Amazing stucco molding of the hunting castle Stupinigi
The Stupinigi Hunting Castle is one of the residences of the Royal House of Savoy in northern Italy, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Built as a royal hunting lodge in the early 18th century, the castle is located 10 km southwest of Turin. The uniqueness of the residence lies in its luxurious interior decoration. The variety of gypsum stucco decorating walls, ceilings, columns and niches made this castle very popular among tourists.
A brief history of the residence
The palace was designed by architect Filippo Juvarra as a hunting lodge for the King of Sardinia, Victor Amadeus II. Work on the castle began in 1729. Two years later, construction was at a stage that allowed official royal hunting. To complete the unique interiors, Juvarra called on a team of talented decorators, many of whom were from Venice.
During the time of Carlo Emanuele III and Victor Amadeus III, the building and its famous park continued to be completed and expanded. At first, the work was carried out under the guidance of assistant Juvarra Giovanni Tommaso Prunotto. Then, numerous architects from Northern Italy were involved in the construction, many of whom were famous. As a result of many years of work, the building has a total of 137 rooms, 17 unique galleries, and occupies 31,050 square meters.
The sculpture and stucco in the facade design clearly indicate the original purpose of the residence. The hunting castle is decorated with a bronze deer standing on the top of the stepped roof of the central dome. The heads of the hounds, which adorn the vases on the roof line, also speak about hunting.
The design of the building includes a central oval hall and four corner wings. The octagonal front yard is surrounded by long galleries. Due to its scale and decorative impeccability, the Stupinigi castle was often used for celebrations and dynastic weddings of members of the House of Savoy. It was here, in 1773, that Maria Teresa, Princess of Savoy, married Charles Philip, the future King of France, Charles X.
Currently, the Stupinigi Palace houses the Museum of Arts and Furniture. Some exhibits were part of the interior of the residence itself, while the rest were brought from other Savoy mansions. In addition, temporary galleries of contemporary art are periodically held in the galleries of the castle.
A brief history of the residence
Magnificent interior of the Stupinigi castle
The center of the architectural composition is a large oval hall, from which the long galleries of the palace depart like a cross. The sculptural composition of the deer, mounted on the dome of the oval hall, was made by Francesco Ladatta. The luxurious interiors of the castle are richly decorated with expensive decorative materials – crystal, gilded gypsum stucco molding, mirrors and natural stone. The frescoes of Vittorio Amedeo Chignaroli are also noteworthy.
Upon entering the castle, the visitor enters the magnificent Portrait Gallery. It was designed and built by the first architect of the residence, Filippo Juvarra. Today there is an original statue of a deer, created by Francesco Ladatta in 1766, which originally towered above the dome of the central hall. The sculpture was placed in this room in 1992, and a modern bronze copy was installed on the dome instead. The sculpture is surrounded by carved wooden bas-relief portraits and voluminous plaster moldings.
Mirror Hall and Cabinet of Pauline Bonaparte
This is the first room decorated in a luxurious rococo style. It is decorated with unique stucco moldings and wall-to-ceiling mirrors. Polina Bonaparte’s office was created in order to ensure a comfortable stay for Napoleon’s sister, after her husband was appointed Governor of Piedmont. The small room has a beautiful marble bathtub, decorated with bas-reliefs. They depict imperial insignia with a Napoleonic eagle.
This space was intended specifically for organizing leisure activities in the courtyard. The rectangular hall with rounded corners and two large niches on the sides had a ceiling unique in its complexity. The creation of this masterpiece was engaged by Giovanni Pietro Pozzo in 1765. The stucco ceiling combines exotic oriental motifs, harmonizing in style with the decor of the walls.
In the gaming room was located magnificent furniture created especially for the monarchist family. The game table of Louis XV was crowned with a precious chessboard with inlaid ebony and ivory. This room also has a desk with exquisite ivory writing instruments inlaid at the beginning of the 18th century. Chinoiserie (Chinese art) and porcelain are also noteworthy. These home furnishings make it truly exotic.