Friday, January 17, 2020

Schönbrunn Palace Guide

The following are beauty posts inspired from my visit to Vienna, Austria:

Fun for all ages is guaranteed at Schönbrunn Palace – whether you visit the Children’s Museum, enjoy a special guided tour for children through the State Rooms or explore the Maze with the Labyrinth and Labyrinthikon Playground. 

Schönbrunn Palace was where the imperial family used to spend their summer months. Explore the spacious palace park with maze, labyrinth and Labyrinthikon Playground and visit the staterooms in the palace where Maria Theresa and Franz Joseph used to live!

The imperial children lived either on the second or third floor of the palace or on the ground floor. Until the age of six, each child had three rooms of his and her own: an anteroom, a salon and a bedroom. Afterward, they were given two rooms more: another anteroom and an audience room (the room where the children received visitors). Their apartment was thus as large as that of every adult member of the imperial family. The servants lived in the adjoining building or, like the children, on the second or third floor of the palace. In all, there were around a thousand servants waiting on the imperial family.

Children’s Museum Schönbrunn Palace
Have you ever dreamed of dressing up as a prince or princess from long ago and pretending to live in a palace like they did?
In the Children’s Museum Schönbrunn Palace there are so many interesting things to discover about the everyday life of the children in the imperial family.
How did they dress? How was the imperial table set? What about hygiene?
Find out the difference between imperial children and children from ordinary families by using our time wheel. You can play with toys that were used in those days, learn the fascinating secret language of fans, and set the table for an imperial dinner!

If you go on a guided tour you can discover a lot of interesting and fun facts from the past: What sort of foods were people familiar with during imperial times? How old is the palace, and was it always this big? And afterward, you get the chance to dress up as a prince or princess.
Another unforgettable experience is the children’s birthday party in Schönbrunn Palace. All the children wear fancy dresses, and the birthday girl or boy gets to dress up as Empress Elisabeth or Emperor Franz Joseph. Afterward, the children are taken on a tour of the imperial couple’s residential apartments in Schönbrunn, where they can discover a whole lot more about the life of Sisi and Franz Joseph.

Maze, Labyrinth and Labyrinthikon Playground in Schönbrunn Palace Park

The Maze: 
Find your way through the Baroque maze in Schönbrunn Palace Park! The maze was designed around 1720, but by 1892 it had gradually been removed. It was not until 9 September 1999 that the new maze, based on historical models and covering an area of 1,715 m², was finally re-opened. There is a viewing platform at the center of the maze and two energizing harmony stones activated by feng shui masters Jes and Julie Lim. It is alleged that if you place your hands on the stones it strengthens the flow of energy and enhances inner harmony.

The Labyrinth:
Reconstructed on the basis of historical plans, today the Labyrinth is an exciting invitation to a journey full of discoveries.
 Over a total area of 2,700 m², there are fun and games for all ages waiting to be tried out. For instance, you can explore different types of labyrinths with your fingers, or master simple hopping games. You can distort your reflection from all sides in a giant kaleidoscope. Athletic types can shin up a pole and ring the bell at the top. A math puzzle awaits those looking for a mental challenge: numbers on the flagstones tell you the number of steps you’re allowed to take, and you have to end up exactly in the middle of the game. But there are also more difficult variants for you to try! The Labyrinth is a place for play and recreation – fun for visitors of all ages.

In the Imperial Apartments and the Sisi Museum, you can get an inside view of the everyday life of Empress Elisabeth and Franz Joseph. What hobbies did they have? And what were the secrets of Sisi’s beauty? Where did Sisi and Franz Joseph live? A special children’s guided tour takes you to the Imperial Apartments, thus the apartment of Empress Elisabeth and Emperor Franz Joseph. But the imperial couple lived here only in the winter; in the summer they usually resided in Schönbrunn. As you roam through the imperial rooms you find out lots of interesting things about the imperial family’s everyday life, about Sisi’s hobbies and the secrets of her beauty. The nineteen work, living and reception rooms of Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Elisabeth give you an idea of the imperial lifestyle. The rooms are authentically and historically arranged and decorated, just as they used to be. But no doubt you’ll have the most fun dressing up and transforming yourself into an imperial majesty: you can try on clothes, uniform jackets, caps and hats to your heart’s content and be kings and queens for a day.

