Thursday, July 8, 2010

A... maze yourself

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A model of a maze in a villa I visited recently, the magnificent Villa Pisani, in Stra, one of the several Ville venete, on the river Brenta, between Padua and Venice, Northern Italy.
Construction of the villa started in the early 18th century in a late baroque style, commissioned by the noble, and then still very wealthy, Pisani family. In its 114 rooms doges, kings and emperors were welcomed and today it has become a national museum with 18th and 19th century works of art and furniture and one of Gianbattista Tiepolo masterpieces.

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The real  maze in the park, where I was happily lost until someone from a small tower in the center gave us directions on how to exit.

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A guest bedroom, with original furniture, decoration and wallpaper.
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The chandelier attracted my attention for quite awhile, I don't particularly like modern sparkling crystal chandeliers but I love antique glass ones.
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The decline of the Pisani family toward the end of the century brought them huge debts so they were forced to sell the villa to Napoleon Bonaparte, who had become King of Italy in 1805.

The Napoleonic apartment is particularly interesting, with remarkable art treasures like this imposing canopy bed with the Emperor's initial on it.

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and his several mattresses...

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I like to think of the following works of art as family album when photography was not invented yet.

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In 1814 the battle of Waterloo decided the history of Europe and brought the Hapsburg imperial family, lords of Veneto, to Villa Pisani.  When Veneto was annexed by the Kingdom of Italy the villa did not become part of the Savoy family possessions but became property of the State.  I know, Italian history is quite complicated, so back to the villa interior decoration.

I suppose it was great to play cards in this room sitting on these elegant 19th century chairs, cheered by the colorful paintings on the walls.

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Another gorgeous chandelier and a rich display of antique textiles underneath.
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Did I say I love glass chandeliers? Even if I obviously would not use  this window treatment in a modern house I appreciate its beauty and the sinuous lines of the light fixture and of the silk draperies are really enchanting when seen together.
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A ceiling painted in 1760 by Giovan Battista Tiepolo in the ballroom at the center of the villa displays the greatest magnificence. It represents The Glory of the Pisani Family by a luminous affresco in his sublime and peculiar style. Luckily this masterpiece is safe, since it risked to be destroyed due to the the great project of modernization of the villa requested by Napoleon when he purchased the villa.

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A view from a gate

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And a view of the superb garden.

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An "amazing" day in an Italian smaller version of Versailles.

Photography by Albarosa Simonetti

9 comments:

Jamie said...

I sure enjoyed your blog about the Villa Pisani and what
you wrote about it. I'm planning to get a big crystal chandelier for my living room now and to paint the ceiling......

MEADE DESIGN GROUP said...

This villa is stunning! I would love the be there right now,

Anonymous said...

Stunning place. The multi mattress bed reminds me of the children's story "the princess and the pea."
Albarosa, I finally saw the movie "I am love" today and loved it. Having read your post about the architecture gave me greater pleasure seeing it. Thank you so much.

Brillante Home Decor said...

Jamie, with your talent you can paint all your ceilings like "affreschi" and maybe mine too?

Ivan, you should really think about going to Venice area soon and if you need my help here I am.

Anonymous, yes the Princess came to my mind right away since H.C.Andersen was my favorite writer when I was 7 years old.
Glad you loved the movie, I was again at Villa Necchi just a month ago, what a treat every time.

Francine Gardner said...

I just love the glamour and sophistication of Italian Villas. I once spent a summer at a friend's villa on lake Como. The italians really do know how to live in such formal surroundings. Most of all, i would love ,as you did, to get lost in that maize.

AB HOME Interiors said...

I would love to see this in person. Wow this is extraordinary! Just stunning and rich with history.

Michelle said...

This is really amazing Albarosa...to be in a space like this feeling the proportions and the scale must be breathtaking. And the history...I always think I could be walking the same path as they did hundreds of years ago...it's fun to relate time into the experience...now if I could only get a bed like that!

Best,
Michelle

Stacey said...

You're making me miss Italy more and more with these images! Love these And thanks for stopping by my blog:-).

Christy said...

I love Italy, Italian style decorations and specifically mattresses such as in Pisani's Villa. Every item in this villa is simply stunning.
I have recently bought my bedroom furniture and decorating my house completely in Italian style.
Hope, this remodeling ends efficiently :)

 
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