Baroque and Beyond C. 1600–1850

Rococo and the Eighteenth Century

What is the Würzburg Residenz?

The Würzburg Residenz is an important example of rococo architecture in Germany designed by Johann Balthasar Neumann (1687–1744) for the prince-bishop of Würzburg, a member of the Schonborn family. The Kaisersaal, or Imperial Hall, of the Residenz has a gold, white, and pastel color scheme and emphasizes curves and elaborate ornamentation, including marble columns and undulating moldings. A grand staircase expands to over six hundred square feet, its balustrades and banisters decorated with statues and Greek vases. Above the sprawling stairs, the Italian rococo artist Giovanni Tiepolo, painted what is believed to be the largest ceiling fresco in the world. It depicts the prince-bishop with the Greek god Apollo, along with images of the seasons, the zodiac, and the four known continents of the world, all symbolizing the wide-reaching power of the Schônborn family.


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