The Park and Garden

The park at Schönbrunn Palace was opened to the public around 1779 and since then has provided a popular recreational amenity for the Viennese population as well as being a focus of great cultural and historical interest for international visitors. Extending for 1.2 km from east to west and approximately one kilometer from north to south, it was placed together with the palace on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1996.

The park gates are opened at 6.30 am. You can enter the Palace Park free of charge during opening hours. If you wish to visit the Schönbrunn special attractions, such as the Privy Garden, the Orangery Garden or the Maze as well as the Zoo, the Palm House and the Desert House you need to purchase individual admission tickets.

Vineyard in Schönbrunn

Until 1744, there existed a historic vineyard named ‘Liesenpfennig‘ right in front of the Orangery Garden at the magnificent site of Schönbrunn Palace. The most dedicated Viennese growers‘ group WienWein resurrected this vineyard and started growing grapevine on an area of 1000 square meters. The vineyard has been designed according to the great traditional field-blend of Vienna, namely ‘ Wiener Gemischter Satz‘ – this means that grapevines of all sorts are bedded out at the same time.

Since 2016 the vineyard in Schönbrunn is twinned mith the Clos Montmatre (Paris) and the Vigna della Regina (Queen's Vineyard) in Italy.

Overall plan of Schönbrunn Palace Park

Discover the park at Schönbrunn with the aid of this overall plan of the complex. Click here to download the Overall plan of Schönbrunn Palace Park.

A tip for joggers and runners:
Planning to run in the park at Schönbrunn? Then download the Schönbrunn Running Map.
Distances are given in meters.

Tour through the park

There are many ways to discover the park. Here we present the most beautiful objects of interest.

The Maze at Schönbrunn was laid out around 1720 and originally had four quadrants with a central (probably elevated) pavilion. Consisting of paths between tall, narrow hedges without the dead-ends and false turns of a classic maze, it was intended to offer an inviting setting for a gentle stroll.
 It was gradually abandoned and eventually cleared in 1892. 1999 saw the opening of the new Maze: extending over 1,715 m², it was reconstructed on the historical model with yew hedges.
At its center again is a viewing platform, next to which two harmony stones with ‘energizing properties’ have been set up.

Reconstructed according to the original historical designs, the Labyrinth invites you to come and discover its secrets. Extending over an area of 2,700m², it offers plenty of games for visitors of all ages. For example, using your fingers to solve mazes or hopping your way across bouncing boards. A giant kaleidoscope lets you see yourself from every possible and impossible angle. Athletic visitors can climb a ‘chiming climbing pole’ and ring the bell at the top. For people who like a mental challenge, there’s a mathematical riddle: numbers on stepping stones tell you how many steps you’re allowed to take – by the end you should find yourself right in the middle of the game.
And there’s a more complicated version for math wizards! The Labyrinth is a playful place for visitors of all ages to relax and have fun.

Small Gloriette
Situated in the middle of the woods on Schönbrunn Hill near the Maria Theresa Gate lies the Small Gloriette, a tower-like two-storied pavilion built around 1775, probably to designs by Isidor Canevale. The octagonal structure with its balconies and built-on stairwell was probably used as a viewing pavilion. On the ground floor, the interior is decorated with Rococo architectural murals on the second floor open up above a balustrade into a painted sky.

Neptune Fountain

Designed as the crowning element of the Great Parterre, and sited at the foot of the hill behind the palace is the Neptune Fountain, which was conceived as part of the overall design of the gardens and park commissioned by Maria Theresa in the 1770s. Under the direction of court architect Johann Ferdinand Hetzendorf von Hohenberg, excavations for the basin were started in 1776, and work was completed four years later, just before the death of the empress. It was very probably designed by Hetzendorf von Hohenberg, while the sculptural group of Sterzing marble was executed by Wilhelm Beyer. A retaining wall curving back into the slope of the hill, its balustrade crowned with vases, forms the back wall of the vast basin. At the center, the wall is interrupted by a projecting, semi-oval plinth from which rises a rocky landscape peopled with the sea-god Neptune and his entourage.
Retaining wall and plinth are articulated by blind panels, those on the plinth being decorated with masks, while the vertical elements separating them are embellished with garlands. At the center of the figural group above a rocky grotto stands Neptune in a shell-shaped chariot, his trident in his hand. To his left is a nymph, while on his right kneels the sea-goddess Thetis, entreating Neptune to favor the voyage of her son, Achilles, who has set off to conquer Troy. Frolicking at the foot of the grotto are the Tritons, creatures who are half-man and half-fish, and belong to Neptune’s entourage.
They hold conch shell trumpets with which they can inspire fear in both man and beast, and are restraining the hippocampi or sea-horses who draw Neptune’s chariot across the seas. Neptune driving across the seas in dominion over the watery element is a common motif in sixteenth- to eighteenth-century art, being used as a symbol for monarchs controlling the destiny of their nations.
The figurative group was originally free-standing, but a screen of trees was planted behind it during the nineteenth century in order to provide it with an effective foil.

