The seventeenth-century Valencia had already left behind its golden era, but it was still a city with plenty of power and resources. With them, it filled its streets with magnificent Baroque buildings which you can see walking around the old town.
However, in the middle of the eighteenth century, the times of the grand style ended, and a peculiar and exaggerated evolution arrived from France. The Rococo and its explosion of adornments were also going to have a place in the heart of the Valencian capital, and that place would be, precisely, the Palace of the Marqués de Dos Aguas. One of the best examples of Rococo architecture that can be seen all over Europe.
Giner Rabassa de Perellós, who held the title back in 1740, decided to reform the old family house thoroughly, and to do so, he called Hipólito Rovira, an artist with rather fragile health whom the marquis had under his protection.
Hipólito was an excellent painter. He had studied in Italy and had a boundless imagination to contribute to the design of his patron’s mansion. Unfortunately, his head was going to end up surpassed somewhat by his talent and his demons, and the poor man would end his days in the ward for the mentally ill at the Hospital of Valencia.
The frescoes that Rovira painted on the main façade have been lost, but we have the exuberant work that the sculptor Ignacio Vergara did on it. An image of the Virgin on whose sides run the two rivers that give the name to the marquisate, in a kind of a waterfall of ornaments topped with figures of Atlanteans.
The visual impact of the exterior already makes it very clear what kind of building this is, and what is waiting for us inside: a fantastic palace that breathes the scent of the grandiose nobility of those times, and which today houses the National Museum of Ceramics and Sumptuary Arts González Martí.
Do not miss the Sala de los Carruajes, with the fantastic Carroza de las Ninfas: a carriage that Hipólito Rovira designed for the marquises to use on important occasions. What is not very clear to us looking at the rooms such as the Salon Chino, the Sala de Porcelana, the Ballroom or the bedroom itself, is what was an important occasion for people that, almost daily, lived in such a way?