The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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190                    THE SUSSEX COAST
grandeur, and great monotony is produced by his persistent use of stucco." The Pavilion is the strangest jumble of styles, and not altogether free from the temporary exhibition look that is sug­gested by the name. The exterior caricatures the buildings of the Indian Moghals, but instead of mosaic and marble its swelling domes and minarets and horse-shoe arches are executed chiefly in painted stucco. The eastern facade is, however, really impressive, especially when twilight is kind enough to obscure the details; the thin fretwork tracery of the colonnade and the complicated outlines, pleasantly varied by the thin tapering domes that cover the large Music and Banqueting Rooms at the ends (looking as if they had burst and were simply supported by their central poles) give an unfamiliar and far from unpleasing general effect. The interior is very richly adorned in Chinese style such as rather justifies the remark made by the Son of Heaven to the English Envoys, Lord Macartney in 1792, Lord Amherst in 1816, about the western barbarians at last striving to imitate the glories of the Middle Empire. At the same time the general effect is exceedingly striking from its wealth of colour and gold, its huge ferns and leaves and dragons, its great chandeliers with painted glass, its central dome blazoned with the sky and clouds and the general effect of Oriental splendour. The impression is to-day rather spoilt by the plain deal boards of the flooring. Nothing better could reasonably have been expected, some­thing far worse might easily have come about, from the architect never having seen even a photograph of the buildings whose effect he es­sayed to reproduce. The detached stone gateway that William IV. added in the same general style,
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