf.

then aged eleven.

apprenticed him
in

discerned

in

have kept

all

beautiful even

Bayreuth.

masterpiece, but the

Cuvillies'

Amalienburg, which has long been

the

immortal creation of Bavarian rococo'. Cuvillies was
to

sensitivity to plastic

French lightness and grace with German

unite

form.

famous of the pavilions

in

The Amalienburg

is

the grounds of the

and most

the third

Nymphenburg. The

other two are the Pagodenburg (1716-19) and the Badcnburg (171821), both built

wood;

by Effner, and both well worth the walk through the

the former for the light

it

love of chinoiserie, the latter for
for

its

194

1720

built

its

cool and restful simplicity and

very early version of an indoor swimming pool.

The Amalienburg, more
PLAN OF THE FRENCH GARDEN, ABOUT

throws on the eighteenth-century

as

a

hunting

lodge

and

ambitious fhan
picnic

resort

either

for

of

these,

another

was

electress,

THE ENTRANCE FRONT
Maria Amalia, wife of Karl Albrecht,

the chosen

head of the Holy

Roman Empire. The Amalienburg was begun in 1734 and finished in
1739. The focal point of this little treasure of architecture is its central

Hall of the Mirrors, glittering with a white and

and where

On

wonderful use of

a

a
is

themes has been made

rocaille

it

an

the

side

Hiindekammer with

many

its

in silver.

glittering

of cold, almost glacial, magnificence, are

air

group of smaller rooms, four on one

iels

room with

either side of this graceful circular

mirrors, which give

icy splendour,

its

side, three

on the other. There

seven or eight arched recesses for span-

under the gun-cupboards. The corresponding room on the other
the kitchen, panelled with blue

is

and white Delft

which

tiles

depict flowers and scenes of everyday life in China and with a ceiling

ornamented with blue and white

chinoiseries.

The

interior decoration

of the Amalienburg was carried out, to CuvillieY designs, by

J.

B.

Zimmermann and by Joachim Dietrich, a Munich master of woodcarving. But some of it may have been done by E. Zerhelst the Elder,
a Dutch sculptor, who may have contributed the plastic nude figures
above the main entrance and on the cornice of the Hall of Mirrors.

The Bavarian monarchy, founded under
vanished

in

turn after a

Wittelsbachs
sionally

it

Rupprecht.
his

many

in the

is

still

little

over

a

the aegis of Napoleon,

hundred years of

existence.

The

have the right to occupy the south wing, and occa-

exercised by

When

ancestors

Herzog

Albrecht,

son of

Grand Prince

he gives a personal reception there, the shades of

who had

darkness amongst the

so great a love of building,
trees,

may

gather

gazing with approval upon the nov-

left: ELECTOR
FERDINAND-MARIA;

above

GRAND DUKE
KARL ALBRECHT;
left: GRAND DUCHESS
MARIA AMALIA

above:

elty of a floodlit fountain.

Monk

Gibbon

195

"

"

:r

THE CEILING OF THE GREAT HALL

The Nymphenburg

is

the lightest of Baroque palaces

r

I

ijfcl J 1

9"'

,

i
r

:

:

\

-

'•>

i

«
;
'

_^_I
I
9

Y"*^£
^^^^^f
j
'f

1

i

'

Jfc

1

^

right:

1

Is

t^

IV

-V|

THE KITCHEN
196

g

IN

THE AMALIENBl RG

THE CHINESE ROOM

IN

THE NYMPHENBl'RG
opposite:

NYMPHENBURG: A CORNER OF THE GREAT HAM

THE CENTRE OF THE HOUSE

IN

THE LATE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY

Stupinigi
Piedmont

Juvara's hunting-lodge in
the palazzina

CACCIA

DI

few miles outside Turin.

It

was begun

Juvara, whose most ambitious

under the instructions of the

The King

(hunting lodge) of Stupinigi stands a

work

first

in

1729 by the architect Filippo

He worked

undoubtedly was.

it

King of Sardinia, Vittorio Amedeo

II.

strove to live in the style of his fellow eighteenth-century

monarchs and the Palazzina

di Caccia

is

consciously monarchical frame of mind.
outside Turin which Vittorio

one of the

The

fruits

of this

self-

palace was built on land

Amedeo's Elizabethan great-great-grand-

father had given to the knightly order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus.
Vittorio
his labours.

on

in the

Amedeo
Most

died, however, very shortly after

Juvara began

work on the palace was therefore carried
son Charles Emmanuel. But Charles Emmanuel

of the

reign of his

was more concerned with the

practical rather than the architectural side

of monarchy. Indeed he managed, during his reign, to increase the
family
lies to

inigi

kingdom by

of that section of the

the west of the River Ticino.

was

The

Duchy of Milan which

practical consequence at Stup-

that the architect's original grandiose plans

abbreviated.

was

all

The

construction,

originally foreshadowed. It

furthermore, took

was not

were somewhat

much longer than

until the last thirty years

the eighteenth century that the building began to assume

shape.

New

architects such as Ignatio Bartola, Birago di

its

of

modern

Borgaro and

Ludevico Bo took over after Juvara's death. Charles Emmanuel himself died. It

was

his

son Vittorio

Amedeo

III

who

first

used the palace,

holding there specially sumptuous parties for the marriages of his sons
in

1773 and 1781.

opposite:

198

ORIGINALLY A HUNTING-LODGE,
IS DOMINATED BY A HUGE STATUE OF A STAG

STUPINIGI

»

:JJil

.

"-•

ia^-wui

unjfei
F

r r

I a

tat'

au*

yijtj

oil.

I

»:«:

STFPINIGI

\.\KAS ORIGINAL SKI l< n
FOR THE ENTRANCE FRONT

Jl

The
was

period of royal occupation of the palace of Stupinigi

first

Amcdeo

brief. Strongly anti-revolutionary in feeling, Vittorio

III

Napoleonic Wars. The

rallied to the side of his fellow kings in the

whole of Piedmont was accordingly over-run hy French armies. Stupinigi

passed to private hands, becoming
of Turin. Napoleon used

sity

1802

in

a part of the

as a country house in

it

there twice while supervising the formal annexation

The

France.

Univer-

1803, staying

<>t

Piedmont

to

palace was also used for a time as the Italian residence

of Napoleon's

the enchanting Pauline Borghesc.

sister,

After Waterloo, Stupinigi returned to the royal family of Savoy,

who

continued to use the palace as a hunting lodge throughout

the nineteenth century. In 1926, finally, Stupinigi

VITTORIO AMEDEO

II

OF SAVOY

Order of

Saints

was returned

Maurice and Lazarus, who had

all

the

to the

time

re-

tained their ownership of the land on which the palace was built.

Certain

bomb damage was caused during

the second world war.

pious proprietors have, however, restored
Stupinigi Palace

French garden,
of Juvara

is

is

at the

approached by

it

Drawing

the gardens give

nearer,

way

colonnaded outhouses which lead past two court-

palace, the magnificent deer

park stretches

Inside the palace the chief glory
a

past splendour.

long drive through a formal

a

yards to the hexagonal courtyard of honour.

is

its

end of which the central green domed building

plainly visible.

to a long series of

room. This

to

The

is

On

the other side of the

as far as the eye can see.

the Salone Centrale or ball-

long oval with a high dome. Four vast pillars

On

to an elegant gallery.

the roof of the dome, Diana

is

rise

seen leav-

ing tor the chase ~ a painting by the brothers Valeriani, completed

THE BALLROOM, AS CONCEIVED BY JCVARA
AND AS IT APPEARED SOON AFTER COMPLETION

in the

year 1731.

The

superbly elegant stucco and frescoes

Salone Centrale one of the most successful of

The

other rooms of the Stupinigi Palace open

this central jewel.

ber,

a

bedroom,

The apartments
small salon

a

all

in

baroque

make

interiors.

four directions from

of the King consist of an antecham-

(salottino)

and the chapel of Saint

Humbert. These rooms are adorned by frescoes of hunting
Specially interesting here
ot

the chapel to Saint

eighteenth

century),

Queen Margarita,
III

NTING-SCENE

AT STUPINIG1
BY CIGNAROLI

200

is

scenes.

the ornate decoration of the antechamber

Humbert.

In the

New

used most recently as

the

the

Apartments (of the
a

most dazzling painting

residence
is

late

by the late

the Sacrifice of Iph-

igenia,

by Giovanni Hattista Crosato, on the ceiling of the ante-chamber

to the

Queen's bedroom, which

itself

opposite:

is

notable for the same painter's

ANTE-CHAMBER TO THE NEW APARTMFNTS

T;

}

STUPINIG1

THE DOMED CEILING OF THE BALLROOM, ABOUT
cool and inviting
the

Repose of Diana,

new apartments are

style.

1730

Beyond these

is

also on the ceiling.

a series ol small

a delightful

1

rooms decorated

hinting

room

Leading
in a

off

Chinese

{Sola degli Scudieri)

whose walls are decorated by Yittorio Amcdco Cignaroli's famous
hunting scenes. Also

in

rooms (Apparlamenlo
in

the style of Louis

the so-called
di

New

Levante). This

XVI.

In a gallery of portraits

It

Apartments are the Eastern
suite

possesses a Chinese

severely elegant
itsell

is

a

silent

its

last

his

I

ol great beauty.

louse of Savoy,

journey to Milan when

resting place.

bedroom where Napoleon
monument to the Emperor's

slept

Penally there
in

1803.

is

the

The bed

silent hours.

Hugh Thomas

THE BALLROOM, OR SALONE CENTRALE

THE GALLERY AT THE FOOT OF THE DOME AND ABOVE THE
BALLROOM

opposite:

202

room

otherwise devoted to the

Napoleon's coach, used on the occasion of
hcing crowned, has found

decorated throughout

is

K

Harmony

of

taste,

variety of associations

THE BEDROOM WHERE NAPOLEON SLEPT

IN

A DOOR INTO THE LIBRARV

opposite:

THE CHINESE ROOM

1803

LOOKING FROM THE KING'S APARTMENTS TO THE BALLROOM
21

'/*.

n^

\

V
a

*/\

*

4
:>

THE GARDEN FRONT

IN

1724,

BY SALOMON KLEINER

Pommersfelden
The

ease and spaciousness of
IN ITS

RURAL

known

as Schloss

neighbour

One

ism.

it

-

is

German Baroque

surroundings Schloss Weissenstein - more commonly

Pommersfelden from the two

a surprise,

drives out

tiny hamlets

which

and something of an agreeable anachron-

from the most charming and

spoiled of

least

Franconian towns, Bamberg, whose theatre Hoffmann once directed,

and where he wrote

his

and the scenery

fantastic tales,

just that

is

which he enjoyed: rolling country, green woods, vast carefully
vated

fields

together

in

undesecrated by habitation, since the various farms cluster

seemly groups.

A

narrow farm-wagon

two tawny-coloured cows; women ply the
light
is

sandy

seen,

culti-

soil;

passes,

drawn by

scythe, or hoe crops in the

and presently the brown outline of the great Schloss

vaguely defined,

far

ahead against

downland and dark green wooded
Pommersfelden

is

its

background of low

hills.

magnificent; yet

blends peacefully with

it

its

setting,

never disturbing for an instant the bucolic serenity which sur-

rounds

it.

Owned

today by Countess Ernestina von Schonborn (nee

Princess Ruffa-Scaletta) and her son, Count Karl von Schonborn-Wiesenthcid. collateral relatives of

originator,

its

which Briihl and Bcnrath have inevitably
still

has a personal

life

of

its

lost.

(

chosen

opp'.ute:

a

lot,

THE TREPPENHACS, OR CENTRAL STAIRCASE

much

He

no mere

relic,

it

headgear.

was infatuated with

himself, saying that

but then every fool likes his

an expensive

is

1655-1729) was Elector ami Arch-

bishop of Main/, and Bishop of Bamberg.

which costs

It

has kept something

own.

Lothar Fran/, von Schonborn

building. lie admitted as

it

Most

of

his

it

own

private

was
hat'.

'a

craze

He

fortune

had

went

207

J\rt
1.3.1 1 Mil <...-. B /., .«.,«./.
In t.uunt l.i Ki.J. I .«, .1,.. /,
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6

PLAN OF THE IIOISE AND GARDEN

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.

IN 1724

either

on

'once

you

or on pictures. 'Building

it

you can't

start,

Hyacinth Rigaud, with
crab-like,

eyes,

little

its

is

stop.'

The

portrait of Lothar, painted by

double chin, tightened underlip and shrewd,

not particularly prepossessing, yet

to suggest the connoisseur

and also the man of good

He

hear of the archbishop

is

endearing nature,

of liveliness and humour,

full

all to his credit.

The Secretary of War for
and who was noted for his critical

prince'.

natural sweetness and

He

spect'.

took

a

What we

will.

described as 'of an

and every inch

who

the Netherlands,

was

nature, wrote that he

had had

of

charm and commanding everyone's love and

re-

genuine technical interest

in architecture

was not content merely

gave many commissions to living

Garten

direct

contact with

Versailles

in

the

and

its

theory.

mas-

to purchase old

Italian painters.

Oberintendenten

and was interested

the pruning and shaping of fruit trees.
'I

get up at

hours and again

5

a

him

visited

Every

of garden architecture and administration interested him.

detail

ews,

is

manages

it

'full

In collecting pictures he
ters but also

he exclaimed,

a devilish thing',

is

in

in the

the morning,

in

He

walk

der

1

Koniglichen

the use of water and

wrote to one of
in

le

the garden

his

in

neph-

for a

few

afternoon and evening and with the greatest

pleasure in the world'.

Lothar Frank's elaborate gardens, on each
are

now

a

matter only for inference from the

by Salomon Kleiner

Welsch

in a

1724.

in

But

his

stables

side of
fine

Pommersfelden

engravings

remain,

designed by

great arc facing the main facade, with their line of stone

hgures ami emblems sharply silhouetted against the sky, and
statues of Julius Caesar

door.

LOTHAR FRANZ VON SCH6NB0RN:
PORTRAIT BV HYANCINTH RIGAUD
208

hall

In

made

the centre of

and Alexander on either

side of the

the arc and beneath the belfry

is

a

with

main

circular

which now houses tour sleighs of early pattern and whose walls

display frescoes by the Swiss artist Byss. Nearby, beyond a harness

room

smelling strongly of leather and with a

hung

symmetrically upon

formidable array of

blanket against the wall, are no

a

highly varied, yellow-wheeled vehicles of

main

the

which arose -

building,

living

memory.

1711

modified version of

a

main block

central portion of the

two projecting

is

with impressive grandeur bet-

rises

anil protective wings.

The

and

hand
the

1668

in

in

a

it.

in

much

1745, having contributed so

city,

was Johann

architect

Neue Resident

for

Bamberg, 1695-1704. But both Johann Lukas von

who was born

Hildebrandt,
in

in

vaster

still

mellow and sun-kissed. The

Dientzenhofer, whose uncle had already built the

Lothar Franz

to

and 1718. The stonework of the

from the river Main,

Schloss, sandstone

its

them

past age, none ot

one can look across the sandy courtyard

stable

the

plans - between the years

ween

than ten

of them reminiscent of that leisurely and privileged

all

world which has passed away within

From

less

Genoa and who died

in

Vienna

to the architectural glory of that

Maximilian von Welsch, Lothar's protege, also had

The

height and dignity of the main facade

two pairs of lofty columns embodied

ing in the two arched ami gabled

pediment with

POMMERSFELDEN

have been occupied by Lothar

as ancient as the sleighs or likely to

Fran/, but

a

bits

its

There

a

stressed by

is

is

baroque dar-

windows which Hank

the very fine

in

it.

armorial bearings, surmounted by a statue of Mer-

cury holding the aegis. Behind him rises a tiled and almost pagodalike section of the roof. Similary placed, but

holds up the world

The

Marmorsaal,
interior of

legend that

all

side,

(of intermingled circular iron bands)

north-east facade, with
the lofty

on the garden

its
is

five

and

this

high oval windows which help to light

almost the more impressive of the two.

Pommersfelden

German

Atlas

is

one more refutation of the

grand-ducal magni licence

is

a

shoddy imitation

of the glories of Versailles. Franconian artistry and workmanship account for the greater part of

it.

Whispered accusations of plagiarism

have been made against Zammels, the sculptor responsible for many
of

its

statues, both out ot doors, in the Sala

gallery of the staircase.

century and

a

halt.

His eight symbolic

THE CENTRAL BLOCK

I

lis

Terena and

in

the north

Hut he anticipates Maillol by more than a

Juno

figures, the

in

a niche

on the staircase

is

THE GARDEN, OR NORTH, IRoNl

charming.

Four Elements and the Four Seasons,

TIIFv

STABLKS, BCILT IN

1717

209

VESTIBULE LEADING TO THE MARMORSAAL

THE HEAD OF THE STAIRCASE
in

and

the shell-decorated

though they may be on the massive

saal,

Terena or Muschel-

slightly bizarre. Sala
side, are

rhythmic and pleas-

and

ing and a refreshing contrast to the bijouterie of shells

The

was by Hildebrandt.

staircase

which unite

in

A

rectangular gallery, with

first

double approaches

Marmorsaal whose door

front of the

either side by niches containing statues.

runs above the

has

It

and supporting columns, almost

like

crystals.

flanked on

is

second, arcaded, gallery
its

wide marble balustrade

two separate loges

in a

theatre

of the period. Far above one catches sight of Byss's ceiling fresco

work

of the Four Continents, a forerunner of Tiepolo's famous

Wurzburg, which

it

may have

Pommersfelden with

its

suggested.

four elements, four seasons,

and four continents, may suggest bondage

pires,

even to the formula. But the reverse

have not robbed

it

it

its

grey marble

ceiling

its

hung

in

to

the formal and

Two

whole centuries

its

lofty

where

show

its

rather cold, egg-shell wall-colour,

somewhat impersonal
bust of Lothar

note.

