No matter where I am, in a private home or a stately one, in a concert hall or a shopping mall, at the hairdresser's or in an office, I look at the ceiling.
My interest in ceilings stems from a time when I was so bored (today people would say I was "underchallenged") at school that I invented a game that helped me through seemingly endless lessons, and it soon developed into something I still do today, not only to keep my mind occupied when there is not much else I can do, but also because it is fun:
In any room, in any building, imagine the room was upside down and the ceiling was the floor, complete with all its arches, stukko ornaments, beams, fire alarms, sound and light systems and so on. Where would you sit? Which part of the room would you explore first? How would you get from one corner to the other? Would you have to jump or climb your way across?
Last Sunday I had the chance to visit parts of Ludwigsburg's castle/stately home I had never been to before (see my previous post for more info), and of course I looked at the ceilings.
Let me start with some typical baroque detail; these are, of course, no real jewels; they are made of plaster. What IS real, though, is the gold. All throughout Ludwigsburg castle, the gold ornaments you see on ceilings and walls are covered in 22 1/2 carat cold leaf.
I guess you can easily spot where the detail in the first picture is taken from here on the bigger picture. Good job my camera can zoom in!
All around the room, there are portraits of, I believe, allegories for the arts and crafts, or maybe they are supposed to be muses.
Some of the portraits deserve a closer llook, such as this beautiful lady.
Or look at him! That haughty look on his face is excellent, isn't it! I like to think the artist portrayed people known to him in real life.
Another typical baroque ceiling.
Don't you wish you could join the lady on the balustrade?
One of many doors that are usually closed to the public. I am 5' 8'' and I reach about half way up that door.
Whoever painted this did not forget to give the owl its dinner!
Detail from the door picture. Now, I usually do have a thing for fauns (I just wish they weren't so hairy), but the wide mouth and big moustache and beard on this one are a bit too much.
Tucked away in a corner of a staircase normally not open to the public, I found this dog.
The condition in which they found some of the doors before starting to restore them.
One last look at some roof detail. See Father Time sat beneath the clock? A good reminder right now that it is time for me to get a shower and get dressed and start working!