Tuesday, 23 August 2016
Nicholas II’s Curiosity Touring through Different Homes (2)
Cupids, Cupids, Cupids! The Rococo period of cupids was beloved by the Imperial Family in the Winter Palace.
Hau’s 1860s watercolor (below) of the Hall of Cupids in the Children’s rooms on the 1st floor of the Winter Palace.
Ceiling of the Hall of Cupids today (below).
While researching the Rococo artists of the 1700s in the Winter Palace, I chanced upon a Potsdam conundrum. Was Nicholas II aware of it?
On Wednesday October 27th, 1899 Nicholas II and Alexandra arrived at 11 AM in Potsdam for the day, departing at 9 PM.
In his diary, Nicholas wrote “… At 3 PM Wilhelm took me in his two-seater around the park to remarkable places in Potsdam. Alix followed us behind with the Empress in a carriage. I exceedingly liked Sans-Souci of Frederick the Great. We also looked over the Babelberg Palace, where Wilhelm was living …”
The era of rococo palaces originated with Frederick the Great’s Sanssouci Palace. Sanssouci or Sans-Souci (without worry) is how we are accustomed to seeing it written. It is not how Frederick spelt it on the exterior of his palace in 1874
Photo (below) of the exterior of Sanssouci.
Forget Leo Mark’s codes, Bletchley, Enigma; many have attempted for centuries to decipher Frederick’s code. What do you think it means?
Another first for Sanssouci was the idea of a private library. The Rococo bucolic times of the 1700s resulted in the need ‘to study and learn to lift the burden of leisure’.
Photo (below) of the Private library in Sanssouci.