Roman Ruin

Originally called the Ruin of Carthage, the Roman Ruin stands at the foot of the wooded slopes of Schönbrunn Hill. Designed by Johann Ferdinand Hetzendorf von Hohenberg and built in 1778, the ensemble is completely integrated into the surrounding landscape as a picturesque garden feature. The fashion for picturesque artificial ruins had started before the middle of the 18th century in England but it had taken several decades for it to spread further afield. Hohenberg created the Roman Ruin at Schönbrunn as an entirely new structure on the model of the Ancient Roman temple of Vespasian and Titus, the remains of which had been recorded in an engraving by Giovanni Battista Piranesi dating to around 1756. In contrast to the Gloriette, all the architectural elements of the structure, including the columns and reliefs, were made under the supervision of the court architect, as has only recently been verified. The stone decorations were executed by the sculptors Beyer, Henrici and Franz Zächerle, and spoils from the Neugebäude palace were only used for the decorative compositions of stones surrounding the structure. The ensemble consists of a rectangular pool framed by a massive semi-circular arch with lateral walls evoking the impression of an ancient edifice slowly crumbling into the ground. The center of the ensemble is the arch with its fragmented architrave and frieze, which is decorated with reliefs of various sacrificial implements based on Roman models. The lateral walls projecting forward at right angles display the same relief decoration in addition to Classicistic figures and busts. In the pool in front of the ruin is a figural group representing the gods of the Rivers Danube and Enns, executed by Wilhelm Beyer. The aisle in the woods rising directly behind the central arch was originally terraced to simulate a cascade. It leads to the statue of Hercules fighting Cerberus, the three-headed hound which guarded the entrance to Hades, as well as the personified Vices, while beneath his feet lies the defeated Hydra, a many-headed water-snake. Quite apart from the romantic or picturesque effect that the architect was striving for, the fact that the structure was commonly referred to as the 'Ruin of Carthage' indicates that it was probably intended as an allusion to the victory of Rome over Carthage. For centuries, the Habsburgs had embodied the office of the Roman-German Emperor, seeing themselves as the legitimate successors to the ancient Roman Empire; this edifice was thus also intended as an expression of their dynastic claims.

Privy Garden
Meidling Privy Gardens: Crown Prince Garden and the Garden on the Cellar - Dating to around 1745/50, the plans for the laying out of the Meidling Privy Gardens were probably drawn up by the Lotharingian garden designer Louis Gervais. One of these plans shows four sections placed along a central axis, a basic structure that was simplified in a number of aspects during the nineteenth century. On the eastern façade of the palace lies a sunken area with parterre sections edged with beds which have been known as the Crown Prince Garden since 1865. As it is sheltered from the wind, during the summer months specimens from the valuable collection of citrus trees belonging to the Austrian Federal Gardens Authority are placed here in tubs. Adjoining the Crown Prince Garden is the Garden on the Cellar, its rather curious name deriving from its elevated site above the cellars, which were probably built around 1700 and still exist today. This part of the garden is bordered by a horseshoe-shaped pergola incorporating five trelliswork pavilions. The central pavilion at the mid-point of the horseshoe was demolished in 1950 and replaced by a modern pavilion with a viewing platform based on the original model in 2001. Erected around 1750, these filigree pavilions are of lath construction and elaborately carved. It is possible that the painter Johann Wenzel Bergl used them as inspiration for the murals he created in the garden apartments of Maria Theresa on the ground floor of the palace twenty years later. Around 1770 the trellis-work of the pergola was replaced by a considerably more weatherproof iron construction which was planted with Virginia creeper in the nineteenth century. The center of this part of the garden with its magnificent plantings has a tripartite parterre de broderie arranged around an octagonal pool, a design that only came to light at the end of the 1990s and has since been reconstructed. Its intricate patterns consist of box and bedding plants interspersed with coarse varicolored sands. Around 1770 the parterre de broderie was replaced with a parterre à l’anglaise, as in the Great Parterre, probably as a result of changing fashions in garden design.

