Chinese House in Sanssouci Park
China, A Guest at Sanssouci
During his stays at Sanssouci Palace, Frederick the Great appreciated the intimate atmosphere of the Chinese House, which for him represented an escape to a far-off and cheerful world.
The playful Rococo pavilion is likely the most delightful surviving example of the Chinoiserie fashion that influenced court culture throughout Europe in the 18th century.
The pavilion's exterior is distinguished by life-sized gilded figures placed around the building individually or in groups. Chinese musicians and tea drinkers, dressed in fairytale-like apparel, are represented. Their exotic nature harmonizes with the columns in the shape of gilded plants. Peter Benckert and Johann Gottlieb Heymüller created these charming theatrical and decorative figures "à la chinoise."
The walls of the interior are adorned with gilded consoles on which 18th century porcelain objects are displayed. The large ceiling painting presents an exuberant Chinese social gathering depicted in an illusionistic architectural setting.