Franz

in

Steidl;

Wherea

niche

or

the

his magnificent collection of paint-

what might almost be

a private art gallery to

Marmorsaal, with

Ganymede by Melchior

painting of

long, open, sunny corridors

ings are

its

floor, strikes a

as the Kurfiirstenzimmer, with

and

the case.

The

to possess.

deeply-sunk, upper oval windows,

and

is

four em-

of that ease and comfort and graciousness which

creator intended

its

at

called prodigal adjacency

his friends,

-

with Titian, Rubens, Breu-

ghel and Diirer - as well as the rooms which house his superb library

and

collection of manuscripts; even the glittering

and splendid Spicgcl-

kabinctt, a blaze of gold decoration, of mirrors

and chandeliers and

with a particularly lovely parquet floor; are,

meant

to be lived in

in

the past

to

warm

all

of them, plainly rooms

and loved; and the love which they have had

from successive generations

still

seems to be present and

them.

Monk

210

right:

THE MARMORSAAL, WITH

Gibbon

ITS

UPPER OVAL WINDOWS

CEILING OF TI1K

MARMORSAAL BY ROTTMAVER VON ROSENBRUNN,

NORTH-SOUTH SECTION THROUGH THE CENTRE OF THE HOUSE

1717

l'OM.MKRSFELDEN

THE GROTTO, OR SALA TERRRNA, WITH FIGURES BY ZAMMELS

VIEW ALONG THE EASTERN WING FROM THE MARMORSAAL

THE STATE BEDROOM,
ABOUT 1716

left:

ENTRANCE POORS TO THE
SPIEGELKABINETT

The rooms of a man
who loved what he created
<,pp„si)c:

THE FLOOR OF THE SPIEGELKABINETTl

m%

II

1

(/ A

JgNj

^K

i^^fr

:

'

1

THE HOUSE

IN

1794,

FROM A PAINTING BY JANSCHA

Bruhl
The

pleasure-palace of an Archbishop

FOR well over
to be a

a

hundred and

synonym for

fifty

extravagance and corrupt

artistic

has been restored to favour at last and
a

new generation of craftsmen who

rococo intention and

who

years baroque decoration 'came

in

but

Germany today

taste',
is

it

producing

understand baroque and

fully

can re-mould as well as re-gild rocaille

ornament, as well as stress the brightness of rose-pink, sea-green and
slate-blue 'marble' surfaces.

Two

years after Clemens August, Karl Albrecht's brother, became

archbishop-elector of Cologne

1723, the foundation stone of the

in

Schloss Augustusburg was laid on the

The

plans were by Johann

site

of the old castle at Bruhl.

Konrad Schlaun.

He

contemplated some-

thing relatively modest and in the style of the local,
castles'.

ferent

was

It

summer

to be a

moated

palace and hunting-lodge, very dif-

from the gorgeous building which

the round towers of the western

later

came

into being,

Even

embodied

in

when

wing were torn down, the moat

abolished and the Schloss became the Chateau de Plaisir which
today.

'water-

so there are traces of

its

we

see

thirteenth-century forerunner

the walls and layout of the Schloss.

Bruhl, like the Wiir/.burg Residenz, was built over several years.

There was

this first period,

the guidance of Schlaun.
his

brother's architect,

which lasted from 1725

Then Clemens August

Franqois Cuvillies.

1728 under

called in the aid of

ten years

the

an advisory capacity and was responsible for nearly

acted

in

work

that

went on.

It

latter
all

the

was he who decided that the south faqade

should open onto a great terrace and

214

For

to

formal garden and that

opposite:

it

THE SOUTH, OR GARDEN, FRONT BY

CUVILLIfiS

He

should be the main front and linked up to an Orangerie.

and gold, for the summer

the decoration, in white
as the state

rooms

the west wing and

in

much

general scheme but added

The

apartments, as well

He

faqade.

its

sculptural detail to

more famous

kept Schlaun's

it.

third period in the evolution of the Schloss

arrival of an even

BRlIIL

designed

come with

the

- the great Balthasar Neu-

figure

mann. Cuvillies had kept Schlaun's staircase but the prince-bishop had
decided long ago that, despite Schlaun's schooling

Neumann

not up to contemporary standards.

1740. Cuvillies had gone back to Munich

suggested was carried out after he

rooms on the ground

architect, that the lovely

to

Bruhl

in

that

he

Much

1733.

in

was under

It

left.

came

first

he was

Italy,

in

CLEMENS AUGUST, ARCHBISHOP OF COLOGNE

Leveilly, a local

floor of the southern

wing were completed.

Neumann drew up

He

great dining-hall.
burg,
case

first

plans

for

an entirely new staircase and a

supervised the execution of them from Wur/,-

under Leveilly and then under

H. Roth. Schlaun's

J.

stair-

was removed and the new Stiegenhaus was created between 1743

and 1748. Most of
come. Roth was

its

more gorgeous additions however had

charge at Bruhl from 1754

in

Von

1770.

till

still

to

Stuber

executed ceiling-paintings for the staircase and for the rooms to which

Guard Room -

they led; the

really

awaiting audience - and the dining-room with
gallery.

Much

artisans

and

charming railed
local

Roth had under him for the stucco work

latter carried out the great

who were

;

followed later by

Brilli.

The

cartouche above the gold bust of the Elec-

ENTRANCE FRONT, WITH
THE 13th CENTURY MOAT

and also the pairs of giant caryatids, symbolising Music, Painting,

Agriculture

etc.

upraised arms.

but

visitors

But when the decoration of

artists to Cuvillies' designs.

Joseph Artario and Biazelli

its

its

for

work had been done by

of the earlier decorative

the great staircase began,

tor,

room

reception

a

who appear to be holding up the ceiling with their
The most striking feature of the staircase is probably

four separate groups of figures supporting the vaulting either side;
its

hand-rail of lovely ironwork, and the fascinating complexity of

detailed decoration on the wall just above

and grace -

give

a lightness

it

contrast to the firm stability of these figures - quite

in

as effective in

its flight,

way

its

as the simpler nobility of

Wurzburg.

In the great portrait of Clemens August by G.

Desmarees

1746 we see very much the secular prince, rather than the

was the aspect of

his

cleric.

in

This

dual function of archbishop-elector which he

clearly preferred to stress.

For years he postponed going

Rome

to

to

be consecrated as archbishop by the Pope, since, so long as he remained

unconsecrated, there was
his

behaviour.

hundred and

He

fifty

was extravagant.

exact status.

two of

summoned him

We

for the ambiguity of

He

had

whom were
to Rome to

so lovely that the

\\ e

Opposite:

a

Pope

is

give an explanation of their

who

achieved episcopal rank; but we hear

of a natural daughter of Clemens August

who was

Court

hear no backstairs gossip about the various members

of the Schonborn family

cousin

at his Elector's

some of

chamberlains, a court fool, a court dwarf, and sev-

eral Italian singers,

said to have

more excuse

whom

he married to her

CARLO CARLONE DID THE STUCCO
FOR THE DINING-ROOM

the son of Karl VII.

can see at Bruhl

many

of Clemens August's possessions and

THE GREAT STAIRCASE OF BALTHASAR NEUMANN WAS BUILT

1743-8

217

The

staircase at Bruhl

combines lightness
with magnificence
THE

CEILING, BY CARLO

CARLONE

m

TWO

OF THE FOUR GROUPS OF STATUARY SUPPORTING THE STAIRCASE

-

He

rooms connected with him.

the

made

later he

relief

so on.

favourite

a

blue-tiled Delft

into a writing-room - with stucco

it

of various bath

He

had

articles,

found

to be

ornamentation

in

comb, cauldron of heated water and

loved falconry and a whole series of

hawks are

bathroom

in

oil

paintings of his

IfciA

one of the long, cool, lower cor-

ridors at Bruhl.

Those who
to cross
life in

its

visit

the Schloss

The creator of the Schloss
1761 on his way to Munich to attend

the mid-eighteenth century

accouchement of

in

was

like.

a relative, the Electress of

For four years, from 1809

until

Saxony.

1813, Bruhl was

of the French marshal, Davout. After peace was
the possession of Prussia

liam

IV of

slippers

felt

polished floors cannot leave without an inkling of what

died two hundred years ago
the

and don the immense

Prussia.

and

Today

once more, one of the

in

1842

it

made

the possession
it

passed into

was restored by King Wil-

this architectural

finest survivals

in

phoenix renews

its

of a great period.

Monk
218

right:

youth

Gibbon

STUCCO, SCULPTURE, IRONWORK AND MARBLE IN SPLENDID COMBINATION

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THE RESIDENZ

ABOUT

IN

1770

The Residenz, Wurzburg
The

highest flight of Baroque daring

Pevsner HAS

said, 'Between 1650 and 1750 Germany experienced

a revival in art that

brought her

to the forefront, too, of

whom

from

European

a

European music,

With neighbours
and borrow, with native builders who

she could learn

had adaptability and

to the forefront of

sensitivity

architecture...'.

to

many

generations of superb woodcarvers,

fitted

to risk the higher

flights

form inherited from

plastic

she was peculiarly well-

of baroque daring. Lastly she had

the inestimable advantage of enlightened patronage.

All this

is

demonstrated

were concerned with

it.

in the

Wurzburg

The French

Many

Residenz.

people

Boffrand and

court-architects,

One encountBalthasar Neumann,

de Cotte, were invited to advise at a preliminary stage.
ers there the

most famous of German

architects,

protege of the prince-bishop of Wurzburg,
a bell-founder, then

of colonel.

He

finally

became

who began

a military engineer

his career as

and rose

to the

rank

achieved a European reputation, having designed

numerous churches and residences and even

a

new Imperial

palace

in

One meets Lucas von Hildebrandt, court architect in Vienna,
and Maximilian von Welsch, who held the same position to the
Elector of Mainz. One meets the Swiss-Italian sculptor and stuccatore
Vienna.

Ludovico Bossi
Bossi of Lugano.

from

One

Stuttgart,

and

his

famous brother Antonio

meets, with his sons, Giandomenico and Lo-

renzo, the greatest decorative painter of his age, Giovanni Battista

Tiepolo

opposite:

(1696-1770), whose work almost perished

THE CHAPEL HAS TWO ALTARS, ONE ABOVE THE OTHER

in

the

terrible

221

THE

THE WEST ENTRANCE FRONT
on Wurzburg on the night of the 16 March 1945, when

air raid
in

twenty minutes

five

thousand buildings were either damaged or

destroyed.

that

The foundation was laid in
Tiepolo came to Wurzburg

which were

1720, but

was not

it

who

denz, two were

Of

1750
work,

to begin his three years of

to put the final touch of genius to its interior.

prince-bishops

until

the four

occupied the see during the creation of the Resi-

members of

and nephews of

the Schonborn family

Lothar Franz. Lothar himself was fascinated by the project and made
constant suggestions, some his own, some emanating from his architects

Dientzenhofer and von Welsch. His nephew, Count Johann Philipp

Franz von Schonborn (1673-1724), had been made Bishop of Wurzburg

the

in

autumn of 1719.

He

had been an ambassador

at various

and the Wurzburg chapter - whose Domprobst he was - even

courts,

before they elected him, were uneasily aware of his taste for magnificence. Since
in the

1253 occupants of the see had lived across the

Marienburg. But

a fortress

of the time, and plans for a

was not

in

new Residenz

keeping with the

spirit

Rennweg were
know that his time

the

in

begun immediately. The new archbishop seemed

was short and he would get up

river,

to

middle of the night, fetch a

in the

compass and study the plans. Lothar Franz remarked that Neumann

would go

was doing so much drawing on the

blind, he

Johann Philipp

lived to see only one fifth of the house completed.

Neumann had planned

a

frontage of

five

hundred and

court of honour, and two inner and enclosed courts.

added

later the

two further

fivefold assemblage.

was

a scholar

project.

When

who

side courts

Johann Philipp's

who had been

who by

to be

that time

added by

222

in

1749.

Welsch

which make up the present

successor, Fiirstbischof Hutten,

On

the 31 December, 1744, Frie-

was seventy years of

his successor

who, after one intermediate
burg

a

Imperial Vice-Chancellor, was elected

completion of the Residenz, although
still

these

feet,

did not contribute to the ambitious and expensive

Bishop of Bamberg and Wurzburg.

had

To

fifty

he died in 1729, Johann Philipp's brother, Friedrich

Karl (1674-1746),

drich Karl,

plans.

election,

many

of

age, witnessed the

its

crowning glories

Karl Philipp von Greiffenclau,

became Fiirstbischof of Wurz-

EAST, OR GARDEN,

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Grciffenclau was responsible for some of the breathtaking features

of the Residenz:

the Tiepolo staircase ceiling -

it

is

his

medallion-

Europe -

portrait which floats amidst the clouds above the continent of

work by Antonio

the statues and stucco
its

Rossi in the Kaisersaal with

vaulted ceiling and further masterpieces by Tiepolo; and the dec-

orative

work

many

in

of the other rooms. But Greiffcnclau deeply

respected Friedrich Karl, whose coat-of-arms and portrait he placed

above one of the fireplaces

in

the Kaisersaal, with his

own above

the

other.

The uneven

cobbled

forecourt

partitioned by the iron lattice

Oegg which was
but

is

still

of

the

work from

the

unfortunately removed early

flanked at

its

Residenz

is

no longer

hand of the younger

in the

nineteenth century,

extremities by two great pillars surmounted

by a bronze globe and with the modern fountain which commemorates
three of Wiirzburg's most famous sons, Walter von der Vogelweide,

Tilman Riemenschneider and Matthias Griinewald.

The

Spiegelkabinet and the rooms

that in which
sential

ONE OF TIEPOLO'S SKETCHES FOR THE

WiRZBURG FRESCOES

glories

Napoleon
of the

slept,

in

the north wing, including

were wrecked

in

the raid, but the es-

Residenz remain. They were saved by solid

vaulting above the Kaisersaal and staircase - perhaps the most beau-

'PERHAPS THE MOST BEAl"TIFt*L STAIRCASE IN THE WORLD"

THE PART OF TIEPOLO'S CEILING WHICH REPRESENTS
EUROPE: BALTHASAR NEUMANN LIES IN THE CENTRE, BESIDE THE DOGl

opposite:

224

VVURZBURG

HMBK

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THE ENTRANCE HALL
TO THE RESIDENZ,
WURZBURG

226

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world. Over the triple width of the dividing

tiful staircase in the

casc and

its

wide surround on the Hoor above,

of Tiepolo's wonderful ceiling with

pears to
is

dome, hut

rise in a

Neumann's
and

who came

reply

to see

was

to offer to fire

would hring

if it

here

1738, distrusted this

in

would hang himself from

vault and said that he

to test

it

an artillery salute

Two

down.

it

which ap-

deceptive depth,

its

only about sixteen feet high. So huge

is

area that Hildehrandt,

its

immense expanse

the

is

WURZBURG

stair-

its

in

solidity.

honour

hundred years

its

later

it

was

put to a very similar test and emerged triumphant.

Seen

upon

in the

evening light the ceiling earns every panegyric lavished

Almost apocalyptic

it.

and groups of

in

its

eloquence,

individual

the

figures of the four Continents are vivid

and

figures

realist.

each a dominant female figure symbolises the Continent; but she
only part of the panorama which

conspectus which has given the ceiling

of gold and colour.

In

which Welsch planned

vaulting,

gundy and

a

much

to

give the

Emperor Barbarossa,

his sun-chariot

is

drawn

a bla/.e

is

and

deply-recessed

room

addit-

Beatrice of Bur-

earlier Fiirstbischof of Wiir/.burg.

god Apollo with

human

the

unique grandeur.

spaces between the

the

ional light, Tiepolo painted the

the

its

is

it

elaborate and complex grandeur of the Kaisersaal

windowed

KARL

TIEPOLO'S PORTRAIT OF
PHILIPP VON GREIFFENCLAU

of intense

detail

are the planets, symbolised by appropriate gods. But

The

is

empyrean between these four impelling assemblages

In the

interest.

packed with

is

In

On

the ceiling

swiftly across the heaven

by those deep-bellied charges which the artist loved to depict.

Neumann

designed the walls of stucco marble and the three-

quarter columns with richly

capitals.

gilt

and the four charming

the prodigal wealth of rococo decoration
tues,

Antonio Bossi contributed

Poseidon and Juno, Flora and Apollo,

end of the room.

He

ceiling painting, with

precedes Tiepolo,

began

1749 with the Gartensaal, where Zick's

in

lacks

decorated the Kaisersaal

paired niches at either

in

deep colours, integrity and Teutonic charm,

its

but

stat-

the

final

exuberance

1750, the Weisser Saal

in

of

in

Bossi

genius.

1753; and,

THE KAISERSAAL, WITH

TIEPOLO'S PAINTING

OF APOLLO IN HIS CHARIOT

later,

when, according to some people he was mad, he did the two symbolic
groups of an old man,

now

in the

a

young man, and

winged angel, which are

a

Gartensaal.

The Residenz

is

full

of beautiful things, including tapestry from

founded by Johann Philipp von Schonborn

the factory

tremendous colour,

Hofkapclle, a joint creation of
illustrative

of the

nothing to suggest

full
its

1721 and

The Commedia
humour and vitality. The

taken over by Pirot of Frankfurt seven years
dell'Arte series have

in

Neumann and

later.

Hildehrandt,

is

strongly

exuberance of ecclesiastical rococo. There
existence

did not wish to disturb the

is

from the garden outside. Neumann

symmetry of

his

southern faqade. With

its

ingenious arrangement of slanting windows,

its

its

two main

lovely gold-canopied

altars

one above the other, and

its

twisted columns,

pulpit

and the other embellishments which the age permitted, the

chapel

is

garded

one more reminder of

a time

as an appropriate illustration of

when material beauty was
its

re-

celestial counterpart.

