Hard to believe that this grand palatial complex was built as a summer residence for the wife of a 17th-century ruler. It is so lavish and opulent, filled with Rococo-style gilt, mythological ceiling frescoes, tapestries, gorgeous silver and gold objets d’art, statues and cherubs, exquisite painted porcelain from China and Japan, as well as lacquered cabinets with inlaid designs. To try to decipher the history of the Hohenzollern dynasty, as it’s called, is a brain freeze … there are just too many Friedrich Wilhelms (and derivatives of them) to count on your fingers. So I simply give you the pictures.
Gilted gates, Baroque domes and mythological protective warriors. Two of these guys guarded the entrance to the castle, um, summer residence.
I just love them faces peering out at you from the ceiling.
The ceiling frescoes are just mind-blowing.
This is a 3-D version with plaster figures emerging from the painting.
One of my favourite rooms was the mirrored Porcelain Gallery, where beautiful pieces from the East covered every wall from floor to ceiling, and then were reflected back to you in floor-length mirrors. Just love the buddhas and weird Chinese characters.
I did say there was a lot of gilt … often these incredibly intricate figures would be the handles on tureens and dinner service pieces. I’d be too afraid to eat.
The formal gardens of the Charlottenburg Castle.
Next up was the next-door Berggruen Gallery. Unbelievable that this truly amazing collection of Picasso, Klee, Giacometti and Matisse artworks once belonged to one man, a Heinz Berggruen.
Giacometti … love, love, love.
Unusual work by Klee. I’ve always thought his work consisted of lines and dots, nothing like this. Love.
A foursome by Picasso. Incredible what a versatile artist he was, in spite of the weird bits.
It really was an amazing day. Maybe we’re starting to feel the love?