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Architecture, the most utilitarian of the arts, does not concern itself solely with fulfilling the practical and aesthetic needs of humanity. Its other important role is the production and protection of ideological structures. This book examines the strategic role of architecture in the organization of several fundamental cultural transactions, namely the controlling of political power, and the structuring and preserving of social order. The context of the study is the ascendancy of the Hanoverian dynasty in Germany and England around 1700. The historical context of the Hanoverian ascendancy constitutes the focal point of the first chapter, whereas the second chapter deals with the cultural life of the Hanoverian court and its art patronage. In these sections, historiography, opera, painting and architecture are treated as essential parts of a consciously created cultural programme, as mirrors that the Hanoverian court held up to itself. Economic, political and social realities of the day are also discussed. The analytical focus of the study is on the designs for Palladian villas associated with the artistic patronage of George Louis. The third chapter centres on these projects: the design for a villa with wings of ca. 1708 (Lambert Friedrich Corfey), contemporary villa design by Gottfried Laurenz Pictorius, and an anonymous design for a palazzo in villa intended to replace the Electoral hunting lodge in Wienhausen. The author next examines monuments and architectural designs created within the sphere of influence of Hanoverian court idiom: from the Veneto-inspired architecture at the court of the elder branch of the Guelphs in Wolfenbüttel to the manifestations of classicizing Palladian taste at the courts in Berlin, Düsseldorf and Cassel. The final chapter assesses the ramifications of the new evidence for architecture outside the German Empire, more specifically for the genesis of the Palladian revival in English architecture.
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