Monk

Gibbon

THE GARTENSAAL. STUCCO BY

ROSSI,

PAINTINGS BY ZICK

opposite:

CEILING OF THE GARTENSAAL

229

l^i

"

THE WEST FAQADE

Claydon
A

smaller English country-house of delightful elegance
this

is

border country,

west of England and the

Claydon from
shire,

the border between the

wheat lands of the

flat

Bicester, passing

wet and stormy

east.

Approaching

into

Buckingham-

from Oxfordshire

one leaves the ochreous Cotswold stone at the county boundary

and comes

This too was the border between the

into brick country.

Roundhead

Royalist west and the

the line running southwards

east,

through the Chilterns where consciences were searched most sleeplessly

and where the best of the landed gentry took

ly

and gave

at

Claydon

sides

most anxious-

most nobly. The Verneys, who had held land

their lives

were desperately divided, one

since the fifteenth century,

son supporting Parliament and accepting

exile,

the other killed light-

ing for the King at Drogheda.
'In 1611', writes

the

'Sir

Charles

I.

He

the

to

is

cause

when

the Civil

to the King. "I
thirty years,

service

and

of the younger brother,

War

was convinced of
broke

have eaten
I

his

out.

future

my

(which

and defend." And indeed after the
gentleman was found hacked

loyal

bread", he wrote, "served him for near

do so base

life

the justice of Parliament's

a thing as to

am

I

sure

and defend those things which are against
battle

to pieces

my

I

forsake him, but

shall do) to preserve

conscience to preserve

of Edgehill

on the

field,

his

this

gallant

severed hand

firmly grasping the royal standard.'

Out of

the plain rise isolated hills: on one of them, facing south

beside the village church, Sir

THE NORTH HALL

the

Yet he remained unshakably

will not

choose rather to lose

opposile:

joined

one of the truly tragic seventeenth-century cavaliers.

stalwart Protestant, he

still

Edmund Verney

Household of Henry Prince of Wales, on whose early death he

was transferred

A

James Lees-Milne,

Edmund Verney had

built a

decent red-

231

CLAYDON

brick mansion; and as the family, safely

Hanoverians,

his

found himself

in

great-grandson

spirit,

whose design for

to rise to the occasion.

He

found

kindred

a

of Rokeby, sometime Governor of Barbados,

a great stone west-facing facade,

on the old brick house,
eccentricity

Its

now second Karl Verney,

farouche, eccentric, spendthrift amateur of architecture,

in the

Thomas Robinson

Sir

the

the seventecn-fifties with a draughty old house, and

and money enough

taste

Ralph,

Whig, prospered under

obvious

is

showed most of

itself

in

turning

back

its

these characteristics.

dualism of the design,

the unresolved

with an enormous ballroom pretending to be one of a pair of twostorey houses and a central rotunda quite failing to dominate them
both.

Some
survived
left:

SIR

EDMUND VERNEY BY VANDYCK;

FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE
BY SIR WILLIAM RICHMOND c.

of the correspondence between

in

an

attic at

architect

1860

has

client

Claydon, and shows more than the usual run

of crises, conflicts, reconciliations, triumphs and disasters. Source of

most of the disputes that enlivened the building, and of

right:

and

was

a mysterious figure

who

of genius,

made
at

it

named

its final

beauty,

Lightfoot, a freelance carver-decorator

played fast and loose with normal job procedure and

necessary for Robinson to abandon the balls and breakfasts

Ranelagh (of which he was director and master of ceremonies)

and drive down

to

Buckinghamshire

more often than he had bargained
Verney family, which produced

to

for.

in that

hold Lord Verney's hand

A

strain of

fantasy in the

century a pirate and a high-

wayman

as well as the extravagant second earl, the element of

lomania

in

which the

'long Sir

Thomas', and the 'no small trace of madness'

found

latter

mega-

in

Lightfoot, combined to produce the inev-

cracking walls, severed relations, financial collapse. Rob-

itable result:

inson died blind

in

work went on under Lightfoot

1777, but the

until

when Verney himself went bankrupt. The great rotunda and
shaky ballroom were taken down fifteen years later. But in his

1784,
the

claim that he had left at Claydon 'two of the most princely rooms

in

Europe', Robinson for once did not exaggerate.

The house came through two women to
took the name and arms of Verney and took

Sir

Harry

as second wife Parthen-

ope, the shy and scholarly sister of Florence Nightingale,
self

who

Calvert,

who

her-

spent long periods at Claydon, writing her formidable letters,

while Parthenope

embarked on

the

Verney Papers. The old house, with

first
its

of the famous four-volume

Janus

faces,

matured and was

Ivy covered Robinson's classic stonework and a pair

Victorianised.

of heavy-handed 1860 bays were inserted into the mellow Jacobean
south front.

The

unfinished Georgian

as a library; the gardens
ed.

Through

in the

withdrawingroom was

fitted

were walled, and cottages and bothies

the foresight of the

Verney family, Claydon

is

out

erect-

now

safe

guardianship of the National Trust.

Driving up from the south or

east,

one comes between garden

walls and cottages into the wide mid-eighteenth century stable court,

somehow French

in feeling

with

its

rough grass and apple

from the lake on the west, Robinson's rather
belies

its

size.

From

the side door of

trees.

Even

artlessly detailed faqade

the north one enters without ceremony, through

what remains of the great

classical

house - to be

DETAIL OF NICHE IN THE NORTH HALL

232

opposite:

THE QUARTER-TON MARQUETRY DOORS OF THE SALOON

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astonished at once by the height of the ceiling and the delicacy of

CLAY DO

the rococo decoration.

Among
North
cube
in

I

[all,

interiors, the greatest are the

The North Hall

the saloon and the staircase.

long (ten feet

fifty feet

relation

wonders of the Claydon

the

less

lord Houghton exclaimed of

The

can stand upright".

it:

'I

But the overwhelming triumph of

this

carved

all

oration of the period,

an

it

room

one

Lightfoot's

is

is

it

rococo

that on walls and

wood. Unlike French or German dec-

in

stands out against the plain wall surfaces with

of supreme elegance and grace,

effect

feels

are set off by apple green.

decoration, and the astonishing thing about
is

striking,

is

walls and ceiling are lemon yellow, and the
frie/.e

it

Wilton) and

room where one

like a

bold white medallions of the Doric

ceiling alike

at

house the sense of space

the size of the

to

room

than the great

a double

is

the conventional

Chinese

Chippendale involutions complemented by naturalistic birds and
phies of a quality unexcelled in Europe.

One

tro-

passes into the silver-grey

saloon through magnificent marquetry doors,

each quarter-ton leaf

smoothly carried on only two brass hinges. The white wood doorcases
are correctly Corinthian, and the atmosphere

more sumptuous but

is

romantic. Portraits of seventeenth-century Verneys in eighteenth-

less

century frames cover the grey flock-papered walls, and above them

Adamesque

runs a delicate

and

is

flee in

The

equally

is

fine,

panic from the cracking ballroom.

frail

if

there

was

a single

mind behind

The

certainly has 'no small trace of

The

gests Lightfoot.

curtail step

madness

inlaid,

and so

in its

treads and risers are of

satinwood, teak, ivory and ebony; the

stair to

the splendid

marquetry and delicate ironwork of the

neath an oval coffered dome.

and

library ceiling

probably also by Joseph Rose, whose plasterers were later to

One doubts
of

frieze.

frail

is

soffits

amalgam

staircase, poised be-

on the stone hall floor
composition', and sug-

mahogany

inlaid with

are elegantly panelled

the finish that few people

now

climb the

hear the famous rustle of the iron ears of corn against the

wreaths and rosettes of the balustrade. At the top the sky floods down

through

a circlet

Claydon

of chinoiserie waves and sea-horses.
as original upstairs as

is

bedroom, pale and wooden,

it

is

a

unexpectedly pretty, though not partic-

and contains her only

ularly feminine,
to

is

down. Florence Nightingale's

portrait,

painted here. Next

Gothic bedroom, pale blue and white, with Strawberry Hill

doors and chimney-piece and three pink pentagonal Gothic domes. All

bedrooms contain

the

fanciful

examples of Lightfoot's carved rococo

embellishments. Finally one comes into the Chinese
in

England

to

Room,

the

first

attempt indoors the style of garden ornament brought

back from the East by Sir William Chambers. The doors and doorheads, with their realistic caryatids, the twin chimney-pieces, the Canton

bamboo

furniture, are

dominated by

a riotous fantasy, a carved

Chinese 'bedhead-grotto-pagoda'.

The house

is full

of music and children, the estate more intensively

farmed than ever before, and Ralph Yerney's magnificent orchards
fill

fifty

acres of

its

walled gardens and nearer

fields.

Lionel Brett

opposite:

BALUSTRADE OF THE STAIRCASE

THE FRAIL MARQCETRY OF THE STAIRCASE

235

CLAYDON

ALCOVE

A DOORCASE

IN

THE CHINESE ROOM

DETAIL OF THE FIREPLACE

The most

fantastic

example

of English Chinoiserie

236

opposite:

CHINESE TEA-PARTY WITHIN THE ALCCH

1-

THE ENTRANCE

IN

ENGRAVING BY

1826.

P.

J.

NEALE

Russborough
The

Palladian facade of an Irish country-house
RUSSBOROUGH,

midway through

built

eighteenth century for

the

the delight of one connoisseur, Joseph Leeson, 1st Earl of Milltown,

has

in the

course of the last decade had the good

hands of another,
impressed by

its

Sir

Alfred

Beit.

At the same
which makes it not only

It

tually

ing to

might be an

was

it

sees

it

to-day must be

triple graciousness; of situation, of architecture,

of unique content.
plicity,

Whoever

luck, to fall into the

built

time

it

a great

has an air of prevailing sim-

house but very lovable.

and more modest Nymphenburg, and

Irish

and

ac-

who came from Germany. AccordGustavus Hume, a County Fermanagh

by an architect

Maurice Craig,

Sir

gentleman, brought Richard Cassels - later to become Richard Castle

-

to Ireland about

Erne.

He

1727

had been born

to build
in

him

a house on the shores of

Lough

Hesse-Cassel, possibly of French extraction

deriving from the French-Netherlandish architectural family of

Ry, and, like
a flourishing

the

Dublin practice.

his plans

of Engineers.

was destined

Rotunda, although he died

began

to be put into action.

to

in

He

soon had

remodel Carton for

famous Dublin

1751 a few months before

Arriving

in Ireland,

well-versed

the tradition of Palladio, but sympathetically disposed towards the

new decorative trends
ence quickly

made

The house was

opposite:

He

officer

Earl of Kildare and was the designer of the

hospital, the

in

Neumann, was an

Du

in

itself

built

France and

in his native

Germany,

his influ-

felt.

on land bought

THE PRINCIPAL DRAWING-ROOM, LOOKING TOWARDS THE LIBRARY

in

1741 from an impover-

239

RUSSBOROUGH

ishcd

M.

from

his father

P.,

James Graydon, soon

who was

He

tures that a
to this

man

commissioned Count Rogone Chizzole

paintings, porcelains,

which he was constructing

a fortune

wealthy Dublin brewer. Leeson was a

a

of very considerable taste.
to collect statues,

had inherited

after Leeson

a

etc.

home

for the

Statues from Herculaneum, pic-

in Ireland.

grand duke or

damasks

king might envy, were to

way

find their

house which looks out, across pasture land and an informal

willow-bordered lake, towards the river Liffey and the not too
tant

mauve and

Wicklow Mountains.

blue

Russborough

is

twenty miles from Dublin, and two from the

pleasant eighteenth-century town of Blessington.

toured Ireland
wrote,

'If

in

dis-

work

1748, saw the

we may judge

in

Two

who

Englishmen,

progress, and one of them

of the picture by the outlines

we

shall

when

compleat beauty. Artificers from most parts of Europe

finished see a

are employed in this great work'.
It

JOSEPH LEESON,
1ST EARL OF MILLTOWN,

ry.

was

built of stone

It consists

of a centre and two wings, connected by semicircular

colonnades of Ionic

BY POMPEO BATTONI

ped by

from the neighbouring Golden Hill quar-

pillars,

a series of urns.

with granite mouldings and frieze, top-

In the colonnades are niches containing sta-

tues of Jupiter, Ceres, Hercules, Bacchus,
left side;

and of Diana,

and Apollo on the

a

Venus and Saturn on the

dancing Faun, Tragedy, Comedy, Mercury

right.

Russborough's frontage

is

seven hundred

than that of the Wiirzburg Residenz. But

and with the aid of the low walls which

feet,

below:

a

link up the wings with the

wide

flight

of the central block

JL

C
*

J»**

is

a sundial

is

simplicity itself.

of low steps, guarded by two heraldic stone

MILLTOWN'S CONTEMPORARIES SNEERED AT HIS 'ROCOCO TEMPLE'

t&zZP

greater

and

a clock.

The arrangement
mounts

is

achieves this modestly

it

two porched stable-yard gateways, on one of which
on the other

which

a

One
lions,

and passes straight
which

To

other doors lead.

five

Hall, a magnificent room, out of

Grand

into the

the left

what was formerly the library and

to the right

and

the drawing-room,

is

is

now

the dining-

room, the library having been moved to a corresponding but more
sequestered

room on

Grand

Since the

which flank

it,

there

the far side of the house.

nearly double the depth of the two rooms

lull is

I

is

space for a further

room or tapestry-room, and
and the back staircase

room on

the

for the well of both the

the tea-

left,

main

staircase

corresponding position on the east

in a

side,

before one reaches the entrance door of the middle of the three very

rooms which

beautiful

north side of the block,

entire

the

fill

the

music room, the Saloon and the library.

The

storey above

laid out with the

is

same ease and

directness.

There, both staircases emerge onto an immense carpeted lobby, which
has more the air of a grande salle than a lobby. In the centre of

two white

end of an oval, raised cupola, which gives

pillars at either

from four windows and which has decorative plaster

light

are

it

reliefs.

All round this lobby - where nothing has been allowed to intervene

and

the calm simplicity of the architect's original conceptions

spoil

- are the nine doors of the guest bedrooms, some with

powder
VII

closet

which was metamorphosed about the time of Edward

Apart from

its

and symmetry the crowning

virtues of grace

dours of Russborough are

its

and

ceilings

splen-

mantelpieces, and the

its

rooms. Richard Castle's highly-varied
sometimes coved, sometimes in rectangular compartments -

rococo murals
ceilings,

of

in certain

its

the architect's favourite style
as one passes

Each of

from room

to

- provide

is

museum piece and it would
most beautiful. They vary greatly both
head of Silenus in white marble may

the

A

design and substance.

a series of agreeable surprises

room.

the mantelpieces

hard to say which

a

is

superimposed upon a background of grey
case the stone has been quarried in

heads

in

Sicilian

Homer

Connemara or Kilkenny.

marble inlaid with

a

line

fireplace in the Saloon.
relief in

white marble:

a

in

SHALLOW, CURVED PORCHES FLANK THE FACADE

be

Exquisite

them bearing

at Naples, the other a possible

and each of them forming part of

be

marble. In another

the purest white Parian - one of

close resemblance to the
ripides,

spacious

bathroom.

into a

classic

a

a

Eu-

hermes of coloured

of white - preside on either side of the

Often the centre piece
this

in

case,

is

a small rectangular

Androcles and the Lion;

else-

where, Leda and the Swan.

The

family had been prominent

in public life,

although

in

1798

they seem to have been undeservedly suspect, probably because a certain

Joseph Leeson, nephew of the then

earl,

was accused of sympathy

with the United Irishmen, and was labelled 'the chief agitator that
first

low'.

seduced from their allegiance the peasantry of the County Wick-

The

rebels occupied

Russborough but treated

sures with studied respect, refraining

all

its

from the temptation

art treasto

make

THE ENTRANCE STEPS

national flags out of the green drugget which covered the very beautiful

inlaid flooring of the

might then

'ruin

his

Saloon on the grounds that their brogues

Lordship's

floor'.

The

soldiery

who followed

241

them, however,
fused
stay,

all

made

the place a shambles, and the government re-

RUSSBOROUGH

compensation tor their very lengthy ami highly destructive

and even exacted taxes for the time when they had been
Russborough, which for

a

time was

in

there.

the possession of Captain

Denis Daly, houses today the Beit Collection of paintings and art
treasures arranged without ever impairing the atmosphere of a home,

and with such

taste,

that at no time in

nearer the intention of

its

beautiful things. Vermeer's

Dona Antonia

first

The

owner

its

to

love-letter,

history can

make

it

a

it

have been

repository for

Goya's superb portrait of

Zarate, Murillo's six paintings of the Prodigal Son

(one of them recovered by Lord Dudley from the Pope) and numerous other historic pictures hang on
walls of the

Grand Hall

shelter a

its

walls,

most superb

and the niches

in the

collection of bronzes

and porcelain.

Monk

Gibbon

THE ENTRANCE HALL

A PORTRAIT OF ANTONIA ZARATE

sposht:

LEDA AND THE SWAN: DETAIL OF FIREPLACE

STUCCO RELIEFS ON THE WALL OF THE STAIRCASE

IN

THE MUSIC ROOM

243

®

4l
4

'v..

**$»"*

THE GARDEN FRONT SOON AFTER

ITS

COMPLETION

Sans Souci
A

retreat for a philosopher-king

POTSDAM

a

is

name

some people evokes only the militarism

that for

of Prussia, but for others recalls

hearted

in the

German

arms-factories
sical statues,

and
the

character.

