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Episcopalian Baroque residence at Lake Constance

Meersburg New Palace

Stuckelement mit Vogeldarstellung, Neues Schloss Meersburg; Foto: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer
Clever wall decor

Stucco

The most amusing stucco elements in all of Baden-Württemberg can be found at Meersburg New Palace! Carlo Luca Pozzi decorated the palace interiors with the most varied stucco images from daily life: mail delivery at the garden gate, pipe-smoking beer drinkers, or a cherub eating a roast.

Late Rococo stucco by Carlo Pozzi, Meersburg New Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Tendrils of blossoms adorn stucco medallions.

Masterful stucco work

Stucco, a gypsum mortar made of limestone, sand and water, is used to decorate interior walls and ceilings. Italians were the masters of this technique: they were almost exclusively the sole purveyors of stucco work into the 18th century. However, the Meersburg stucco is Swiss. The stucco decor was created by Carlo Luca Pozzi, a member of the famous, Ticino-based artist family and studio.

Stucco detail from the ceremonial hall, Meersburg New Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Varied stucco motifs can be found throughout the palace.

Creative and lively

Most of the rooms on the bel étage have ceilings decorated with highly original stucco motifs. They were created between 1760 and 1762 by Carlo Luca Pozzi (1735–1803) and his associates. With the exception of the audience chamber, all the stucco has survived! Thus, to this day, the lively hunt scenes, personified virtues, daytimes and elements can be admired along with scenes of courtly life, such as setting the table or playing billiards.

„Morgen“, Spätrokokostuckatur von Carlo Pozzi, 1760/62, Neues Schloss Meersburg; Foto: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer
„Abend“, Spätrokokostuckatur von Carlo Pozzi, 1760/62, Neues Schloss Meersburg; Foto: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Original scenes: “Morning” depicts a cherub drinking coffee with a crowing rooster, while “Evening” shows a pipe-smoking cherub with a mug of beer.

Scenes from daily life

The former antechamber to the envoy's apartment, in what is the hunting room today, is decorated with stucco depicting far more mundane scenes. Little cherubs personify the times of day: one drinks coffee with a crowing rooster, one eats a roast in the midday sun, another smokes a pipe and drinks beer in the evening, and another sleeps under a crescent moon. In the natural history cabinet, personifications of the four elements populate the ceiling: e.g., a puffing cherub, for air, and a fire-spitting dragon, for fire.

18th-century stucco relief, Meersburg New Palace: Aristocrats playing billiards. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Apropos for the room: Aristocrats playing billiards.

A room's function reflected in stucco

The stucco in the former bedroom, now home to the exhibit “The Prince Bishopric and the Town of Meersburg”, depicts something special: Pozzi created old Meersburg Castle with Lake Constance and vineyards as well as the townscape and the New Palace. The new and old residences face each other diagonally. The stucco themes in the salons, one floor below, make direct reference to each room’s function and depict lively courtly scenes: e.g., above the door to the billiard room, three gentlemen pay billiards.

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