TIEPOLO, Giovanni Battista
(b. 1696, Venezia, d. 1770, Madrid)
View of the Imperial Hall-
The magnificently-decorated Imperial Hall is the highpoint of the ceremonial sequence of public rooms in the Residence. The room is high and wide, well-lit by tall windows on three sides, and is situated in the central axis of the Residence overlooking the garden. It rises from the ground plan of an elongated octagon and is vaulted by an imposing oval cupola with ten, for the most part windowed, lunettes. Having passed through the White Room, with its neutral white stucco decoration by Antonio Bossi, the visitor enters the Imperial Hall someway down its length and is at first overwhelmed by the polychromatic variety of its decoration: by the walls with its divisions of half columns in red stucco marble, by the white and gold stucco decoration of the vault, by the areas of shellwork, by the sculptures and, not least, by Tiepolo's frescoes. In the Imperial Hall, architecture, ornamental structuring and painted decoration form an incomparable unity and so create one of the most beautiful secular rooms of the Baroque period.
Tiepolo's frescoes, too, have been designed to make an impact on the viewer as he enters the room. The central ceiling fresco is intended to bring together the themes of the two wall paintings, and to illustrate these in a generally allegorical form.
This picture shows the view towards the south end of the Imperial Hall and the portrayal of the marriage of Barbarossa and Beatrice of Burgundy, and shows how the fresco is incorporated into the opulence of the overall decoration.