November 28, 2012
After visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art, two rooms caught my attention. The dining room from Lansdowne House, London (dining room) reflecting the English Neoclassical style and the Bedroom from the Sagredo Palace, Venice (bedroom) illustrating the end of Italian Baroque and the beginning of the Rococo style. As this essay moves forward, a number of the characteristics of each room will be highlighted, starting off with the general space and scale of the room, moving into the ceiling, walls, floors, furniture, and art work, highlighting similar and contrasting features of each room. Scale and Space
When first entering the dining room, the space is large with a lot of room available for movement without the feeling of obstruction. It is a dining hall that allows the tenants of the Lansdowne House to host a number of public social events. This space feels like a more public space of hosted gatherings, bringing people together similar to the roman painting seen above the hearth and repeated in the plaster work on walls in the circular plaster work. However the bedroom, although is a semi-private space, where only men of great importance can enter the kings bedchambers, is rather cavernous and intimate. It is an alcove, honing in very important, intimate conversations. The dining room has a very structured and planned out feel to it, as it is more refined and less cluttered with overly frivolous design. As the Renaissance revisits the idea of math and science, moving away from a strictly religious perspective, Roman proportions were brought back and studied, applying that knowledge to rooms and architectural buildings. The plasterwork is more refined and in scale with the space as it is slightly raised, not overpowering the room yet still adding a touch of elegance. However the bedroom is overwhelming and massive with cherubs flanking the walls and ceiling as well as the oversized chair and headboard invade the negative space, leaving little room to walk freely in the space. The dining room is very light not only through the use of wall color but also the hanging chandelier that is positioned directly above the dining table. The light coming in from the window and emitted from the chandelier help make the space a much more grandly lit space than that seen in the bedroom. There is also a fire place that helps with the function of not only keeping warm, but also to light up a space as the socializing continues throughout the night. The bedroom, due to the choice of materials used, absorb the light that is coming in through the window, with minimal reflectance of light that penetrates the room. The wall colors also play a large part in that, as they are dark and also absorb a lot of the sunlight that would come through a window. The lack of a fire place is also noticeable, leading one to think that the room was illuminated through hand held candles, meaning the main source of light during the day is the window and at night whatever hand held candle power permits as there isn’t a space to place these candles once blown out. Ceiling
The two rooms have varying ceiling structures, as the dining room has a very flat ceiling with no coffered work. A more refined decorative plasterwork painted white is slightly protruding from the surface, and falls in a set patterned structure with very straight or circular geometries. The use of the honeysuckle and rosettes adorn the ceiling along with the swaging motif and even a wave like pattern (however these patterns are all still very controlled within the allotted panels). The bedroom on the other hand has a large dome in the middle of the ceiling, where grotesque patterns are gilded and cherubs flanking the ends of the ceiling. The ceiling has a fabric-like covering, which realistically portrays the feeling of fabric being tucked into the vertical walls. This space gives a feeling of fluidity and organic movement, as the fabric is not in any specific...
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