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Würzburg Residence

Garden Hall – Sala Terrena


Picture: Garten Hall

The Garden Hall is disproportionately low for its size, but nevertheless has a light and graceful appearance. This is due not to the proportions, which differ very little from those of the vestibule, nor to the ceiling frescos, which though they open up the low vault with a vision of the celestial sphere, create a rather heavy impression with their dark, earthy colours, but rather to the special room structure created by Balthasar Neumann. The vault is supported not by the walls alone but by twelve slender marble columns which stand freely in the room like figures in a round-dance. As a result, the vault stands out from the walls like a baldachin. This type of room is more usually to be found in church architecture and is not common in palaces.

The colours used in the room are light and cool, and the stucco decoration created by Antonio Bossi in 1749, with light blue motifs on a white background, pierced by sparkling fragments of mirror, is also extremely graceful. Only the ceiling painting, produced by Johann Zick in 1750, introduces an element of solemnity and heaviness into the room. The paintings depict "The banquet of the gods" and "Diana in repose", and the ambulatory is decorated with putti scenes.

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