Germany, but

in

while

that

most imaginative and

is

The town
it

light-

contains one of the earliest

was an arsenal adorned with

garrison church carried on

its

When

crests in sculptured relief.

its

clas-

exterior panoplies

Frederick William

laid out

I

charming new Dutch quarter, he stipulated that each house should

have
a

all

a garret big

enough

to billet at least six Grenadiers;

and he turned

large part of his Lustgarten into a training ground for his giant

soldiers.

Potsdam

day

retains to this

cognisable as a garrison town,

tuated by fine buildings; and

it

is

among

its

dual nature. Immediately re-

criss-crossed with avenues, puncits

encircling lakes

sessed three of the most splendid palaces in
the

Neues

Palais,

and

first.

But

it

villas pos-

the Stadtschloss,

and Sans Souci.

Frederick the Great
the

Germany,

and

the

built

last

two,

and much embellished

was on Sans Souci that he bestowed
and willing only

affection. Disliking Berlin,

his greatest talents

to reside in the Stadt-

schloss during the winter months, he sought a site nearby for a sum-

mer

palace,

where he could work, think, and

monastic privacy, the few
intellectual curiosity.
hill

He

then covered with

men

found

opposilr.

THE HOUSE

LIES

is

it

a little

oakwoods and

plan for Sans Souci (the very
pose)

Voltaire

like

dated 1745, and

ON THE CROWN OF A GENTLE HILL

is

name
in

way

entertain,

in

who matched

almost
his

own

outside the town on a

a sprinkling of vines.

The

first

'Free from cares' reveals his pur-

Frederick's

own hand,

a

rough ink-

245

SANS

SOI CI

mn

draw

which crudely but unmistakably delineated how

races,

curved

of the

hill,

ter-

shallow brackets, would contour the easy gradient

like

and how

a

wide

of steps would lead upwards through

flight

the terraces to terminate on a

would stand.

bank of

a

platform on which the house

flat

was carried

In essentials, Frederick's plan

itself

The

out.

ter-

races are faced with glass-houses, themselves curved to catch the sun's

rays from different angles, and above them rests, as gently as a

which swells

gible, the low, ochre, one-storey palace

dome supported by groups

a shallow

which extend their

at

its

diri-

centre into

of superbly drunken Bacchants

whole width of the facade.

frolics across the

Sans Souci has three natures. The garden, like the facade of the
house facing

on a

a romantic variation

is

it,

classical composition.

Its

and pavilions are today half-hidden by the hedges

fountains, statuary

and huge magnolias which Frederick must have imagined, though

would never

prime. But on the reverse side of the

live to see, in their

house, his architect,

Georg Wen/.elaus von Knobelsdorff, was allowed

to return to the classical tradition with his great curving

of Corinthian columns, pierced

on the top of

folly
this

direction,

colonnades

the centre by a vista ot

in

hill.

The

front,

is

a neighbouring

true entrance

the

he-

visitor

quite

ruined

a

approaching from

unprepared for the

gentleness of the garden, or for the astounding rococo of the interior.

The

pretence

is

maintained as far as the entrance-halls, where

pairs of marble columns

and

statuary create the expected

classical

impression of a king's sumptuous domain. But on entering the

room on
is

the south front, Frederick's library, any notion of frigidity

immediately dispelled.

the terrace, anil

THE CLASSICAL ENTRANCE TO A Rococo PALACE

is

room, opening directly onto

lined with Frederick's book-cases

Greco-German
in

the

the leafy

backed by

an armchair

in

style that

fell

the

in

room named

from favour before

it

sitting-room,

The abundant

equalled anywhere in Europe.

in

alter

a

But

his death.

Voltaire

was ready for

occupation), the fantasy and brilliance of the rococo decoration

M.

de-

its

1786, was redecorated

became fashionable soon after

music room beyond and

(though the philosopher

in

warm

a

ormolu of

Johann August Nahl. The adjoining bedroom and

where Frederick died

fern

It is a circular

brown cedar-wood, against which wanders
signer,

first

is

his

un-

use of naturalistic forms

by Nahl and the brothers Johann Michael and Johann Christian Hop-

penhaupt was the product of

little

Sans Souci was ready for the King

more than two

in

work, for

years'

1747. Metal, glass, wood, paint,

marble and almost any other material that could be shaped or applied

was used

to

transform each of these rooms into miniature stage-settings.

Mirror-frames are carved
»

i

n
'

like bouquets, apes

»

,

'{.

into the shapes of harps, chandeliers

perch on cornucopiae and cherubs on lattice-work,

while across a ceiling strays a
vines

hang

trellis

of gold on white, overrun with

and swept by gilded cobwebs.
Short-lived as was the rococo as a decorative stylo, at Sans Souci

V

-

it

achieved everything of which

made no

secret of his dislike of

habitually spoke and wrote

German
work of art

with the help of

A SKETCH DRAWN BY FREDERICK THE GREA1
IN 17+5 TO GLIDE HIS ARCHITECTS

246

to

it

Europe

a

in

artists

was capable. Here was
contemporary German

French to
on

of which

his

German
all

intimates,

soil

a

king

who

culture,

ami

a

yet

created

palace which gave

Europe can be proud.
Nigel Nicolson

opposite:

THE ROCOCO DETAIL OF THE MUSIC ROOM

S/

SANS SOUCI

The

palace

is

surprisingly light-hearted for so stern a

monarch

HE NAME 'SANS SOUCP EXPRESSED FREDERICK'S HOPES FOR PEACE

KNOBELSDORFF'S CURVING PORTICOES OF THE ENTRANCE FRONT

^^^H^R| ^

%

THREE OF THE JOVIAL FIGURES THAT SUPPORT THE ARCHITRAVE

-^

*i

CHAIR IN WHICH FREDERICK DIED

THE

KING'S

DEATH-MASK

BLRING'S CHINESE PAVILION,

1755

THE ROOM DECORATED FOR VOLTAIRE BY HOPPENHAUPT,

THE CHINESE FASHION ORIGINATED

IN

ENGLAND

CHINESE FIGURES BY BENKERT AND HEYMULLER

1753

THE GARDEN-ROOM OF THE ELECTRESS

Benrath
A

marvel of delicacy and ingenuity
AN ARCHITECTURAL

miracle; the perfect house for a large family

of children; a residence considerably more solicitous for the comfort
of

its

in

the

many

inhabitants than

of

its

epoch, Benrath, near Diisseldorf,

two hundred years which have elapsed

seen remarkably

Elector Palatine,

little

human

who caused Benrath

accommodation -

native

occupation. Karl

in

rah on

d'etre.

The

couple,

whose

of the two salons either side of
coldest intimacy

and only appeared on

live in their midst.

They

in

Born

in

Schwetzingen

had

lost

still

state occasions together;

live

Luncville

in

and

insisting that he should

out of his realm.

at Benrath, to replace a

be seen

most of

are set over the doors

1755 that he instructed Nicolas de Pigage

new summer palace
of which can

it

in

alter-

disliked Karl Theodore. But an Elector of

Bavaria could not be allowed to

was

has

Kuppelsaal, were on terms of the

Munich would before long be

the people of

It

its

initials

built,

had plenty of

Heidelberg,

nearby - and by the time Benrath was completed
its

was

it

Theodore (1724-1799),

to be built,

Mannheim,

in

since

in

much older

to design a

one, a portion

the woods.

1723, the son of an architect, Pigage studied

under Emmanuel Mere and later went to the Royal
chitecture in Paris and

lowed

visits to

Italy

was

and

to

a pupil

of the

Academy of Arfamous Blondel. Then fol-

England, where he studied the new

of garden architecture and at one time contemplated writing

about

2^0

it.

In

1749 he entered the service of Karl Theodore.

He

a

style

book

helped

^^

Pfe*!

*

*te

-

**'

* r T*

'^ -'*.* 1 %!M

^ <?A

^1 r4

r

1

y

>«*'
^
1

.'

%.*

.

Civ

,

_*

^

pg^

*-4M
»

V
'A A

|^*»r >m

tiW~

^

$m
„~^

/

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\

^^1
1

BENRATH

IN

PALAIS DE

1806,

I

ROM A PAINTING

L'fiLYSLE,

in-

VERNET NOW

in Tin;

PARIS

251

BENRATH

KARL THEODORE

NICOLAS DE PIGAGE
with the planning of the park at Schwet/,ingen and the building; of
the ravishing

houses

in

was responsible for many small

theatre; and he

little

Frankfurt, Heidelberg and elsewhere.

Pigage's designs

for

Benrath are a marvel of delicate accur-

acy and ingenuity. 1795 saw extensive shiftings of

various sub-

soil;

terranean canals were dug to carry water for the

many

well as an underground corridor through which

all

fountains, as

food would be

brought, since the main part of the Schloss was to have no kitchen

on

its

work.
at

The Seven Years War saw an

premises.

When

Benrath

it

in

was resumed,

periods; and the

1769, as well as for other shorter

in

work went on

slowly

By 1770

the time.

all

almost finished, but the outbuildings were not completed

Benrath reveals such architectural talent and

CENTRE OF THE GARDEN FRONT

to spatial

problems that

members of

it

is

disarming

internal complexity.

its

it

was

1780.

till

solutions

brilliant

might almost be made an object lesson for

the profession. It

yet astounding in

the

in

proceeded slowly. The Elector was

it

1753, and again

interruption

in its exterior simplicity;

No

one seeing

flight

its

of

shallow steps leading up to what appears to be a one-storey building

would suspect that

as

behind that fagade;

many
it

as four storeys are concealed elsewhere,

only becomes evident

in

two deep oval

the

courts which hide out of sight in the centre of the building and which

provided light and
to be all too
collect

air for a

far distant fireplaces by

to contemplate the
its

is

flues,

which

their

own,

its

single,

tiny islet

pink frontage of the central block, with

bulging span of slated and windowed roof, and

many

building that

a

What

completely symmetrical plan.
than eighty rooms -

on

growing, fringed by small green shrubs,

above the domed centre of

railing

were

services

some miracle of

stands by the iris-fringed lake with

which a weeping-willow

shutters,

whose

from the front of the Schloss.

exit visible

One

staff

seldom requisitioned. Even the vast chimney

smoke from

have no

huge domestic

is

is

its

its

white

circular

arranged on

a

there to suggest that no less

of them two-storeyed and gracious state-

rooms - are clustered within? Rectangular chimneys with

flat

tops

protecting them are hidden out of sight, well behind that pediment

with

its

sculptured cherubs anil urns,

its

gilded clock-face and

its

lions

from the Wittelsbach coat of arms. In spring the blossoms of the red

ENTRANCE TO THE MAIN BtlLDING

horse-chestnuts in bloom
facade. Separated a

in the

little

woods on

distance

from

either side
it,

match

this

extending forwards

pink
in

a

sweeping curve as though to afford protection, are the two KavaUcrfliigeL

the

A

or cavalier wings.

central

yet

each

are lower and even

has

more modest than

accommodation of eighty rooms.

study of the ground-plan reveals the symmetry and careful logic

of what
vestibule,

252

block,

They

is

really a

most complex undertaking.

white and a shade cold, with

its

A

marble

long,
floor

rectangular

and stucco

by Egell of

reliefs

Hanked on

The Four Elements and The

P'our Seasons,

group of eight rooms together

either side by an elaborate

with cleverly-hidden staircases and enclosed oval courts. But

domed

the prelude to a circular and
(

Hit

is

hall, the

of this hall opens, on either side,

it is

really

Kuppelsaal.
Gartensaal, one for the

a

Elector and one for his wife, and over each doorway

is

medallion

a

and the appropriate monogram. They are rooms for general receptions

and are almost
Kuppelsaal
with

a

is

The

as large as the vestibule.

dome which

its

skylight set above.

is

striking feature of the

carried out as a free-spanning calatte

There are two

galleries recessed in

it,

one

of which was used by musicians. Krahe has painted frescoes at each
of these levels, so that one looks upwards past a vision of Diana and

her train, through a small orifice

the centre of the fresco to the

in

second gallery and to another recessed fresco which represents Flora

and which closes the dome. The Kuppelsaal has

a magnificent floor

of patterned and polished marble, said untruthfully to have been left
in a pitiable

condition by the hooves of the French horses in the time

of Napoleon. In any case the floor has recently been reversed and
polished, and felt slippers are necessary for all

Pigage, Dientz, Verschaffelt and Albu/.io

decoration of the rooms and there

den Branden.

Most

who
all

cross

it.

contributed to the

wood-carving by Egell and von

is

of the decoration

suggests

retreat

dignified

a

STUCCO ON AN OVAL BATHROOM

from the more extreme exuberance of rococo towards the classicism
which was to follow. Each Gartensaal has a ceiling painted by Krahe

Zeus and Athene on Olympus for the Elector, Apollo and the Nine

Muses

for Elizabeth Amalie.

Over

pastoral scenes by Leitenstorfter.
the Electress,

are charming.

Of

doorways of each room are

these two lovely rooms, that of

perhaps the more pleasing.

is

The rooms

the

of the separate suites adjoining these reception rooms

Those on

the east side

were badly damaged during the

war but have now been restored with considerable
standing.

The

beautiful galleried

was the chapel, has

room

and under-

skill

at the top of the house,

where the servants

also been restored,

which

sat right

under the roof, looking down on the celebration of the mass through

windows.

On

the

ground

floor the Elector's

bathroom with

of multitudinous leaves and that of the Electress with
of plaster drapery are interesting

When Napoleon
his

founded

his

marshal Murat at the head of

sidence at Benrath.

French gardens and

in

it

and the
liked

it,

latter

with

DRAWING

OF THE VESTIBULE AND DOME

moved
its

into re-

English and

long stretch of placid water which leads bein

the direction of the Rhine;

for he commissioned the French painter Vernet to
it.

hanging folds

its

PIGAGE'S SECTIONAL

their suggestion of the period.

tween trees from the back of the Schloss

of

ceiling

Rhineland Duchy of Berg he put

Murat must have
its

its

make

a painting

But Murat only remained two years. In 1808 he became King

of Naples. Later he was to die at the hands of a firing squad, having
badly misjudged the likely outcome of Napoleon's landing from Elba.

Benrath became a Prussian possession and was occasionally used
the

summer by members of

in

the Hohenzollern family.

AN OVAL COURTYARD OF THE INTERIOR
DOME AND INNER DOME OF THE KUPPELSAAL

overleaf left:

Monk

Gibbon

right:

253

& &

^ «» "
.

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5
3
59

3

-3

--

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^

2>

&}
5Sf

-v

BENRATH

The

ingenuity of

Nicolas de Pigage

and

his decorators

THE TWO OVALS IN THE CENTRE
ARE THE INNER COURTS

THE ELECTORS GARDEN-ROOM

(3

ON PLAN)

256

THE KIPPELSAAL

(2),

LINKING THE

TWO GARDEN-ROOMS

sTlf.

TO

flow:

IN

PORTRAIT OF THE ELECTRESS

THE VESTIBULE

GILT

THE KUPPELSAAL

>•* *"^"*%

.£*

N

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ft

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3t!5R

WOOD CARVING

:

THE FORTRESS-LIKE FAQADE CONTRASTS WITH THE ELEGANT INTERIOR

Syon House
A

Adam

house transformed by
ABOUT

1431

Brigittine

a

with imperial lavishness

nunnery was moved a few miles from

Twickenham to a 'more meet, healthful and salubrious' site on the
Thames at Isleworth, where Syon Abbey was built. Originally one
of a pair, with Sheen,

Henry V and was

it

had been founded

sixteen years earlier by

the only house in the country devoted to the order

founded by St Bridgit of Sweden. Shakespeare refers
I

Two
Sing

The nunnery

chantries,
still

off

As

lasted for just over a century,

when

Henry VIII, and

Henry

V

priests

it

was

the Abbess

dissolved,

was pen-

with £ 200.

the richest monastic house in Middlesex, Syon
fell to

the Protector,

of Somerset. After his execution

Dudley,

Duke

both of

whom

of note,

in

for Richard's soul.

prize after the Dissolution and

Duke

it

built

where the sad and solemn

without undue opposition, by
sioned

have

to

in

1552

was

a great

Edward Seymour,
it

passed to John

Lady Jane Grey,
following year. The next owner

of Northumberland, and his wife,

were executed

Henry

Percy,

the

in

the

Earl of Northumberland, was

'wizard'

exploration of North America,

keenly and impartially interested

in the

Dr. John Dee's experiments

magic and Shakespeare's plays (he

formed
and

a collection

distinction

in

of the early quartos,

were apt

now

at Petworth).

Riches

Tudor England, and
visited by Guy Fawkes

to attract disaster in

Wizard Earl had the misfortune to be
on the eve of the Gunpowder Plot. Fined £ 30,000, he was unable
to pay and spent fifteen years in the Tower of London.
the

258

opposite:

THE ENTRANCE HALL, INSPIRED BY THE ATRIA OF POMPEII

w

SYON

Syon was reconstructed by Protector Somerset, improved by the

Wizard

who may have employed

Earl, and restored by his successor,

Inigo Jones on the arcadcd

'cloisters',

HOIisl

but the central courtyard and

the plain, castellated exterior retain a strong flavour of their monastic

and the

origin,

Canaletto

passed into the hands of the Percy heiress, Elizabeth,

it

Hugh Smithson, reputed to
and most charming man in the kingdom. He was
who was married

to Sir

name and arms, and

the Percy

was painted by

it

1752.

in

1750

In

scarcely changed since

latter has

his

be the best-looking

permitted to take

modest refusal of the premiership

was rewarded with the Dukedom of Northumberland. His
amiable Duchess collected works of

and paid

who

a visit to Voltaire,

pineapple, but her grand style of

art,

presented her with a melon and a

life finally

cost her

Adam, who had

In 1760 Robert

Duchess

Queen

Charlotte's

Duchess travelling with

than the Queen's.

a larger retinue

returned two years earlier from

of energy and ideas, was commissioned by the

full

Alnwick, their castle

to redecorate

1762 he started work
that the house

at Syon,

in

Duke and

Northumberland. In

and by 1764 Horace Walpole reported

was 'becoming another Mount

new gateway and

bled at the

and

corresponded with Boswell

friendship, as the latter disapproved of the

Italy,

lively

though he grum-

Palatine',

screen on the Brentford Road,

lace

'all

and embroidery... From Kent's mahogany we are dwindled to Adam's
filigree'.

