Friday, September 12, 2014

Temple of Apollo, Schwetzingen

The gardens of Schloss Schwetzingen, in Schwetzingen, Germany, are world renowned, even more so than the palace, as they are preserved from the mid 18th century and feature a number of unique areas. The first of these is the Temple of Apollo.
The gardens are a mixture of Italian and English styles, popular at the time, and the temple is set atop terraced walls. Set inside the garden folly is a statue of the Greek god Apollo, the god of the Arts and of light.
They look down to an Italianate fountain which ends at a rounded lawn, perfect as an outdoor amphitheater.
 The guardrails have a beautiful verdigris finish with gilded suns set at the posts. The details of even such a small corner of the gardens are astounding!
Next week I'll bring some special structures from the Garden at Schwetzingen. I hope this leaves you with a taste of whats to come!

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.

Monday, September 8, 2014

BUtterfield 8 movie sets

This past weekend I watched the movie that won Elizabeth Taylor her first Oscar in 1960, BUtterfield 8. While Mrs Taylor's performance and the movie as a whole were excellent I have to say what stole the show for me was the NYC apartment of her society 'boyfriend' Weston Liggett played by Laurence Harvey.
The neutral tones of the apartment were predominantly gray with black doors and white trim. Sound very 2014 to you?  I also loved that the plaster casings around the door - seen above -and in the fireplace surround seen in the first photo were a very classical Greek key. Design inspiration is everywhere if you just look!
Apologies for the photo quality which I took of my tv screen!