Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Würzburger Residenz, Culmination of the German Baroque Period

(Top): Würzburg Residence from the front. (Bottom): garden facade of the Residence

The Würzburg Residence (German: Würzburger Residenz) is a palace in Würzburg in Southern Germany. The principal architect of the Residence was Balthasar Neumann, Court Architect of the Bishop of Würzburg. Also involved in its design were Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt, Maximilian von Welsch, Robert de Cotte, and Germain Boffrand. Construction was begun in 1720 and lasted until 1744, but interior artworks were in progress through the 1750s.  Venetian painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and his son Domenico painted the building's frescoes. The pictures of the Residence above show the striking similarities of the structure to Versailles, highlighting yet again the crucial role that Versailles played in shaping the Baroque style throughout Europe.

This video at UNESCO's website http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/169/video takes the viewer on a virtual visit of the magnificent Würzburg Residence, beginning with its context in the urban fabric of Würzburg and continuing to its architecture and detailed frescoes.

The high-definition images at http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/t/tiepolo/gianbatt/5wurzbur/index.html allow the viewer to see high-quality photographs of the interior of the Residence. The interior styles are a combination of Baroque and the more ornate Rococo. The main staircase of the Residence (also depicted below) can be seen at the site; the staircase gained prominence as part of a formal reception space for the Bishop of Würzburg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W%C3%BCrzburg_Residence#Staircase). The ceiling frescoes (allegorical paintings of Europe, Asia, America, and Africa) decorating the vault of the staircase are some of Tiepolo's noteworthy works. The clip at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0BOIJ35pEg provides Colin Bailey's expert commentary on Tiepolo's Empire of Flora fresco, which gives the viewer insight into the style and technique of Tiepolo during the peak of his career.

The main staircase of Würzburg Residence, http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/t/tiepolo/ gianbatt/5wurzbur/index.html

Ceiling fresco detail over the main staircase, http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/t/tiepolo/gianbatt/ 5wurzbur/index.html

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