Adam worked

conform

to the

under great

awkward

at

difficulties

proportions of the Jacobean rooms and was

not allowed to correct the irregular floor-levels.

which was

The

that he completed,

all

effect

ADAM'S DESIGN FOR THE DINING-ROOM CEILING

Syon; he had to

of the hall

is

show

The

five

staterooms,

most daring.

his genius at its

overwhelmingly Roman, cool and majestic

but avoiding the grandiose or pompous.

The

floor

is

of black and

white marble, the walls and ceiling painted creamy white.

At one

end a plaster statue of the Apollo Belvedere stands below a half-dome
inspired by the Pantheon; at the other a bronze version of the dying

Gaul occupies the centre of

Doric screen. Four other

and some

a quantity of busts

the furnishings.

a

The

full-scale statues,

hall-chairs with the Percy arms, complete

twisted columns framing two of the

copied from a plate by Piranesi,

whom Adam knew

in

windows are

Rome. The

by G. B. Cipriani, were perhaps intended to be

grisaille roundels,

re-

placed by stucco reliefs.

From

here

we

antiquity, but the

THE ORIGINAL DRAWING FOR THE GALLERY

pass to the Anteroom, which evokes, not classical

Rome

of the

High Renaissance. Twelve verde

(compart photograph opposite)

antico

columns, dredged from the bed of the Tiber, support an entablature

on which stand, as
desses.

The

if

suspended

in

the air, twelve gilt gods and god-

walls are pale green, with blue panels decorated with gilt

stucco trophies by Joseph Rose, imitated

Madama

in

Rome.

A

from trophies

in the

Palazzo

blue and gold frieze runs round the wall,

two

alcoves hold bronze statues of Hector and Achilles and the floor
brilliantly

coloured scagliola work. This magnificent room, the most

audaciously splendid of any

waiting

opposite:

is

room

work by Adam, was used only

as

a

for servants.

THE RICH DECORATION OF THE GALLERY

261

SYON

The

HOl'vSl-:

dining-room, with

allion portraits of the

Duke and

room again produces an

next

The

1769, doubtless follows

a

Duchess,

exotic

is

less

silk

effect.

carpet, signed by T.

many

his

is

the

lrom

Moore and dated

design of Adam's; the door-surrounds are

Kaufimann with an

ceiling decorated by Angelica

of so

I

wall-hangings

of ormolu on ivory; but the most astonishing feature

and octagonal medallions

med-

its

extraordinary. Hut the

and luxurious

from the red

red drawing-room^ so called
the Spitalfields factory.

marbled niches and

statues in

its

in

small divisions

is

infinity

tones of blue, red and green.
is

amazing rather than

William Chambers's comment -

the coved
of

square

The

beautiful,

effect

and

myriad skied dessert dishes

'a

Sir
is

not wholly unjust.

Double doors,
over their port

from the long

in

its

units,

exclude the noise of the men's conviviality

the dining-room,

separate the red drawing-room

gallery, intended for the ladies.

the details of this
ceal

to

awkward

room convey an
length

Adam

of extreme delicacy.

effect

divided

separated by pilasters arranged

Both the colours and

it

To

con-

into a series of decorative

groups of three and painted

in

^

*w-r__i!

g.i

4*4^ V.

Jfy*QL

by Pergolesi at a cost of three guineas each.
the pilasters

and bookcases mauve, and the decoration includes marble

and stucco dura
a frieze

whom

he walls arc pale green,

I

reliefs,

Italian views, a pair of distorting mirrors

of medallion portraits of

members of

the Percy family,

and

among

one observes with surprise Charlemagne. Marquetry furniture,

pale green and gold chairs

topped sidetables match, both
decoration.

At

either

in

the

French taste and inlaid marble-

in scale

and

quality, the delicacy of the

end of the gallery miniature rooms are hidden.

one decorated with tropical birds, the other with a birdcage.

Adam's work

Syon ends here; he was not allowed

at

the courtyard with a

dome and make

it

to cover

into the centre of the house,

and the staterooms were completed, discreetly and without inspiration,
in

the nineteenth century.

Northumberland
remain

in the

last

The house

still

of the great houses

Duke

of

and round London

to

belongs to the
in

possession of the original family.

Anthony Ilobson
Celour-plaU

SYON IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY BY JAN CiRIFFIER

.

- L.s

l£3?

.

'\

*

SYON HOUSE

A BIRD-CAGE

IN

THE BOUDOIR OFF THE GALLERY

AN IVORY DOOR-PANEL OVERLAID WITH ORMOLU

THE ARCHITRAVE OF THE DINING ROOM

ADAMS DRAWING

The

IN

1765

FOR A MEDALLION IN THE STAIRCASE CEILING

astonishing richness of Syon

never degenerates into vulgarity

264

I

III.

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I

II.INt

;

()!•'

THE KKO DRAWINt. ROOM

IS

EMBKU.ISI IKD Willi PAINTED MKDALLIONS

-.

THE ANTE-ROOM AT SYON
opposite:

THE RED DRAWING-ROOM

-

<

£?
'V*

J

THE FACADE, ATTRIBUTED TO GIACOMO QUARENGIII

Youssoupoff Palace
The shade

of Rasputin stirs beneath these saloons
CONFOUNDING ALL

traditional conceptions of haunted houses, the

Youssoupoff Palace spreads

Moika

boldly along the

the ice

is

serene classical pale yellow

flaunting a stately

quite brazenly in the brisk

Moika, however,

its

faqade

row of Palladian columns

Leningrad sunshine. The

not deluded - he remembers

to

94

stains

on

visitor

tell-tale

and unworthy excuses, and ludicrous prattle of dead dogs

against the background of a cold night sky; he sees

in his

mind's eye

a

group of frightened men bearing the bound and bleeding form of

a

debauched
If the

monk who

refused to die.

shade of the notorious Gregory Efimovitch Rasputin haunts

the

shadows of

not

fall

this palace, the

other Youssoupoff establishments do

far behind in this regard.

A

smaller version of the

residence also in St Petersburg, this one in Liteinaia Street,

Moika

was

sad-

dened by the mute presence, immured behind the bed, of the decaying
corpse of a young revolutionary loved by the beautiful and amorous
Zenai'de Ivanovna, Princess Youssoupoff,

of captivity
is

in the

Swiaborg Fortress

in

who had smuggled him

out

Finland. This macabre note

struck again, this time to a stupefying degree, in the

Moscow

a vast straggling mediaeval construction with brightly checkered

house,

Mus-

covite roofs with a concealed tunnel leading directly into the Kremlin
itself.

When

the present Prince's parents decided to

open up

this

seven

mile long passage, the grim record of the blind cruelty of Ivan the
Terrible, the original

shudder

268

at;

owner of the house, stood revealed for

all

to

rows of crumpled skeletons were found each one chained

±:£i*t

THE NEO-POMPEIAN CEILING OF THE RED DRAWING-ROOM

Lennart Olson

269

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Lennart Olson

THE PRIVATE THEATRE
to the

tomb

damp

since the sixteenth century.

The
was

walls of a long gallery which had remained their sealed

history ol the Leningrad Palace, however,

a present

from the Empress Catherine

Tatiana Youssoupoff, one of the

The

architect

it

work

recent.

nieces of the great Potemkin.

and 1754, when the

of Rastrelli and his pupils

It

to her favourite Princess

not known, although most of the palaces built

St Petersburg between 1741
the

five

more

is

gift

in

was made, were

Kwasow, Ivaninsky and Swijasew.

Gratefully abandoning what can only be conjecture, we have reliably

recorded testimony that Giacomo Quarcnghi enlarged the building
the years following 1785'.

The

last

of the great architects of Italy,

as Sacheverell Sitwell has called him,

manner and

it

was addicted

J

//Q2Jt*<£'
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RASPCTIX

IN

t*.

HOSPITAL AFTER

THE ATTEMPT ON

just as this

of the original

many

<

HIS LIFE

its

is

his

as well

colonnade leading to

work Mas
design,

able,

one suspects, to efface

subsequent activity

has

all

successfully

tainly as far as the interior decoration

soupoff himself writes that 'only
galleries

had retained

is

it

spoiled

concerned. Prince Felix Yous-

some of the drawings-rooms,

is

ball-

their eighteenth-century appearance".

Andrei Alexeivitch Michailoti carried out drastic alterations

and

evidence

of the charming effects that Quarcnghi must have created, cer-

rooms and

270

Palladian

the garden.

1

fit 7KV-1 -

W m&t-n>-

to the

seems certain that the splendid facade

as the elegant semi-circular inner court with

'

'in

in

1830

probably to him that we owe the 'Russian Louis XVI' flavour

Lennart Olson

THE STAGE OF THE THEATRE, WITH PROSCENIUM PAINTED BY LIEBHARDT
work

of the painted neo-Pompeian ceilings echoing faintly the exquisite

of de Gault and

much of

the walls, doors

and columns.

The

lovely

Princess

spoken, was clearly a

the excessive

Zenai'de

woman

Empire

Youssoupoff

passed away

who

in

of

whom we

have

of outstanding character - endowed,

as her great-grandson has engagingly put
finally

patisserie clinging to

it,

with a

Paris in 1897 aged one hundred. She

supervised the redecoration of the

Moika

she

citisse legere,

Palace.

was

it

In spite of

her triumphant love-life, this lady appears to have suffered from a

compulsive urge to write on walls which she sublimated hy having her

entwined
sihle,

initials

incorporated

in the

decor of the Palace on every pos-

and many impossible, occasions; no fewer than sixteen

tottering under the weight of a

inspired
It

doorway leading
is

heavy crown, appear on a

to the

'Y's,

single

each

Arab-

Royal Box of the private theatre.

easy to imagine the glittering receptions that were held,

some, we are assured, for as

many

as

two thousand people, the vivid

costumes, the flashing orders and jewels of the guests

filing

up the

magnificent richly inlaid marble staircase, reminiscent of the Escalier

de

la

Reine at Versailles, the sumptuous silver and gold plate, the

Sevres services bearing every variety of exotic dish to
sluggish palates of a bored St

casions supper

would

lie

served

Petersburg aristocracy.
in

the galleries, a

the theatre being reserved for the Imperial family.

titillate

On

the

these oc-

foyer leading

oft

below.

PRINCESS ZENAIDE YOUSOUPOFF, RE-

PUTEDLY THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN
IN RUSSIA, AT THE PALACE IN ABOUT 1870;
AND ONE OF THE SMALLER ROOMS AT THE
SAME DATE. FROM CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHS

Lcnnart Olson

272

THE STAIRCASE, THE EMPTY SCENE OF PAST MAGNIFICENCE

The

YOUSSOUPOFF PALACE

impressive chain of halls which formed the picture galleries

arc today stripped of canvasses and

which appears

furniture

photographs accompanying

the

in

instead with the dreadful

filled

de-

this

were originally hung with valuable works now either

scription; they

Lonnart OIhou
vk.

<m

*

sold or seized by the National museums, including several important
f-

examples

Rembrandts,

by

Hooch and

Robert, Teniers, Ostade, de
period, not forgetting

Watteau,

Claude,

»

approved masters of the

the

all

l

Fragonard,

Boucher,

Greuze ad nauseam. Much of the statuary

re-

mains and the work of Canova and the French eighteenth-century

ft

'

-

sculptors

was favoured above

others.

all

The Youssoupofts housed

palace

this

in

their

personal jewels

as well as the sensational collection of precious stones reputedly the

most valuable

Many

the world.

in

of their gold, enamelled and dia-

Ador and

Scharft are

in collections

spread over

mond-set snuff-boxes, masterpieces by Pauzie,

now

Gold Room of

in the

Hermitage or

the

~

V

Y

£<

Europe.

The
ris

theatrical tradition persists in the family

-

it

was

Bo-

to Price

Youssoupoff, chief adviser to the Empress Elizabeth, that the

Russian National Theatre

owed

foundation

its

first

1756; later under

in

Catherine, his son Prince Nicolas was put in charge of the Imperial

The

Theatres.

and devoting

present Prince Felix, leading a simple

life

Paris

in

he

his time to the needy, confesses that the only time

interrupts his hermit's existence

is

to

see

play or a ballet.

a

It

is

hardly surprising, then, that one of the most important features of

XV

was the private 'Louis

the palace

theatre where the

family were frequent and honoured guests. Regretfully

down

be set

that

bably was -

in

however

its

form, nearly

original

must again

has been transformed

all

THE BALLROOM

been - and pro-

may have

Lennart Olson

rebuilding at the end of the nineteenth century

result of the

as a

felicitous this

it

Imperial

by Stepanoff. With the passing of years

it

had

chance, even so,

a

of fading and acquiring some sort of discipline and unity of tone

allowing us to
is

feel,

at least,

Union today and although most of

the fashion in the Soviet

well intentioned and

an agreeable nostalgia. But restoration

some of

it

is

enthusiasm too often

excellent,

is

it

transcends judgement.

The

theatre has been subjected to this drastic treatment; indeed,

one has the impression that some demented pastry cook has been

lowed

to

run riot with an incontinent piping-set

icing sugar.

One admirable

trompe-l'ceil curtain with

its

are not the

retain in the

memory

oppressive richesses

in

steel-lined

German

artist

the

Liebhardt.

of this palace on the water's edge

of the ground

and upper

December night

underground room,

order to lure the Tsarina's holy

is

figures painted across the pro-

celestial

but an indelible image of a black

narrow

with golden

feature remains, however, and this

scenium arch above the stage by the

What we

filled

al-

hastily

man

and

in

floors,

1916 and

a

secretly furnished

to his death.

Here he was

poisoned with cyanide of potassium, shot several times at point-blank

range and repeatedly stabbed, but
night

still

did not expire until later that

when he eventually drowned alone under

the ice of the Neva.

A. Kenneth Snowman

THE ROTUNDA ON THE FIRST FLOOR

273

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A SPHINX BELOW THE PORTICO DOS CAVALINHOS

Queluz
A

rose-pink palace
the PALACE OF QUELUZ

enon

in

Along

scarcely

lies

The new road

the centre of Lisbon.

front gates.

set in a

water-garden

more than

miles

five

from

to Sintra runs directly past

the old road, ribbon development - a rare

its

phenom-

Portugal - has brought the suburbs within earshot, though

mercifully not yet within sight, for a barrier of low
limit of this

modern encroachment.

conceals the nearby railway

line,

A

fold in the

so that, apart

from

hills

elapsed since the palace was

the

ground likewise
electric lighting,

the immediate vicinity contains no visual evidence of the

that have

marks

two centuries

built.

Queluz has often been called the Portuguese

Versailles, but

its

size alone precludes such a

comparison. Exquisite rather than magnif-

a small but well

developed example of Portuguese rococo,

icent,

it

is

colour-washed the palest pink, with two semi-circular wings springing
out from the main block onto a broad cobbled square.
walls are perfectly plain,

all

effect

indeed - and

this

outside

the decoration being concentrated in the

window pediments which follow an
curlicues suggestive of

The

irregular pattern of whorls and

metalwork or even
analogy

is

icing-sugar.

The

general

not intended to be pejorative -

is

of a very expensive birthday-cake.

The
later
I.

opposite:
.vyp:

THE GARDEN FRONT

palace was built by

husband and Regent

The

original plan

Dom

to his

Pedro, second son of

own

niece, the imbecile

Dom

Joao V,

Queen Maria

was by Mateus Vicente de Oliveira, who had

275

Ql'ELUZ

THE FORECOl RT
worked under Ludovice of Ratisbon on

the construction of the palace

of Mafra; and later the French sculptor and architect, Jean Baptiste
Robillon was called
Building began

engaged on

it

in to
in

co-operate.

1747 but was interrupted

like
is

men

1755, the

being needed for the reconstruction of Lisbon after the

great earthquake, and only resumed

of this disaster

in

may have

in

1758. Fear of a recurrence

dictated the final design.

At any

rate,

Queluz,

every other building erected near the capital after the earthquake,

From

constructed on a horizontal rather than a vertical plane.

gardens, indeed,

it

resembles not so

much

a single

mass

the

as a series

of separate pavilions, often of different heights but never of

more

than two storeys, tacked one upon another to form several low wings.

The gardens

EASTERN WIN(; OF TFIE PALACE FROM THE STREET

276

are the glory of Queluz.

The

great topiary parterre,

THE MAIN ENTRAM

E

designed

in the spirit

cipal rear facade,

statuary.

Here

in

of Le Notre and laid out

in

front of the prin-

enhanced with formal balustrades, terraces and

is

hot weather the

mad Queen would

of a fountain with her legs plunged

in

the water

sit

on the edge

- no douht

in

the

very position of the two lead figures that can he seen on the edge of
the

Neptune fountain today. Here

too, along the scented

box-hedged

alleyways, the eccentric William Beckford once ran races with the

maids of honour of the Queen's daughter-in-law, Doha Carlota Joa-

and the same time

quina, thereby gratifying at one
bilities

QUEEN MARIA

and inordinate love of royalty.

The
by two

his aesthetic sensi-

feature of the parterre

equestrian

allegorical

is

I

OF PORTUGAL

the Portico dos Cavalinhos, flanked

statues

Fame by Manuel Alves

of

and Filipe da Costa. Below these crouch

a pair of stone sphinxes of

singularly unequivocal gender, with slender necks encased in pleated
ruffs

and with virginal bosoms

pleasing mixture of the

visible

beneath flowing draperies. This

formal and the fantastic

is

repeated more

than once in the statuary of the gardens, where, for example, classical
representations of the

Rape of

alternate with figures of almost

the Sabines

and of the Death of Abel

human monkeys

clothed as though for

a fancy-dress ball.

