Friday, October 11, 2013

The Palazzo Interior

Colonna Gallery, Palazzo Colonna, Rome, 1661-1701, Antonio del Grande and Johann Paul

A palazzo interior has no specific kit of parts; the space depends on various factors having to do with the owner and what functions the space is to perform. One common trait between various interiors is related to the furnishings; during this period, the ability for furniture to be mobile was essential in being able to convert multiple household functions. The ceiling seemed to be the only fixed element in a room. Its coffered wooden frame would be adorned with bright frescos or with some other decorative element.

Wall coverings were popular among the wealthy. Heavy tapestries helped to retain heat during the winter months and were switched out for a lighter material, normally silk, during the summer. Along with the frescos that might have covered the ceilings and frieze, tapestries helped to tell a story of the elite's ancestors. The wealthy further distinguished themselves from the middle class by adding more decor to the walls, mainly consisting of art collections. The most prominent paintings were posted where all could see so as to further project an image of high social rank.

console table

Furnishings within a palazzo were equally as impressive. Chair, table, and cabinet design were ambitious in composition as much as material and cost. Unlike furniture from other periods which employed the work of carpenters and joiners, the furnishing for palazzos were commissioned to famous sculptors like Bernini, Cortona, and Schor. Console tables were extremely popular and unusual for this era; although it shows classic elements of the Baroque style within it design, the table itself was too heavy to actually move like other furnishings at the time. Because the console table is normally set against a wall, the front portion of the table is highly decorative but the back portion is left stark if it is not shown. The rooms were lit with candelabras and ornate chandeliers.

No comments:

Post a Comment