Detail of the wall design in the flower room, Rastatt Favorite Palace

Inside and outHistory of design

The rooms at Favorite Palace were decorated between 1716 and 1725. The rooms are striking examples of the late Baroque period, and differ from the high Baroque decor at Rastatt Residential Palace. Even the garden design is an example of the changing styles: from Baroque pleasure garden to English landscape garden.

Rastatt Favorite Palace, view of the ceiling in the green bedroom

The ceiling in the green bedroom.

Late Baroque and chinoiserie

Being a pleasure palace, Favorite Palace served as a place of amusement. This purpose was most effectively reflected in the light and happy decor associated with the Chinese vogue. Original Asian handcrafted arts as well as European pieces crafted in the Chinese style, also called chinoiserie, are both found here. Ceiling frescoes and mantelpieces displaying Chinese figures flow seamlessly into the European “strapwork”, a late Baroque decorative style characterized by curving and bending bands.

Typical Sibylla Augusta

Using period capabilities, Sibylla Augusta shaped her very own palace. These resulted in unusual solutions: The holy figures in the hermitage are made of wax and real hair. The walls of the palace are clad with Japanese figures, decorative elements made of papier-mâché or images made of semi-precious stones, known as pietra dura panels. The floors were constructed of stucco marble, otherwise used for columns and altars. Modern and yet individual: typical Sibylla Augusta!

Detail of the floor in the hall of mirrors, Rastatt Favorite Palace
Detail of the floor in the margravine's bedroom, Rastatt Favorite Palace

A floor of stucco marble.

View of the Rastatt Favorite Palace garden

The English landscape garden.

The late 18th century: a new landscape style

The late Baroque was followed by the Rococo, which gave birth to Classicism and Romanticism. Style changed in the gardens as well. A “landscape garden” embodied the opposite of the strict Baroque garden, and was intended to appear “natural.” However, it too was entirely artificial. Bushes, trees, streams and paths were grouped as they would be in landscape paintings. Flowers, on the other hand, were hardly represented. Small temples or fake ruins were the primary “attractions.”

View of the Schwetzingen Palace garden

The Schwetzingen garden.

The landscape garden

At the behest of Margrave Karl Friedrich von Baden-Durlach, Favorite Palace and its garden were redesigned in the English style between 1788 and 1806. This is when the idyllic pond, the small cliff waterfall and exotic trees were introduced. Garden buildings were not erected here. Baden-Württemberg's most famous example of a landscape garden is the stunning Schwetzingen palace garden. Both garden styles are clearly identifiable there.

Everything about the history of the Favorite Palace garden can be found in the “Garden records” exhibit in the orangery.

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