Beyond

the Portico dos Cavalinhos,

cascade - the

first artificial

and

a grotto

equipped with

a

waterfall to be built near Lisbon -, a broad

path leads to the lower garden and the Robillon wing. Here the romantic gives

way

to the severely classical.

SOUTH FRONT OF THE ROBILLON WING

An

avenue of giant magnolia

THE EXTERIOR OF THE BALL-ROOM
277

THE

KING'S

THE BOUDOIR OF THE MAD QUEEN

BEDROOM

trees echoes the pattern of the

Doric colonnade which runs the entire

length of the pavilion; and from the

far corner of the

balustrade,

finished in 1779, three years before Robiilon's death, a double stair-

which joins half-way down into

case,
flight,

a single

monumental spreading

descends towards a Dutch canal, over a hundred yards long,

lined with blue

and withe

ami other

azitlcjo panels depicting seascapes

marine scenes.
This distinctively Portuguese form of decorative tilework,
too frequently suggestive of kitchens or public lavatories,
arly well suited to these surroundings,

with the greenery of the

A

foliage

forming

a

is

all

particul-

natural association

and the movement of the water.

complex of stairways, bridges and statues marks the centre of the

canal.

It

was from here

to Portugal during
sail

that

Lord Kinnoul,

the British

Ambassador

Pombal's dictatorship, saw three splendid galleys

past with allegorical personages on board - an example of the lavish

entertainments for which the palace was then famed throughout Europe.

These diversions transformed the gardens of Queluz
pleasure gardens, and from the surrounding

hills,

into

veritable

where the people of

Lisbon used to gather to watch the fireworks on St Peter's night,
they must have looked as delicate and romantic as a miniature Japanese garden.

278

The
much

interior oi

Queluz was gutted by

perished

else that

in

1934, and

in

fire

was an apparently unique

the Haines

paper depincting the Greek Wars of Independence,

Lord Byron appeared among

of

room

that survived intact

is

among

which the figure

in

The

the white-kilted Evzones.

Mangas,

the Sala das

wall-

only

wide corridor lined

a

with azulejo wall panels of exotic landscapes and oriental figures
yellow, blue and mauve.

The

other rooms,

all

in

leading out of one an

other, have been successfully restored.

One

of the earliest

Sala dos Embaixadores, designed by Ro-

in the

billon in 1757, with a ceiling painted

ing a royal group which includes
ria

Dom

and

I

by Francisco de Melo, represent-

Doin Jose and

his

Queen, Dona Ma-

Pedro, David Perez, the celebrated Neapolitan

was Master of the Royal Music, and various other musicians,
iers

and

signed

who

court-

The music room, built in 1759 but redeadjoining throne room are likewise distinguished

ladies in waiting.

1768, and the

in

and both contain superb

for their ceilings

crystal chandeliers.

The Sala das Merendas, the private dining-room of

and succeeding Portuguese monarchs,

is

Dom

Pedro

lined with painted panels de-

picting groups of eighteenth-century figures picnicking in sylvan scenes

- the work of Joao Valentin and Jose Conrado Rosa, who were also
responsible for the delightful mirror panels in the Queen's dressing-

room, a boudoir designed as a bower, where the pergola pattern of
the ceiling

repeated

is

When Dom
was completed.

in the floor

Pedro

from the

1794 the Court took up residence

In

somewhat marred by

rooms

set of

set aside for the

mania had by then developed

remain

in

Queluz for long. In 1807,
royal

in

the palace,

in

the wild shrieks

Queen whose

Her

into hopeless insanity.

King Joao VI, ruled the country

son, later
to

main work on the interior

died, in 1786, the

but the festivities there were
issuing

of various inlaid woods.

religious

A TYPICAL WALL-DECORATION OF PAINTED TILES

eldest living

her place but was not

to escape the

imminent French

family fled to Brazil; and the palace was sub-

invasion,

the

sequently

commandeered by Napoleon's

Marshal Junot, who

victorious

undertook several improvements - notably the construction of a much-

needed skylight

in

the so-called

a romantic portrait of

ed

1827 during

in

On
palace

his

of

Dom

his exile in

Mafra, no doubt

Doha

he died six years later,
ceiling

fell

Miguel, paint-

to

Dom

1821,

avoid

the

fantastic

;

little

Joao preferred the

proximity

but

it

was

of
in

his

fierce

Queluz that

bedroom with

a circular

supported on columns of mirror glass and with walls

decorated with scenes from

None

a

contains

Vienna by Giovanni Ender.

Carlota Joaquina
in

Dom

Joao's younger son,

return from Brazil in

virago of a wife,

domed

Dark Room, which today

Don

Quixote.

of his successors resided at Queluz.

into disrepair

The

edifice

gradually

and weeds invaded the once-trim garden paths.

In

1908, however, the palace became State property and since then an
enterprising government has restored
at least to

its

it,

if

not to

its

ancient splendour,

former beauty.

Xan

Fielding

279

QUELUZ
TIIF.

The

Hall of the

Ambassadors,
by Robillon,

1757

REFLECTIONS IN A MIRROR

280

SPLElfDlD LIGHTNESS OF

THE

IIAI.I.

OF THE AMBASSADORS

THE ORIGINAL DESIGN OF THE WEST FACADE

Trianon

Petit
The

Pompadour and Marie Antoinette

jewel of de

FOREIGN VISITORS TO FRANCE,
ingham Palace,

their

White House,

'No wonder the French had

how even

understand

powering and

well say on

a Revolution'.

seeing Ver-

first

They

will certainly

Grand Trianon, then the Petit Trianon,
the Petit Flameau of Maria Antoinette.

the

built, first,

see the

knowing

Frederiksborg,

the French kings found that great palace over-

then that pathetic village,

To

their

may

Greenwich, Sans Souci or Caserta,
sailles:

accustomed to their own Buck-

Trianon

in psychological,

historical

perspective, the visitor should see the great palace

and architectural
first,

pass by the

Grand Trianon, note at its northern end the Trianon-sous-Bois and
come to the Petit Trianon by way of the Pavilion Francais. By following this route, he will observe the psychological changes:

wishing to prove himself Le Roi Soleil; Louis
to give pleasure; Louis

that they

were human beings

changes are implicit

The

XVI and Marie

in the

XV

XIV

Louis

wishing to have

anil

Antoinette wishing to prove

king and queen. The historical

as well as

psychological ones: the growth of humanism.

architectural changes are

more complicated,

who

for Gabriel,

built

the Petit Trianon, also built parts of the great palace.

The

Gabriel of the Petit Trianon

of the opera at Versailles:
could be so elaborate
is

his perfect sense

at the time.

Concorde:

As

in

it

is

way from

surprising that the

the Gabriel

same

The

one should look at

architect

explanation

of occasion, his feeling for what was

demanded

his Place

de

la

concord of grandeur and simplicity.

Having seen and marvelled

282

a long

one, so simple in the other.

a cross-reference

a perfect

is

at the

Palace of Versailles, with Le

opposite:

THE WEST FACADE AS

IT

WAS BUILT

t
I

I

v

o

PETIT TRIANON

Notre's tremendous achievement of turning a marsh into a landscape,

one passes the Grand Trianon. One should pause at the north end

Here

of the Trianon-sous-Bois.

elegance, simplicity, classicism.
is

far less formal,

room with
it,

a

WERE SLIGHTLY
ALTERED IN EXECUTION, top: THE EAST FACADE; top right: THE NORTH; and above: THE
SOUTH FACADE

One

change

in

style;

progresses through a garden which

and comes on the

little

Pavilion Franqais, a round
off

four tiny rooms, forming a cross.

- and

what

it,

the visitor sees the west front of the Petit

a splendid piece of architecture

unadorned windows;

five

it

is!

Trianon

Five plain, high,

even simpler, smaller ones above them; four

columns; a terrace and some steps: with these few features, Gabriel
has

made

a

faultless

urns on the top!',

below:

a foretaste of the

charming cornice frieze of farmyard animals and,

Rounding
GABRIEL'S ORIGINAL DESIGNS

is

THE EAST FRONT, FACING THE BOTANICAL GARDENS

'If

work
only

One cannot say, 'If only it had
had more carving round the windows!'.

of
it

art.

.

*'

^m^^' ^mm^
.

m,

u

**
atow:

THE NORTH FAQADE, WHICH ORIGINALLY OVERLOOKED THE FLOWER GARDEN
below:

THE SOUTH, OR ENTRANCE, FRONT

<m

PETIT TRIANON

It

lacks nothing. Least of

all

can one say.

only

'If

were

it

larger!'.

Walking clockwise around it. one sees the north front; five tall
windows with live small windows ahovc; four columns; above these.

The even

the balustrade; below, the terrace.
is

compensated by more elaboration

compared

east side,

that another side of the box has been treated differently

least see

and with even greater

Continuing clockwise, one comes,

simplicity.

perhaps, to the entrance, and then any doubts about Gab-

illogically

The

genius and invention are dispelled.

riel's

yard lead up to a simple ground

windows,

five tall

ustrade

The

but one can at

disappointing:

is

in line

the carving of the stone.

in

to the others,

greater simplicity

the

:

on

floor;

walls of the

support stand

solid

this

smaller ones above, four columns and the bal-

five

same wall-space, the same fenestration but

completely

a

What Mozart

on the same theme.

different variation

court-

little

could do

in

music, Gabriel has done in stone.

THE SURVEYOR'S PLAN FOR THE GARDEN,

Though

1774

toinette,

it

the Petit Trianon

was, in

Pompadour.

normally associated with Maria An-

is

fact, the brain-child

When

XV

of Louis

he became interested

in

Madame

and

de

botanical gardening, he

extended his plans beyond the Grand Trianon. In 1750 he commissioned Gabriel to build there the Salon de compagnie

Salon de conversations

et

now known

de musique,

de jeu or

ct

the

as

Pavilion

The building of the Petit Trianon was begun for Madame
de Pompadour in 1760, but, partly because of lack of money, partly
Franqais.

owing
in

to her death,

it

theory rather than

and

Madame

was not

du Barry. Not, however,

From

it

governments to restore

to the Petit

monogram

MARIE ANTOINETTE'S PETIT HAMEAU

the

little

for

stairs

some

room

have

lie

just

into the

inside

Italianate swags,

is

:

ing-room table came up,

own.

a life of its

Louis Philippe went so

grand staircase which leads from

the

first

The

entrance.

floor.

except

stair-well,

Beyond

severely classical.

the dining-room. In the floor one can

lies

was

Trianon the furniture and objects

entrance hall to the main rooms on the

The

XV

has been the policy of successive

it

which Marie Antoinette had placed there
far as to put her

then became.

the Petit Trianon

until

really begin to

the time of Louis-Philippe,

It

a place of retreat for Louis

in practice,

given to Marie Antoinette did

1770.

finished until

see

still

a small ante-

where the

din-

from the kitchen below, so

fully-loaded,

company could serve themselves, without being waited on

that the

by servants. This room has an exquisite Louis XI V fireplace; the
boiseries are fine but have been painted

unpainted or painted white and gold -

There

is

charming

a little
little

and looks

or, possibly

room beyond, museum-like and

salon with

some

fine

into Louis

is

all.

The

A

THE BELVEDERE

286

little

feeling of

a

then a

a

superb

into Marie-

Jacob sideboard,

little

boudoir, decor-

top floor, invisible from the out-

apartments of the ladies-in-waiting.

In spite of the efforts of Louis-Philippe
is

unlived-in;

bathroom

things,

XVI's bedroom beyond.

ated by Mique, and that
side, contains the

little

green and gold).

including

furniture,

One goes through a sad
bedroom with, among other

Reisener table.
Antoinette's

(they must have been either

Marie Antoinette

vellously beautiful as the outside

is,

in

and

later

ages,

there

the Petit Trianon

itself.

Mar-

the inside

is

merely

a

museum.

Ill

in
in
Ml

in
in
it

THE PAVILLON FRANCAIS
The

credit for the building

Gabriel.
ings.
'I

Where Marie

most go

to

Madame

Antoinette has left her

mark

is

on the surround-

Ian Dunlop, in his admirable book on Versailles quotes de Croy.

thought

I

mad

must be

or dreaming.

Never have two

so completely changed their form, nor cost so

Louis

Pompadour and

de

XV

had had

landscape of
cascade.

hills,

his hot-houses,

d' Amour,

a

architect,

Belvedere

much money'. Where

Marie Antoinette had erected

a

by Hubert Robert and

a

a lake, a grotto designed

Mique, her

acres of land

had designed a

theatre,

(with exquisite panels by

a

Temple

Le Riche on

the

walls and a ceiling by Lagrenee). Reacting against the classical land-

scaping of

Le Notre,

Going even
Petit

she

made

a garden in the Anglo-Chinese manner.

further, topographically

Hameau,

Breton tower.

the

The

little

Marie Antoinette's

built her

half-timbered village of cottages, dairy, and

influence of d'Urfe, Rousseau,

romanticisation of the simple
ace of Versailles

and romantically, she

life,

Hubert Robert, the

caused her to go too

may have been grand

to

far.

The

Pal-

the point of vulgarity:

false simplicity achieved vulgarity of

another kind.

She should have rested content with the Petit Trianon

:

there she

already had a masterpiece of simplicity, elegance and good taste.

Robin McDouall

ON THE TERRACE OF THE BELVEDERE

287

left:

MADAME DE POMPADOUR BY BOUCHER

right:

Marie Antoinette fou nd
happiness

MARIE ANTOINETTE BY KOCIIARSKI

A DOORWAY FROM THE DINING-ROOM TO
AN ADJOINING SALOON

PETIT TRIANON

*n these small

rooms

cimmiJ

THE QUEEN'S EFFIGY SURVEYS HER BOUDOIR

MARIE ANTOINETTE'S BEDROOM

T

m

•»<

^»»;

r

THE MUSIC ROOM
left: THE STAIRCASE IS SIMPLE
BY THE STANDARDS OF VERSAILLES
above:

THE SOUTH FACADE

Arbury Hall
Tudor

in origin, gothicized in the 18th century
the ROCOCO TASTE
in

the

first

which spread with such verve across Europe

half of the eighteenth century found

of expression.
shell grottoes,

took for

It

its

many

gay purposes not only

curious forms

silver epergnes,

and hell-hung pagodas, but the phoenix and the monkey;

indeed the porcelain singeries of Meissen and Fiirstenberg are
its

most delightful productions. Though the

later than the Continent,

was said by 1740
of

its

under

'to

assumed

it

in this

taste

reached England

northern setting, where

The

Arbury Hall

The

the

is

it

be the fashionable distemper', the most arbitrary

Middle Ages

manifestations, laying even the architecture of the
tribute.

among

result

was eighteenth-century Gothick of which

supreme example.

Gothick, associated with such amateurs and architects as

Walpole, Batty Langley, and Sanderson Miller, bore the most superficial

relation to true Gothic,

from which on paper

distinguished by a final 'k'; yet in a

it

is

conveniently

number of English

buildings,

such as the hall at Lacock Abbey, Hartwell church, Strawberry Hill,
and, above

all,

endearing, and

Arbury,
it

it

resulted in architecture that

lively

and

well expressed the essential spirit of rococo.

The Newdegates,

the

present

there since the sixteenth century, and
that the 5th baronet, Sir

owners of Arbury,
it

was

have

their Elizabethan

Roger Newdigate

the name), began to gothici/.e in 1750.

lived

mansion

(the original spelling of

His portrait by Devis, which

hangs at Arbury, endows him with character,

290

was

a

domed

opposite:

forehead, and

CEILING OF THE BAY-WINDOW IN THE SALOON

ARBURY HALL

a

benevolent yet melancholy cast of countenance relieved by an ex-

pression of ironic humour.

Arhury

Inheriting

master for seventy-two years; for thirty years he was
Parliament for Oxford; and throughout his

he was

its

Member

of

as a boy,

as befitted an eight-

life,

Though

eenth-century gentleman, he was scholar and dilettante.

and

intelligence

were

erel,

9

character of Sir Christopher Chcv-

his virtue, in the

portrayed by George Eliot,

later

his

who was brought up

oil

^^^H

the

Arbury

estate, his

most lasting memorials are the Newdigate verse

prize which he founded at Oxford, and the

charm of

the house which

he transformed and which has remained unaltered since his death.

The transformation was
SIR

ROGER NEWDIGATE BY DEVIS

several

architects

Miller,

whose

ert

long one, lasting several decades, and

a

were employed, among them probably Sanderson

was not

seat

far off

Radway, and

at

Rob-

certainly

Keene, Surveyor of Westminster Abbey, and Couchman, a local

Warwickshire

architect. In the circumstances the unity of feeling that

informs Sir Roger's work

is

Though he was over

surprising.

eighty

when

the last fragile cusp and crocket were executed, there are few

suites

of rooms more of a mood, more winningly and consistently

light-hearted than his stuccoed apartments.

The

Arbury

delight of

is

missed

the visitor judges

if

of conventional Gothic.

