07 July 2009

Chinoiserie, Italian Style

Sala Cinese, Palazzo Moroni, Bergamo
Chinoiserie is still one of my favorite styles of decoration. All the rage in Europe in the late 17th and 18th centuries, it endures as a classic style of "theme" room, a fantastic mix of exotic Asian motifs and European techniques and sensibilities. One of the most charming examples I have ever seen is this room in the Palazzo Moroni, in Bergamo.
The ceiling appears to be a colorful pink tent, with a lace "cap" at the top, the signs of the zodiac at its center.
detail from the Sala Cinese, Palazzo Moroni
Excellent landscape murals surround the "frieze" level of this room. Note the perspective in the paintings, which are all viewed from below.

Detail of the ceiling: I just adore that lace edging, and the border of little pavilions.

These fantasy buildings remind me of San Francisco's Chinatown, whose architecture was designed in 1906, to reflect the western impression of ancient Chinese buildings. Obviously not a new thing.

I visited the Palazzo Moroni during the International Decorative Painting Salon which was held in Bergamo earlier this year. Our gracious host for this event was Lucretia Moroni,  scion of the Moroni family, and herself a world-renown decorative artist. As you can imagine the group of painters visiting this palazzo were very appreciative of its historic murals and terribly grateful to be allowed to take pictures.

photos by Lynne Rutter, April 2009
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1 comment:

  1. Such a treat to see the details of the palazzo! This is not something seen by the masses. Thanks Lynne for the virtual tour.


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