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Notes on the Geography of Germany: Three by Balthasar Neumann: Photo 12

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Pevsner says that the cartouche was by a Bavarian stuccoist, Johann Michael Feichtmayr. "Not one part is symmetrical. The main composition is a zigzag, from the alluring young angel on the right, up to the cupid and cherub higher up on the left, and up again to the cherub at the top. The forms in detail seem to be incessantly changing, splashing up and sinking back. What are they? Do they represent anything? Sometimes they look like shells, sometimes like froth, sometimes like gristle, sometimes like flames. This kind of ornament is called rocaille in France, where it was invented in the 1720s by Meissonier, Oppenord, and a few others of provincial or semi-Italian background. It has given the Rococo style its name, and rightly so; for it is a completely original creation, not dependent on anything of the past, as the ornament of the Renaissance had been. It is abstract art of as high an expressional value as any that we are offered today so much more pretentiously" (p. 150-1).

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