Fair Spring
Tucked into the corner of a hedged walk on the Meidling (east) side of the park is the Fair Spring. The first well house on this site is thought to have been built by the court gardener Adrian van Steckhoven, but this was replaced by a new structure designed by court architect Isidor Canevale in 1771.

The well house takes the form of a square pavilion with open semi-circular arches at the front and rear. Framed in the arch at the back is the figure of Egeria, executed by Wilhelm Beyer, inclining above a small basin. She holds a vase under her arm from which flows the spring water once so esteemed by the Viennese court. The figure of Egeria is one of the most graceful statues in the park at Schönbrunn. According to legend, the taught the Romans to influence the gods in their favor by performing pious acts in order to ensure the prosperity of the state. The façade of the small, tempietto-like building is covered in a dripstone-like surface, as is the triangular pediment and the shallow dome crowned with vases, while the architrave is decorated with shells. The dripstone decoration continues inside the building, and the corners are decorated with sheaves of reeds while garlands of flowers embellish the ceiling. On one of the walls is a stone plaque displaying the crowned initial M, which according to the latest research does not in fact refer to Emperor Matthias and the discovery of the fair spring but to Maximilian II, who acquired the Katterburg estate in 1569.

The statues at Schönbrunn
When the hill at Schönbrunn was landscaped it was decided to redesign the Great Parterre at the same time. Mythological statues executed by Johann Wilhelm Beyer and his studio in 1777 were set up along the two lateral hedges. The planning was the result of fruitful cooperation between the sculptor and the court architect Johann Ferdinand Hetzendorf von Hohenberg.

Beyer and his team of sculptors created thirty-two statues of equal height on tall plinths representing mythological or historical figures, the majority of which were designed and executed after models from antiquity.
The final siting of the statues was determined not by Beyer but by Johann Ferdinand Hetzendorf von Hohenberg as architect-in-chief responsible for the overall design of the gardens.

In 1945, under the supervision of the palace governor Josef Glaser, the statues were numbered from 1 to 32 on the side of the plinths to make the subjects easier to identify.
The sequence starts at the eastern hedge in front of the palace façade and ends on the Hietzing or western side.

Fischer von Erlach's designs had included a belvedere for Schönbrunn Hill intended as the crowning touch to the palatial Baroque ensemble, but it was not until Johann Ferdinand Hetzendorf von Hohenberg remodeled the park that this project was finally realized. The Early Classicistic colonnaded Gloriette was built to Hohenberg's designs on the crest of the hill in 1775. The structure consists of a central section in the form of a triumphal arch, flanked by arcaded wings with semi-circular arches. The central section, which was glazed during the last year of Maria Theresa's life, is crowned with a mighty imperial eagle perching on a globe and surrounded by trophies. The flat roof with its retaining balustrade was already being used as a viewing platform by the beginning of the 19th century. It can be accessed today via a stairway. The attic below the roof bears the inscription JOSEPHO II. AVGVSTO ET MARIA THERESIA IMPERANTIB. ERECT. CI)I)CCLXXV. The way the date is written follows a usage from the early days of book printing: large numbers were represented by a combination of the letter C, the letter I and the ancient Roman apostrophe which resembled the modern round bracket. Thus M (=1000) was replaced by the formula C-I-apostrophe, and D (=500) by I-apostrophe. Besides the external flight of steps leading up to the glazed central section, which today houses Café Gloriette, there are additional lateral flights of steps that are lined with massive sculpted trophies. These are arrangements composed of antique Roman armor with shields, standards, and lions, and were executed by the sculptor Johann Baptist Hagenauer. The central eagle motif and the other sculptural decorations were executed by Benedikt Henrici. The majority of the twin columns, capitals, arcade arches, and entablatures came from the Renaissance palace of Neugebäude, begun by Maximilian II in 1568. The bucrania or bulls' skulls that decorate the frieze inside the central section also came from the Neugebäude.  Never completed, the palace was made over to the army in 1774 to be used as a powder magazine. Maria Theresa subsequently gave orders for the valuable architectural features to be dismantled and used in the remodeling of the park and gardens at Schönbrunn. During the 19th century, the glazed inner hall of the Gloriette was frequently used as a dining room. A kitchen was built nearby so that food could be freshly prepared, but this was demolished around 1925. One year later the glazing was also removed. In 1945 part of the east wing was destroyed by a bomb, but was rebuilt in the years following the war. The Gloriette underwent complete restoration in 1994/95 during the course of which the central section was reglazed.

