What’s It For?

Sunday 27th November 2022

In the morning Reggie Cresswell said, ‘Why would anybody want millions?’ Not a question I would ask. In the afternoon the answer came: to build the Villa Necchi. Coming up the drive of the Villa Necchi, I thought, ‘I know this place.’  It was a location in the Gucci film with Lady Gaga. A 30s, special order villa, built by the Necchi, a wealthy industrial family. We hadn’t been there five seconds and we were in Heaven. The Villa Necchi is absolute bliss. The best of everything, every detail thought of and the wonderful flaring space yet the rooms you can imagine being cosy in. The walls are veneered in fabulous woods; sublime craftsmanship. They started with the idea of a supremely Modernist interior, utterly pared down and minimal. But when they got the house back after the War (Germans had been there) they had a re-think. They couldn’t resist a few chandeliers, a few antique pieces, a monumental curving marble fireplace. More recently since the house has been open to the public, various people have bequeathed their collections so the place is now teeming with ornaments, porcelain, top drawer paintings and general gorgeousness and exactly how a house like this should be. Upstairs somehow a Princess of Savoy had got in and taken a room which was done over in gold damask with Louis Quinze abounding, a marvellous example of Royalty having their way and wrecking what was supposed to be completely – like that time Princess Margaret refused to go into the supper room at a private function and there was seriously the prospect of hundreds of little gilt chairs and an entire supper going to waste. But that time, fortunately the greatnesses assembled managed collectively to steer her in..

Finally was the total climax of Harry’s performance. He’s not tried Italy so much before and there’s the danger that if it’s not Nessum Dorma they’ll go mad. But they didn’t. They adored. It was new. They’d never known anything like it before especially not the fairy who’s not even human and although given by a human that person isn’t human either. It’s that new. Oh the miracles of the performance beyond performance and terrible loss at the end. If only it could have started all over again.

Afterwards there was a tremendous canapé reception with even some bruscetta for Reggie in a staggering Gustavian (but it can’t have been in Italy) reception room with huge width. The next morning Reggie cancelled the Brera while I was in transit for it and re-directed for the Ambrogian Library which only eventually had even an entrance. There was a highly unusual Caravaggio there – but doubtful it was intended as a complete painting. Other works were displayed but my nerves gave out. I was seized with pre-boarding tension and the visit was over.

Villa Necchi: The dining room. Meant to be Ultra Modern but they Couldn't Resist a Chandelier

Villa Necchi: The dining room. Meant to be Ultra Modern but they Couldn’t Resist a Chandelier

Later Fireplace after Modernism Abandoned

Later Fireplace after Modernism Abandoned

Villa Necchi: Superb Plaster Work Ceiling

Villa Necchi: Superb Plaster Work Ceiling

Villa Necchi: Reggie Loved this Floor Detail

Villa Necchi: Reggie Loved this Floor Detail

Fabulous Garden Room at the Villa Necchi

Fabulous Garden Room at the Villa Necchi: Plants between the Glazing Panels 

The Princess of Savoy got into this Room and did This

The Princess of Savoy got into this Room and did This

The Princess of Savoy's Room at the Villa Necchi: Royalty Present

The Princess of Savoy’s Room at the Villa Necchi: Royalty Present

 

Posted Sunday, November 27, 2022 under Adrian Edge day by day.

Leave a Reply