He

titioners of the 'correct'

Gothic Revival. Arbury

in

it

terms

be as censorious as were the prac-

will

is

not related to the

exaltations and certainties of mediaeval building but to the rococo

DESIGN FOR A STABLE DOOR BY WREN

Bow

elegance of

by Chippendale.
lery

than

better

a

is

all

The
key

pendants,

the

vaults,

fluted

At Arbury

the arches, the fan

Sup-

yet for reasons no

to please,

is

forms

essential

pure decoration.

are

pillars,

porting nothing, their only purpose

The

Europe.

northern

of

the

Gal-

understanding of Sir Roger's ornament

to the

of Gothic were dictated by function.
t(?TTT£TTflf

Long

suite of 'Chippendale' chairs in the

cathedrals

the

more audacious designs published

porcelain or the

doubt connected with the lingering prestige of Perpendicular, that
peculiarly English style, pleasure

achieved by a vivacious use of

is

Gothic elements. Chamfers, ogees,

trefoil

and

crestings,

tra-

filigree

cery are as a gay as rocaille, and serious ecclesiastical motifs are

duced to play a role associated with the symbols of the

-.M9
wmfm
t3

chase,

and the boudoir. The

Arbury

1708

Sir

ROGER'S DIARY OF 1761
SHOWS THAT KEENE'S FAN-VAULTING WAS INSPIRED BY THE HENRY
VII

the

arts,

<

DROWING OF THE TUDOR
HOUSE BY HENRY BEIGHTON,
below:

in-

Roger

is

half

its

charm.

from across the lake and landscape which

best seen

is

undertaking

levity of the

manner, a manner which

laid out in the picturesque

itself

SIR

CHAPEL AT WESTMINSTER ABBEY

Appointments

in

March,

owed much

initially to the

front with

its

rococo

spirit.

From

pinnacles and battlements,

projecting bays,

its

this viewpoint, the

its

south

traceried windows,

its

deep recessions and shadows, creates much of the

vi

movement

sense of busy

1761.
f*^V«C*«*.

is

not the ideal

the south front

message.

The

unconvincing.

medium
is

interior

by the vaulted corridor,
inserted

in

Arbury
is

is

perhaps

the thing.
east

known

as

Here

and south
'The

a

its

little

taste,

and

light-hearted

stilted,

a

little

a succession of enchantfronts,

Cloisters',

and are linked

which Sir Roger

the quadrangle of the old Elizabethan house.

In these

t6*

rococo

too strictly symmetrical to convey

exterior of

The

Roger must have intended. But stone

for the expression of a

rooms occupy the

ing Gothick

-

that Sir

rooms the dominant colours are white, or white and gold,

and with

cording to one's mood, shrines fantastically carved

work of some

confectionery, the

'petrified lacework".

reminded of
ler

to the Saloon,

apartments

elaboration

inspired Escoffier.

George Eliot was

sequence proceeds through smal-

The

whose fan-vaulted

and whose semi-circular bay window

ac-

chalk, or celestial

in

ceiling of extraordinary

from Henry VII's chapel

derived

is

rooms seem,

stalactite pendants, the

and

their ribs, bosses,

Westminster,

at

perhaps the most original exam-

is

The drawing-room

that adjoins,

ple of

Gothick glazing

with

splendid collection of 'Red Anchor' Chelsea china, whose exotic

a

in

the country.

birds find here their appropriate setting, has a groined

and

ceiling

come

logical culmination,

Lastly, a

The

discordant elements.
its

Gothick, yet

in its successful

in their

and

library.

of the Elizabethan

site

The framework

mullioned windows

Gothick wall-work.

the

in

the dining-room

dining-room, occupying the

an extraordinary tour de force

and

framed

portraits

full-length

and barreled

with

its

hall,

is

marriage of apparently

sumptuous fan-vaulting

long columned embrasure,

is

firmly

niches on the walls under elaborate Gothick canopies

in

are versions of well-known classical statues, and the walls themselves
are closely hung with Elizabethan and Jacobean portraits. Cupid and

Psyche are as strangely at home as Queen Elizabeth

Mary

jewelled stomacher, or
digate)

whose beauty

The

Above

an early

(sister-in-law of

Fitton

most compelling

library achieves another

elements.
is

is

in lace ruff

THE STABLES

and

New-

curious setting.

in this

happy blend of

classical

and rococo

the elaborate Gothick bookcases with arched tops

and

a frieze incorporating horses, swans,

de

flairs

lys.

This prepares

eye and imagination for the transition to the shallow barrel-vaulted

wholly

ceiling painted

the classical

in

manner with medallions and

arabesques. But the strking beauty of the
the three

windows

in the

room

is

its

colour.

Through

south bay, light explores the Gothick detail

of white bookcases, the gilded ceiling, and the surfaces of old leather
bindings that seem as soft as velvet.
is

The

effect,

unusually harmonious,

not of plaster, paint, and books, but of ivory, gold and amber.

Gothick rooms, and adding much

In these

to

their interest,

is

harboured the history of four hundred years, and the accumulations
of successive generations of Newdigates.

which includes
ington,

series of family portraits,

in

its

remarkable.

Its

completeness to the great

range includes pieces used by the

execution

his

marquetry of the

late

Duke

is

seventeenth century, Louis

XV

col-

no

of Suf-

1554, Archbishop Laud's cabinet,

in

WROUGHT-IRON gates to the stable courtyard

Wash-

Gilbert Stuart, the painter of George

Gorhambury, Burghley, or Woburn. The furniture

folk before
rich

work by

almost comparable

is

lections at
less

a

The

the

commodes,

Georgian mahogany, and the polite satinwood that was fashionable

when
is

Sir

Robert was an old man.

Much

due to these accretions of time and

Time

has

also

left

the

imprint

of the attraction of Arbury
taste.

of

the

teenth centuries. Sir Roger's Gothick revolution

Long
tel

sixteenth

and seven-

was incomplete

in the

Gallery, where the splendid Elizabethan fireplace and overman-

survive,

and

in

the

Chapel on the ground

by Sir Roger's grandfather,

is

floor.

The

latter,

conceived

an almost untouched example of the

decoration of the time of Charles

II.

The powerful

plaster work, with

WINDOW

OF THE SALOON FROM THE OUTSIDE AND INSIDE

293

W^

i>-_

1

1

/~>

:rtw
;XT7!w
S

s<7

^

9T%
••'--

2

v^^

i

...•'

ARBURY HALL

THE LIBRARY

its

opposite:

THE DRAWING-ROOM

plump garlands of

work

of

fruit

Edward Martin,

a

and

flowers,

London

its

flourishing acanthus,

is

the

plasterer. Its juxtaposition to the

mid-eighteenth-century rooms concisely points the change

in taste

from

the baroque to the rococo.

A

few years earlier than the Chapel are the

stables,

gracious buildings characteristic of an age that housed
as splendidly as their owners.

The

stables are of

surmounted by curved gables of
the Netherlands than
Stables, Chapel,

bury

its

in

is

set in

a type

horses almost

weathered red brick

with stone-mullioned windows, and Sir Christopher
designs for the central porch. It

its

immense yet

Wren made

several

one of three bays that are

more

usual in East Anglia or

Warwickshire.

Long

Gallery, furniture and pictures, give Ar-

fourth dimension, an extension in time, and provide the long

perspective against which Sir Roger's achievement

is

set.

Robin Fedden

left:

THE DRAWING-ROOM FIREPLACE

295

THE DINING-ROOM WINDOWS

ARBURY HALL

DETAIL OF THE FIREPLACE

FIREPLACE IN THE DINING-ROOM

Vn ecclesiastical Gothick imposed on the architecture of several centuries

I

4

1*3.

THE CHAPEL, UNALTERED SINCE CHARLES
left:

A SMALL SITTING-ROOM

II

297

A

1780

SKETCH OF THE GARDEN FACADE

d Hane-Steenhuyse

Hotel

The King's
ON

5

march

Provence.

during the Hundred Days

retreat

On

1815, Napoleon landed from Elba on
the 18th,

Marechal Ney went over

to the side of his

former Emperor, and Louis XVIII, abandoned by
decided to

his courtiers,

Lille with only a

him

to

make

fly

from the

vague idea of

for England, but he

his

was

Tuileries.
final

the coast of

but a few of

all

He

took the road to

Some advised

destination.

reluctant to leave the mainland

of Europe. Others spoke of the friends that he was sure to find in

Belgium. Eventually, alarmed by the news of Napoleon's success and
discouraged by the hesitation of William

welcome

He

in Brussels,

recalled,

I

Louis XVIII decided to

of Holland to bid him

make

his

way

to

Ghent.

no doubt, that when he was nothing but the Comte de

Provence, he had been very well received by a charming aristocrat

Comte d'Hane-Steenhuyse. After an exhausting jourKing reached Ghent and called on his former host, who re-

of that town, the
ney, the

ceived him with great cordiality.
days, gathering round

of

all

the

him

He

stayed there exactly a hundred

a small court,

and receiving the emissaries

Governments of Europe.

The Hotel d'Hane-Steenhuyse, which had
Middle Ages,

is

busiest street. In

family that

still

been famous since the

situated in the very centre of the

1698 the original house came

owns

it.

town and

into the

Jean-Baptiste d'Hane, the

in

its

hands of the

Comte de Nieu-

landt and Lisbekc, acquired the property in that year, but his succes-

Comte Emmanuel-Ignace d'Hane (1702-1771) and his son, Comte
Pierre-Emmanuel (1726-1786), pulled down the mediaeval house and

sors,

298

opposite:

THE GARDEN FRONT AT THE PRESENT DAY

*T*

A-*

•%.

"*4

*K*.

*

HOTKL 1)11 \M>
STEKNHUYSK

**

A PAVILION ADJOINING THE GARDEN FACADE
erected in

employed
on the

place

its

their

as

the

spendid building that we see today.

David

architects

street in the style of

who

Kint,

't

built

who

Louis XV, and Dewez.

signed the garden-front with

its

the
in

They
facade

1773 de-

elegant window.

The French and Italians who were invited to decorate the interior made it as gay as it was sumptuous. On the ground floor, completed in 1781, there is a suite of rooms of delightful elegance. Of
these the most remarkable
rises to the full height

the

is

room, or ballroom, which

Italian

of the house.

On

the level of the

balcony runs round the entire room, and the
years to construct, the
is

a marvellous

Feilt of

five

Paris,

types of precious

six

in

floor a

which took

floor,

work of Francois and Henri

achievement of marquetry

first

wood. This was the room where Louis XVIII amused himself with
his larger dinner-parties

ings,

and concerts, but for

he used the green saloon, and

it

is

his

more intimate gather-

said that the people of Ghent,

glancing through the windows as they passed by the house, would see

him preparing
Salon Vert

is

as hors d'oeuvres,

to eat,

twelve dozen oysters.

embellished with wood-carvings framing superb Gobelin

and the great Savonnerie carpet

tapestries,

The

is

of the same date as the

decor.

The

Salon des Saisons, or

wall-panels by

Van Reyschoot

aristocracy of

Ghent

in

little

dining-room,

depicting

the countryside

is

members of
and

at

named

the contemporary

home. The

also executed the ceiling-paintings in the Italian room,
a

man who

shown

enjoyed teasing

the overturning of a

caused a considerable

from

his patrons, for in

a

his face.

window by

The

a

stir in

lady's

Ghent

carriage,

at the time,

after the

artist,

who

was obviously

one of the panels he has
an incident which

and the scene

young abbot, whose delight

is

is

had

observed

very evident on

sense of propriety of a descendant of the

Comte d'llane

caused him to have the figure of the priest changed into that of a

THE COMTE D'HANE

young man.

(1702-1771)

THREE FREQUENT VISITORS TO THE HOUSE DURING THE HUNDRED DAYS
left: THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON, centre: CHATEAUBRIAND, right: I.E DUC DE BERRY

CUP

I

THE BALLROOM

CEILING, BY PIERRE

below:

THE SALLE

A LITALIENNE, OR IJAI.LROOM

LANDS* MM
IN

BY VAN REYSSCHOOT

THE SALON DES SAISONS

NORBERT VAN REYSSCHOOT

ENTRANCE HALL AND THE FOOT OF THE STAIRS

THE ROOM

IN'

WHICH

I.OI IS

Will SLEPT AND

WORKED

The

other rooms

in

the house, including that which the King used

hoth as his study and bedroom, and a
below:

THE SALON VERT

made

wall-paper

I

lotel

among

Company

Belgian

house remained

first

floor with

in

the eighteenth century, have created for

in

d'Hane Steenhuyse

the

the

of Chinese rice-paper, said to have been imported

by the East India
the

room on

private

a reputation

houses

of

which

its

almost unequalled

is

period.

Until

1905

the

private occupation, and the present owners were

born there. But when their careers took them to Brussels, and they

had no further
it

as a

links with Ghent, they closed the house,

Museum

1947.

in

The

which saw Jerome Alexander

public can
I

now walk through

of Russia, William

leyrand, and the jovial monarch, Louis XVIII,

any other

visitor's,

oons adorned by

will

many

and reopened

I

the

rooms

of Holland, Tal-

whose name, more than

always be associated with these beautiful

sal-

of the finest artists of the day, working tor

enlightened patrons whose taste has survived as their epitaph.

Raudouhx de Bousics Borluui

opposite:

THE KINGS DESK SURVIVES

IN

THE ROOM WHICH HE OCCUPIED

«**

mil

4J

t

^^L—UZX

J

«%

-'

~

y

THE BATHING-PAVILION. DETAIL FROM A PAINTING BY BELLOTTO

Lazienki
The

island-palace of the last King of Poland
AT THE END OF the

seventeenth century the

who

traveller

ap-

proached the capital of Poland from the south and passed before the
imposing

castle,

Ujazdow

centre of the

which dominated the

estate

vast gardens sloping towards the Vistula, could see the cupolas of a

down below among

small picturesque building

the trees. This

was the

Pavilion of the Baths, the core of the existing Lazienki Palace.

At

that period the estate

was owned by Prince Stanislaus Lu-

bomirski, a most powerful statesman, as well as being poet, philos-

A

opher and man-of-letters.

Pavilion of the Baths, which

patron of the

arts,

he embellished the

was probably erected during

the third

quarter of the century by one of his predecessors. His favourite
a

artist,

Dutchman, Tilman van Gameren, Polish by adoption and the most

famous exponent of baroque architecture
this

Poland, had a hand

in

work. The Pavilion of the Baths ('Lazienki'

a large rotunda with fountains in the 'grotesque'

and rest-chambers,

adorned with

richly

stucco,

in Polish)

in

included

manner, bathrooms

statues

and

pictures.

Externally the building offered a sober aspect, relieved solely by the
three cupolas, the central one of which corresponded to the rotunda.

The

estate

towski, a noble

was bought

who was

in

1764 by Stanislaus Augustus Ponia-

already sure of his accession of the throne,

which took place that same year. The
to set

up

his

country seat there. With

constructing the Castle of

Ujazdow on

soon abandoned, concentrating

all

his favourite task

king of Poland proposed

this in

the

his efforts

Baths which he decided to convert into

304

last

mind, he began by

hill,

a project

re-

which he

on the Pavilion of the

a villa-residence.

This became

and preoccupation. The hapless king, weak

states-

opposite:

THE COLONNADED BRIDGE

LAZIENKI

man though

he was, proved himself an undisputed sovereign

the

in

realm of culture and the arts and one of the most illustrious patrons

Europe.

in

He

gathered a group of architects, sculptors, painters and

most

skilled craftsmen, Italians for the

Warsaw. He

at

round him

part,

at his court

entrusted the reconstruction of the Pavilion of the

The

Baths to the First Architect of the King, Domenico Merlini.

whole scheme was under the supervision of the Master of the Court

who

Buildings, the painter Marcello Bacciarelli,

carried out the major

part of the painted decoration.

Following unimportant modifications

in the

Pavilion effected be-

tween 1772 and 1777, the main reconstruction was embarked on

KING STANISLAUS AUGUSTUS PONIATOWSKI
BY BACCIARELLI

1784.

The

time.

Between 1788 and 1793 the old Pavilion of the Baths was

present south faqade was built onto the old edifice at this

completely encompassed - sides and roofs - by new parts, with their
interiors,

which were added

dominated on the exterior

rooms, the arrangement

to the existing

The

of which was also partially transformed.
Edward Hartwlg

in

as in the interior

neo-classical style pre-

where parts of the pre-

vious baroque decor were nevertheless retained - a

on the part of
hausted

his

a

defence forces. Thus the

Poland came

in

generous conqueror to an enemy

into being;

it

was

handsome gesture

who had

already ex-

specimen of neo-classicism

finest

same time an expression of

at the

the efflorescence of that style there during the age of Enlightenment

and one of the most
Lazienki Palace

is

attractive

a beautiful

denned volumes and

in

The
shadow. The

grounds.

SOUTH FRONT OF THE PALACE

its

clearly

its

ingeniously

an unusual motif

flourish.

down

to the

lies in

portico-niche,

entrance to the inside of the building.

The

sections are

belvedere,

classical

south faqade, with

statues sloping gently
Edward Hart wig

light

chief aesthetic merit of the palace

The

Europe. The

a touch of originality to the palace, closes the en-

semble at the top like a elegant

The

in

specimen of architecture with

light walls.

contrasted with those

and one that lends

examples of the idiom

its

relation to the

makes an

Its terrace is

inviting

embellished with

pond formed by the canal waters.

form an extension of the palace beyond the island on

galleries

both sides - towards the flanking pavilions which merge into the trees
of the park.

We

are unaware of any feeling of dissonance as our

glance shifts from natural setting to architecture, and the sunlit volumes

of the palace seem to constitute as
as the canal waters, the

brown gravel of

foliage under the blue sky.

The more

towards the water

Nor
ing

in a flight

garden

and the green

restrained north faqade, with

The

Palace any

inspiration, are
architect,

interest-

in

its

general

some smooth, some elegantly decorated

adorned with grotesques so much

A

less

neo-classical archi-

rectangular ballroom, simple

white stucco, interrupted by panels

of Jean Plersch.

away

of steps.

from the point of view of the development of

plan, has vast wall-surfaces,

306

the avenues

are the interiors of the Lazienki

tecture in Europe.