Palm House Garden and Botanic Garden
In 1753, Maria Theresa’s husband, Emperor Franz I Stephan, who was a keen amateur natural scientist, bought a neglected enclosed field from the neighboring village of Hietzing, on which he had a ‘Dutch Botanical Garden’ laid out. This garden, which was located on the site today occupied by the Palm House, had a geometrical layout and consisted of three sections. Each section had four quadrants with a fountain at its center. The northern section was a flower garden, the central section contained vegetable beds and espaliered fruit trees, and the southern section was an orchard. A large glasshouse was erected on the north side. During the reigns of Emperors Joseph II and Franz II (I) the Dutch Botanical Garden was extended by the purchase of additional plots of land. Further glasshouses were erected in this new part of the garden and an arboretum laid out for study purposes with exotic trees from the Americas planted in evenly-spaced rows in sandy soil and equipped with inscribed plaques. The four mighty plane trees still standing near the former ‘Great Palm House’ erected by Emperor Franz II (I) (today the Orangery) date from this time. An inventory of the entire holdings of the Dutch Botanical Garden dated 1799 lists 4,000 plants from nearly 800 different species. From 1828 the extended part of the Dutch Botanical Garden was landscaped in the English style and was known from then on as the Court Plants Garden. Today's Botanic Garden is located on the site of the extra plots of land acquired by Joseph II and Franz II (I). The varying temperatures are achieved by means of a steam heating system which means that rare specimens from all over the world can be grown here. This impressive iron construction used the most modern technology of its time, with the materials determining its form. The proportions of the convex and concave lines of the central and lateral pavilions are perfectly balanced and endow the iron structure with a perceptible lightness despite its massive dimensions. Inserted into the framework of the external iron construction, the glazing clings to the curved iron girders like skin. The Schönbrunn Palm House was the last of its type to be constructed in continental Europe.

Like the Dutch Botanical Garden at Schönbrunn, the Menagerie was originally founded by Emperor Franz I Stephan, who had a profound interest in natural history. Based on designs by his court architect Nicolas Jadot dating to 1751, a menagerie was constructed consisting of thirteen animal enclosures arranged radially around a central pavilion. While the enclosures were completed by 1752, the central pavilion was not built until 1759. The individual enclosures, each with its own well, were separated from one another by high walls and from the central pavilion by railings set between pilasters and crowned by vases and groups of animals, through which the animals could be viewed. The back of the enclosure was formed by a ‘lodge’ or hut providing shelter for the animals at night. In a lower-lying area to the west is a two-storied building intended as accommodation for the keepers. Beyond this is a pool with roosting pens for waterfowl. The central single-storied pavilion, where the imperial couple occasionally took breakfast, forms the visual emphasis of the great diagonal axis connecting the center of the palace and the pavilion. The pavilion is elevated on an octagonal plinth and can be accessed via four entrances. The shallow projecting sections on four sides of the building have semi-circular arched doorways and pediments decorated with figures. In between are segmentally-arched window embrasures. The bell-shaped domed roof is crowned with a continuous balustrade.
Originally painted green, the interior was refurbished shortly after 1765 on the orders of Maria Theresa as a memorial room for her late husband, with rich rocaille wooden paneling, mirrors, and paintings of rare birds and animals. The paintings are by Johann Michael Purgau and consist of twelve portraits of very rare animals, not all of which were in fact present in the imperial Menagerie at that time according to recent research, but which were highly desirable collector’s items. The shallow dome of the interior is decorated with a ceiling fresco by Josef Ignaz Mildorfer showing scenes from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Besides the Bacchanalian revels centering on the lovers Bacchus and Ariadne, various episodes are represented in which humans are transformed into animals.
The initial animal collection at Schönbrunn was formed by the stock of animals from the former palace of Neugebäude and the menagerie belonging to the Belvedere. These animals – with the exception of the ‘rapacious’ beasts – were moved to the new menagerie at Schönbrunn. The number of exotic animals subsequently increased through new acquisitions and gifts. Both the zoological and botanical collections benefited from the expeditions to the West Indies financed by Franz Stephan.
The opening of the gardens to the general public in 1779 also included free admission to the menagerie. Joseph II continued the upkeep of the menagerie, and expeditions undertaken during the 1780s contributed new specimens to the collection. However, ignorance of the correct conditions in which to keep the animals as well as lack of a suitable diet led to regular losses. During the course of the nineteenth century, new animals were added to the collection, with existing enclosures being adapted and new enclosures built. The attractions included elephants, camels, kangaroos, and other exotic fauna. A sensation was caused by the arrival of the first live giraffe, the gift of the Egyptian viceroy, in 1828. The enthusiastic Viennese flocked to the menagerie in their thousands ‘in order to satisfy at last their burning curiosity by looking at this most peculiar of creatures. The arrival of the giraffe had an effect on fashion and social life – dresses, accessories, and hairstyles à la giraffe was popular, and at a ‘Giraffe Fête’ held at the Black Grape in the Viennese district of Penzing, the Alexandrian giraffe-keeper was guest of honor. Despite being given the best care possible, the giraffe died after only ten months, and another twenty-three years were to pass before the menagerie was able to boast a giraffe in its collection again.

