5 Castle Series: Upper Belvedere
Welcome to the over-the-toppest of all that is over the top. The Upper Belvedere puts the Coco in Rococo, yes? Even the Belvedere website does not deny the outrageousness of pomp that characterizes this hunk of marble. From the website:
The garden palace primarily served the purpose of pomp and display. This is reflected in the elegant sala terrena (today the entrance hall), the grand staircase, the magnificent Marble Hall, rooms sumptuously embellished with stucco and frescos (frescos by Carlo Carlone [1686-1775], ceiling paintings by Giacomo del Pò) and the chapel with the exquisite altarpiece by Francesco Solimena (1657-1747).
But the grandest thing about the Upper Belvedere? it is THE place to go for the latest in risky art. From Klimt to Schiele to Kokoschka, the art at Belvy will make you deliciously uncomfortable (even more than the hard marble pathways and lack of seating in the palace).
If I were alive, I’d love to see how Marianna would have painted me. In particular, if her interpretation would have included that haunting Viennese stare, like with “long haired boy” to the left. Would she embellish my vanity by painting diamonds into my ankle-length tresses? Would my waist be cinched with ship-docking chain? Oh, but Marianna would have had a field day with my exercise apparatuses!
I truly appreciate the burgeoning irony in the Austrian character, and what better place to foist it on the public than in the ostentatious baroque halls of the Upper Belvedere?