THE MORE SEVERE NORTHERN FRONT

integral part of the

projecting porch surmounted with a pediment, falls steeply

its

in

much an

in

in

warm

vogue

red and brown tones,

at that period, the

work

refinement and rational discipline, very French

much

in

Jean-Baptiste

evidence

in this

room

in

for which another court

Kammsetzcr, was probably responsible.

Wc

owe

rooms

the architectonic element in other

Merlini with his greater liking for opulent
surfaces

Solomon Room

the so-called

in

more exuberant

to the

effects.

He

huge

allotted

to paintings of biblical

and

al-

legorical subjects by Bacciarclli.
It

is

The garden was replanned and enlarged during

surrounding park.

its

Edward Hartwlfr

impossible to imagine the 'Palace on the Water' without

the reign of Stanislaus Augustus

much

favour at that time.

in

every season of the year.

the English

in

Romantic

possesses a great deal of

It

The king commissioned

style,

so

charm

at

some

the building of

between 1774 and 1793: the so-called

pavilions, mostly by Merlini,

'White House', the small and attractive Myslewice Palace with
wings

its

horse-shoe form, the Orangerie linked to a theatre with a

in

superb decoration painted by Plersch, the Amphitheatre - open to
stage separated

the sky in the classical tradition, with a

The

work

Palace was the

of the last years of the reign of Sta-

The king was fond

nislaus Augustus.

SCULPTURAL DETAIL OF THE EXTERIOR

the canal - and guard-houses.

arm of

audience by an

from the

of retiring to

and leaving

it

behind the affairs of state which were rapidly degenerating. There

work and, on occasion, gave grand receptions and, fremore intimate ones. Of the latter the Thursday dinner-parties,

he did his
quently,

when he talked with

writers and scholars,

conversational brilliance.

He

became celebrated for

loved to contemplate the paintings

their
in his

gallery which he intended to enrich through the purchase of a col-

made

lection specially

pay for

to

The

it

in

his

had not been completed when the

the palace

political

to abdicate

and

duties
left

it

it

and

his

He was

reign collapsed.

Warsaw. The palace soon shared

At

tragic fate of the Polish nation.

century

London. In the end he was unable

in

become the nucleus of the Dulwich Gallery.

interior of

king failed

compelled

and

it,

him

for

the

the beginning of the nineteenth

became the private residence of the Czars of Russia, which

remained up

to

1918,

when

custodian, the State, threw

it

in

open

the newly independent Poland,

its

This precious gem of European art remained intact for some
time during the last war.

man
It

occupation,

it

During the

siege of

at the time of the insurrection of

1939 and the Ger-

large-scale destruction of

Warsaw

1944 and the months which followed.

But when at the end of the year 1944, Hitler's troops blew up
buildings

which

still

remained

also struck for the La/ienki Palace.

Two

for dynamite in the walls of the fine
but, as the launching of a

the

Germans no time

the

intact,

all

tragic

hundred holes were bored

Rotunda and adjacent rooms;

combined Soviet and Polish offensive

pletion.

The

splendour.

It

is

it,

original appearance. This long task

finest

a

left

to insert the charges, they set fire to the interior.

construction of the palace with the aim of restoring
its

the

hour

After the liberation the Polish government began the entire

internally, to

Edward Hartwig

escaped the destruction which befell the capital.

was likewise spared during the

distinguished

THE STAGE OF THE OUTDOOR THEATRE

to the public.

rooms have already been restored
dependency of the National

and has recently been opened

re-

externally and

is

nearing com-

to their

Museum

of

former

Warsaw

to the public.

Stefan Kozakiczvicz

THE 'WHITE

IIOLSE',

A PAVILION

IN

THE PARK

307

LAZIENKI

nJHHfli
THE SOLOMON ROOM, WITH BIBLICAL PAINTINGS BY BACCIARELLI

AN ANTE-CHAMBER

IN

THE RECONSTRUCTED PALACE

CERBERUS CHAINED IN THE BALL-ROOM

308

The

special feature of the interior

is its

sculpture and painting

THE GROUND-PLAN INDICATES HOW
LIGHT FLOODED THROUGH THE
BUILDING

below:

THE BALL-ROOM

IS

VERY FRENCH

IN INSPIRATION

LA/1EXKI

ONE OF THE SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY ROOMS OF THE ORIGINAL
BATHING-PAVILION, LINED WITH

DUTCH TILES

310

*zm

A NINETEENTH CENTURY VIEW OF THE HOUSE

Caska
'A

Labrador

del

corner of France beside the Tagus'

little

ARANJUEZ

is A

miracle. Thirty

miles south of

green oasis on the River Tagus. Everywhere

and parched. But

dry, yellow

and

fountains, light breezes,

seem huge and

summer

the

rich like lotus fruit. It

Spanish monarchs to have their

is

Castile

a
is

was

summer

famous strawberries

its

the natural place for the

palace as they had, with

interruption, since the late fifteenth century,

little

New

it

Aranjuez, there are green lawns,

in

in

else in

Madrid

when

the mediaeval

owners of the town, the knightly order of the Masters of Santiago

handed
bella.

over, reluctantly, to the Catholic kings, Ferdinand and Isa-

it

The

existing

tury by Philip

V

Royal Palace was

and

his

built in the

mid-eighteenth cen-

son Ferdinand VI, partly at least

of their French cousins' magnificence at Versailles.
of the royal gardens, along the Tagus, there

is

And

in imitation

at the

the Casita del Labra-

dor, the neo-classical 'Labourer's Cottage' built for Charles

Maria Luisa, those two strange
forever, with their children,

rulers

from

whose

bottom

IV and

fantastic faces stare out

their brilliantly insulting portraits

by Goya.

The

Casita del Labrador was no doubt built with the conscious re-

collection of

Trianon

at Versailles in the

mind of

the architect, Isidro

Gonzalez Velazquez, who worked on the house between 1792 and
1803.

The

site

chosen was actually that of a real labourer's cottage,

some of whose foundations are
house. This

is

built in the

still

form of

a three-storeyed central block, with

two wings, themselves divided by

opposite:

THE SCULPTURE HALL

visible in the cellars of the present

a

courtyard and united at their

313

CASITA DEL LABRADOR

The

extremity by railings.
buildings of this type,
all

is

courtyard,

customary

as

in

neo-classical

surrounded by twenty marble busts and

being copies of a classic model, most being

Roman

statues,

emperors. These

stand out against the pink and white brick of the Casita del Labrador

and the lush green of the woods which

itself,

closely

approach the

house.
Inside, the principal

tained.

This

is

and

first

floor

is

alone properly main-

reached by means of a sumptuous principal staircase,

with marble steps and lined jade

pillars.

This leads to

een rooms whose principal characteristic

from the Fabrica

del

objets d'art, of clocks

complained the

now

idiotic

Buen

Retiro, of

('How can

I

is

a suite of eight-

the collection of tapestries

furniture and,

among

other

be expected to rule an empire',

and displeasing monarch Ferdinand VII, prowl-

ing about these marble rooms, 'when

I

cannot get

all

my

clocks to

keep the right time?'). The most splendid rooms are those associated
with

Queen Maria

Luisa,

in

particular

her drawing-room with

its

THE ENTRANCE FRONT

314

!

c*

%%

I

SKETCH FOR THE FAQADE BY ISIDORO GONZALES VELAZQUEZ,

1803

magnificent tapestry and the fine baroque ceiling of the four seasons

painted by the Valencian
is

artist,

Maella.

A

specially curious clock here

decorated by a representation of Copernicus' planetary system. Four

fine

Sevres bowls recall a gift to Maria Luisa by Napoleon. This

room

room

heavily encrusted

with gold, bronze and platinum, carried out with

much 'Pompeian'

leads into the superb Gabinete de Platino, a

imitations - as

European
of

taste.

Roman

of Italian

was

(There

heads.)

cities:

The

is

one entire Pompeian room,

off this

Pope Gregory XVI

to

splendid piece of extravagance, there
in a

Pompeian

style,

Family ever stayed the night

at the Casita del

as a kind of adult day-nursery,

is

Ferdinand VII.
the royal bath-

but never alas used:

for there do not seem to have been any occasions

it

of copies

Florence, Venice, Naples; while from the ceiling hangs

room, also lavishly decorated

used

full

walls are additionally adorned by small views

a great chandelier, a present of

Opening

development of

inevitable at that period of the

when

the Royal

Labrador. They only

where Maria Luisa might meet

her absurd Godoy, the Prince of Peace,

in

formal

slightly less

cir-

cumstances than was inevitable at the big palace nearer the town.

The most

touching part of this jewelled house

elegant but severely

functional

service

staircase.

On

is

perhaps the

its

walls,

the

painter Zacarias Gonzalez Velazquez (brother of the architect) has depicted a brilliant series of dancing portraits, one of his

own

son, another

of Maria Luisa's hair-dresser, a third of Charles IV's barber. Other
servants follow, half erased by time, but full of movement, gaiety and
gravity, lasting expressions of that other Spain so rich in character

but so

little

understood by the cold, mad, royal persons upstairs

whom

they had to serve.

Hugh Thomas
CHARLES

IV

AND QUEEN MARIA LUISA BY GOYA

315

THE SMALL STAIRCASE, WITH A

The

SELF PORTRAIT BY ZACARIAS

Casita del Labrador
316

is

VELAZQUEZ

a splendid flourish at the

end of the

opposite:

18th century!]

THE DECORATION OF THE DINING-ROOM

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A PERSPECTIVE THROUGH THREE SMALL ROOMS

THE BILLIARD-ROOM

Exquisite care

was lavished on every corner
of the

little

palace
THE SALA CORUNNA
opposite:

318

CEILING OF THE SALA CORUNNA

vVqKJ

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Acknowledgements
The Editor

wish to thank the owners of

anil Publishers

and those who

the houses illustrated in this hook,

provided the additional illustrations (portraits, prints,
plans
the

The owner's name

below.

etc.) listed

name of each

The

house.

follows

illustrations are identified

by the page on which they appear, followed by an

abbreviated description of the illustration where necessary.

INTRODUCTION:

E. Boudot-Lamotte, 8 (S. Giorgio, P. Medici), 9
(Mantua), 10 (Badoer), 11 (Gamberaia, Anct, d'O), 12 (Balleroy, Sassy), 13

(Rezzonico, Stra, Rotonda), 14 (Vienna), 17 (P. Michel). Mansell
10

14

(Heidelberg)

(Hampton Court,

C.

Howard). Phot. Karqucl,

(Chenonceaux). Spanish National Tourist
Section Touristique

du Chateau dc

Information Bureau,

Denmark,
British

14,

Beloeil,

13,

(Beloeil).

Museum,

15

PALAIS SCIIWARZENBERG:

Netherlands

(Mauritshuis). National Travel Assoc,

15 (Clausholm). Ryksvoorlichtingsdinst,

15

(Huys

of

ten Bosch).

(Potsdam). K. L. M., 15 (Middachten). United

States Information Service, 16 (Mt. Vernon, Monticello). C. T. K., 17

(Krummau)

THE DUCAL PALACE, URBINO:
(both portraits). Gallerie delle

CHATEAUDUN:

The

State

and

(inscription

:

Dottore Angelo Cantoni. Pucci Foto, 46

Mantova. Soprintendenza

di

:

alle Gallerie di

The

State

(Monuments

Historiques).

Mansell Collection, 70

State (Ministero della Pubblica Istruzione). Victoria

Museum, London,

EGESKOV:

78

Grafin Sch6nborn.

207, 208 (plan

Lazzaro.

Museo

National Trust (The

CAPRAROLA: The

State.

Civico, Turin,

i

Pommersfelden\ by

II.

Kreisel,

portrait), 211

CLAYDON:

214, 216

National Trust (Ralph Verney Esq.). Sydney IV. Newbury,

232 (two portraits)

RUSSBOROUGH:

Sir

Alfred

Beit.

National Library of Ireland, 239.

National Gallery of Ireland, 240

Duke

fiir

Kultur).

Landeshaupstadt Diisseldorf. Giraudon, (Palais de Vtlysee),

Kunstmuseum, Diisseldorf, 252
Nymphenburg, 252 (Theodore)

(Pigage), 255, 256. Schloss

of Devonshire). Trustees

portraits)

Gabinetto delle Stampe, Milan, 106. Archives

Parma, 109

SYON: Duke

of Northumberland. The 'Connoisseur'' and the Duke
Northumberland, 262-3. R. B. Fleming & Co. Ltd, 261, 264

YOUSSOUPOFF:

Leningrad

Town

of

Council. Mansell Colin /ion, 270.

Prince Felix Youssoupoff, 271

HOTEL LAMBERT:

Baron Alexis de Rede

TANLAY:

Marguerite de Tanlay, Comtesse de
Albert Museum, London, 120, 123

QUELUZ: The
la

State of Portugal. British

Museum, 277

Chauvinierc. Victoria

PETIT TRIANON: Musee

de Versailles. Archives Nationales, 282, 284.

Mansell Collection, 288 (two

portraits)

Prince Vitaliano Borromeo. Gabinetto delle Stampe,

ARBURY: Humphrey

Milan, 131

VAUX-LE-VICOMTE: Madame

WILTON

and

251.

of the Chatsvjorth Settlement, 100 (accounts). National Trust, 100 (two

ISOLA BELLA:

e

Land of Bavaria. 'Die Fresken dcr IVurzburger Resident?,
Hirmer Verlag, 221, 229. Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 224

BENRATH:

Contessa Marina Luling Buschetti Volpi. Mansell

HARD WICK HALL:

&

Maurizio

dei SS.

200 (Juvara)

of the D. D. R. (Ministerium
Sans Souci Archives, 246. British Museum, 244

Collection, 95

of

STUPINIGI: Ordine

SANS SOUCI: Government

Count Gregers Ahlefeld-Bille

VILLA MASER:

Land of Bavaria. From 'Nymphrnburg', by
Luisa Hager, Hirmer Verlag, 190, 194, 195 (three portraits)

phot.,

60, 62, 63

VILLA D'ESTE: The
Albert

THE NYMPIIENBURG:

WURZBURG:

PALAZZO DEL TE Comune

&

Charles de Beistegui

BRiiHL: Stadt Koln. Rhcinisches Bildarchiv, Kbln,

Sighart Enzenberg. Fot. Demanega, 55

CHAMBORD:

Prince Schwarzenberg. Photo, Anton

and Alcala. Phot, de Arte

SCHLOSS TRATZBERG: Graf
Mantova,

:

POMMERSFELDEN:

39

VILLA LANTE

PALAZZO LABIA M.

Hirmer Verlag,
of Medinaceli

v/d

181 (carpet)

Fesl,

198,

coin).

(Monuments Historiques)

CASA DE PILATOS: The Duke
M. Moreno,

Gallerie delle Marche. Alinari, 21

Marche, 21

paintings). Rijksdienst

9

10 (Guadalajara).

Office,

AMSTERDAM:

(Philips). Coll. Jhr. van Lennep, 172 (two
Monumentcnzorg, 173

11

(Cintra, Boboli),

Pienza),

Collection, 9 (P. Strozzi,

475 HEERENGRACHT,
Hollandsche Societeit voor
Levensverzckeringen. Coll. Kon. Academic v. Wetenschappcn, 171, 172

Sommier. Mansell Collection, 136

DROTTNINGHOLM:

H. M. the King of Sweden. Nordiska Museum,
Svenska Portruttarkivet Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, 154
of Alba. Hispanic Society of

BLENHEIM PALACE: Duke

of Marlborough. British

166-7. National Portrait Gallery, 164 (three portraits)

HOTEL D'HANE:

Comte de Bousies-Borluut. National

Portrait Gallery,

300 (Wellington)
151.

America, 158

Museum,

Newdegate Esq. /\ IV. & L. Thompson,
and Wren). Phot. Logan, Birmingham, 292

(Beighton)

Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery. Worcester College,
Oxford, 140
:

PALACIO DI LIRIA: Duke

Fitzroy

phot. Coventry, 292 (Deviss

162,

City of Warsaw. Muzeum Narodovue, Warsaw, 304, 306.
Polska Akademia Nauk, 308 (Cerberus), 309 (plan). Edward Hartwig,

LAZIENKI:

306 (south and north fronts), 307

CASITA DEL LABRADOR:
313,

314.

(all

three pictures)

Patrimonio Nacional. Patrimonio National,

Prado Museum, 315

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The forty houses described and illustrated
in this

volume are

these:

ENGLAND
Hardwick Hall; Wilton; Blenheim;
Syon; Claydon; Arbury

ITALY
Ducal Palace, Urbino; Villa Lante; Palazzo del Te;
Villa d'Este; Villa Barbaro, Maser; Caprarola;
Isola Bella;

Palazzo Labia; Stupinigi

FRANCE
Chateaudun; Chambord; Hotel Lambert;
Vaux-le-Vicomte; Petit Trianon; Tanlay

GERMANY
Pommersfelden; Bruhl; Benrath;

The Nymphenburg; The

Residenz,

Wurzburg; Sans

Souci

SPAIN
Casa de Pilatos; Casita del Labrador; Palacio Liria

AUSTRIA
Palais Schwarzenberg; Tratzberg

BELGIUM
Hotel d'Hane-Steenhuyse

DENMARK
Egeskov

HOLLAND
475 Heerengracht, Amsterdam

w

IRELAND
Russborough

POLAND
Lazienki

PORTUGAL
Queluz

RUSSIA
The Youssoupoff

Palace, Leningrad

SWEDEN
Drottningholm

The authors of
Lionel Brett,

the descriptive articles include:

Ewan

Butler,

Princess

Caraman Chimay,

Ralph Dutton, Robin Fedden, Colin Fenton, Xan Fielding,

Dr Monk

Gibbon, Francis Haskell, Joan Haslip, Anthony Hobson

Robin McDouall, Kenneth Snowman, John Sparrow,
Sir

John Summerson, Hugh Thomas

*

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