From Menagerie to Zoological Garden
At the end of the nineteenth century the appearance and objectives of the menagerie at Schönbrunn were to change, and in time a modern zoological garden evolved out of the Baroque menagerie. The walls between the enclosures were knocked down in 1880 and replaced by bars, so that ‘the specimens may be viewed more easily and conveniently’. After 1900 the zoo was extended eastwards as far as the Neptune Fountain, on the site of the former Small Pheasantry, in order to provide more appropriate conditions for the animals. In 1914 the zoo had a total of 3,470 animals, the highest number it was ever to contain.

Further information on the zoo at Schönbrunn (opening hours, admission charges, etc.) can be found on the Tiergarten Schönbrunn website.

Orangery and Citron House
As far back as the time of the dowager empress Wilhelmine Amalie, an orangery garden was established at Schönbrunn which included a hothouse for overwintering the tender citrus trees. In 1754 Franz I Stephan instigated the building of the Orangery by Nikolaus Pacassi, probably to designs by Nicolas Jadot. One hundred and eighty-nine metres long and ten meters wide, the Schönbrunn Orangery is one of the two largest Baroque orangeries in the world, the other being at Versailles. The south façade is articulated by an alternating series of large and smaller round-arched bays separated by rusticated pilasters decorated with masks. The interior has a rhythmic sequence of shallow vaults and is heated by an underfloor hypocaust system which ensures a temperature in which citrus trees and other tub plants can be overwintered. The adjoining
semicircular Citron House at the eastern end of the Orangery Garden was probably used for cultivating tropical plants that were less suited to the climatic conditions in the elongated hall of the Orangery. The Orangery was also used for glittering court festivities. Joseph II was especially fond of arranging banquets in the plant-filled Orangery,
emulating those he had experienced on his journey to Russia in the winter garden of the imperial palace in St Petersburg. One such occasion was the ‘Spring festival on a winter’s day on 6th February 1785.’

Tour of the palace
A visit to the piano nobile at Schönbrunn Palace today begins at the Blue Staircase. The tour of the imperial apartments and the magnificent staterooms include the residential suite of rooms occupied by Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Elisabeth in the west wing, which are furnished in nineteenth-century style, the staterooms in the central section of the palace, the imperial apartments of Maria Theresa and Franz I Stephan, and the Franz Karl Apartment, which was occupied by Franz Joseph’s parents, Archduchess Sophie and Archduke Franz Karl.

You can take an online Palace tour HERE.

My favorite room is the Porcelain Room.
The décor of the Porcelain Room as it appears today dates back to 1763 when the room was used by Maria Theresa as her study. A typical example of chinoiserie, the painted wood paneling, and the carved blue and white framing were intended to imitate porcelain, which was highly prized in the eighteenth century. Integrated into the wood paneling are 213 delicately framed blue gouache paintings. These are copies of originals by the French artists François Boucher and Jean Pillement made by the children of the imperial couple Franz Stephan and Maria Theresa. During the course of restoration work carried out in 2013, the surfaces of the wood paneling and the carved decorations were cleaned in order to re-establish the porcelain-like impression of the room as a whole in its original quality. For reasons of conservation the blue gouaches – hitherto erroneously referred to as ink drawings – will not be restored for the time being and instead will be subject to longer-term monitoring. The objective is to develop a gentle method that can subsequently be used to treat the strong brown discoloration of the works.

No comments :

Post a Comment