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Frederick the Great ruled Prussia from his new palace at Potsdam, 'Sans Souci'. It was built to his own design, and reveals much about his character as a ruler who wanted to be seen as an 'enlighte...ned' philosopher. The palace is small, lavishly decorated, and includes a library, a music room and a guest wing. The significance of each of these is discussed in turn. It does not include a chapel, which reflects Frederick's views on religious freedom. The grounds contain busts of Roman emperors, decorative statues, and a Chinese Teahouse. After the Seven Years' War he built a much larger new palace, but rarely used it. Throughout the programme, the contrast is drawn between the man of letters, philosopher, musician and friend of the enlightenment, and the aristocratic ruler whose foreign policy included an eighteenth century equivalent of a world war.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: A206, The Enlightenment
Item code: A206; 02
First transmission date: 1993
Published: 1993
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:11
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Producer: Robert Philip
Contributors: Colin Cunningham; Tãoni Lentãin
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Potsdam
Subject terms: Frederick II, King of Prussia, 1712-1786
Footage description: Footage - Statue of Frederick on horseback. 4 colour stills of portraits of Frederick: on horseback, in uniform, seated, with tricorn hat. Tony Lentin speaking. Driveway leading up to Sans Souci palace. Painting of Frederick and Marquis D'Angers watching building work at Sans Souci (0'24"-1'42") - Extract from Frederick's will. Painting of Frederick lying in state. B/w illustration of coffins and wreaths inside church. Tony Lentin speaking. Hoenzothern castle. Men carrying Frederick's coffin, 1991. Steam train, mourners, horsedrawn hearse, crowds, funeral procession, coffin under canopy. Frederick's tombstone at San Souci. Dogs' tombstones. 2 portraits of Frederick: in military uniform, with tricorn hat (1'43"-3'38") - Colin Cunningham speaking. Title page of Frederick's "Oeuvres du philosophe de Sans Souci". Sans Souci palace from front. Exterior views of San Souci. Frederick's hand drawn design for Sans Souci. View of palace from terraces. Exterior of palace.Close up shots of caryatids on building. Colin Cunningham speaking. Exterior views of Sans Souci (3'39"-6'06") - Colonnaded forecourt. Pans round to single storey palace building. Swans on water beneath a bridge. Pans round to palace. Exterior views of Sans Souci. Close ups of Rococo decorations (6'07"-7'20") - Circular pillared hall inside Sans Souci. Library. Music room. Tony Lentin speaking. Handwritten music scores. Portrait of JS Bach. B/w drawing and engraving of musical evening at Sans Souci (6'07"-9'47") - Sans Souci from terraces. Glass doors protecting vines. Portraits of Frederick: at desk, in old age, with Voltaire and dogs. Sepia painting of Sans Souci. Views of the library. Title page of "Oeuvres du philosophe de Sans Souci". Portrait of Frederick's father, Frederick William I. B/w engraving and drawing of Voltaire and Frederick (9'48"-13'12") - Colin Cunningham speaking. Tony Lentin speaking. Caricature of Voltaire. Windows on guest buildings at Sans Souci. Cupola. B/w photo of Sans Souci and old windmill. Portrait of Frederick. Portrait of Frederick William I. Bust of Nero. Bust of Marcus Aurelias. View of terraces (13'13"-16'15") - Sans Souci. Statue in grounds: "Air". Portrait of Frederick on horseback. Colin Cunningham and Tony Lentin speaking. Chinese tea house. Close ups of gilded figures. Caryatids. Exterior views of Sans Souci. B/w drawing of palace at Potsdam. Portrait of Frederick. Chair (16'16"-20'40") - B/w drawing of battle. Painting of dead soldiers panning to Frederick on horseback. New palace at Potsdam. B/w engraving of Frederick on deathbed. 2 portraits of Frederick in uniform (20'41"-24'08).
Master spool number: HOU7184
Production number: FOUA387A
Videofinder number: 5457
Available to public: no