Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Inside the Villa della Regina; an 18th century chinoiserie fantasy

Located high in the hills above Turin, Italy, and surrounded by luscious Italianate gardens is the royal Savoy palace known as the "Villa della Regina".  Despite damage from WWII and years of neglect the villa has remained a fantastic example of the exotic 18th century chinoiserie style.
The building has been the property of the country since 1994 and maintenance is directly funded by visitors ( so make sure to visit! ). The views of Turin alone would be worth the trip.
Above you can see the highly terraced gardens with the house nestled into the hillside creating a protected entry court.
 The views down to Turin are stunning!
 I love these highly terraced, architectural gardens.
 The fountain at the entrance is large enough to be a pool!
 The fountain above is stunning even when not running.
 This teahouse terminates the view up the hillside.
The real thing to see here however are the interiors, preserved from the 18th century in all of their exotic-ness.
 The boiseries in many of the rooms contain panels of chinoiserie wallpaper.
 The details are gorgeous
 and the scenes intriguing.
Very few examples of the original furniture exist but the above cabinet gives one a taste of what once was.
 The room above has a bit of everything: rococo, chinoserie, Pompeian scenes, etc.
In the above enfilade you can tell just how big this place is although not all of the rooms retain their original decoration.
The rooms which still boast their frescoes make up for it though. Have you ever seen anything so fanciful?
The ceilings in most cases are more interesting than the walls.  Let this be a lesson to all of us; no more boring white ceilings!
 You almost need a microscope to take in all of the detail.
Some of the rooms have lost their original decoration but retain the plasterwork like above for a more modern look.
Comparing the same room's ceiling from 2 different angles shows one what a difference the decoration makes.
I hope you enjoyed this peek into the Villa della Regina and found something to inspire you! Thanks again to my Penpal for sharing these gorgeous images. As always click on the photos to view in greater detail.


Blue said...

Chinoiserie as it is first appeared is very appealing – much better than the derivative and weak stuff one finds nowadays – said he sourly. It's the prof in me.

It is a lovely place, this palazzo, and well worth a trip to Turin alone just to see it. You are, by the way, making it very difficult for me to sustain my decision not to go to Italy this winter.

The Arts by Karena said...

Stefan the Chinoiserie panels thrill me, they are as fresh and delightful as when they were first installed!

The Arts by Karena

Mark Ruffner said...

Hi, Stefan,

It's so interesting to see chinoiserie mixed with other styles, but the jury's still out on that. What I enjoyed most in terms of design was that sunken entry court, a great concept, particularly given the openess of the other side of the building.

Stephilius said...

How wonderful! I'd never even heard of the place - thanks, Stefan!

Chronica Domus said...

Wow, Chinoiserie interiors is something quite unexpected in this beautiful building. I enjoyed viewing the ceilings (yes, a microscope may well be needed!), and the fountain shot is very appealing the way it is set in a meadow. Quite charming.

Loi Thai, Tone on Tone said...

What a treasure! Beautiful inside and out. Your penpal is very kind and generous. Please keep the tours coming :)

Bmore Bungalow said...

Swoon.....lovely photos. Thanks for a great dose of daily inspiration!

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

Magnificent - the exterior fulfilled my need for exquisite architecture today! The interior is beautiful. Stefan thanks for this post. I had never seen this palazzo before.

Nancy {at} powellbrower at home said...

What a gorgeous post and makes me yearn for another trip to Italy! Such beauty all around. xo Nancy