21 August, 2006

88. Excuse me for intruding.

In classical Greek architecture, three main designs for supporting columns evolved over many centuries. The first and simplest style was the Doric column, a straightforward pillar with no base and a simple unornamented roundel for a top, or capital. Later came the Ionic style, characterized by a decorated base and a more elaborate scroll-shaped capital. By the 5th century BC, the much more ornate Corinthian column had arrived. The base and column was similar to the Ionic style, but the capital had become an intricately carved profusion of foliage, traditionally canthus leaves.

All three of these styles survived into the Roman era and beyond – all three often being used on the same Roman building, like for instance in the great Colosseum in Rome, where all the columns on the ground level all the way round the huge stadium are Doric, all the columns on the middle level are Ionic, and those on the top level are Corinthian. The Romans had great engineering skill but little original imagination when it came to decorative design.

To the Venetians on the other hand, who had the rich visual vocabulary of Byzantium as well as the legacy of ancient Greece and Rome to play with, no formal design was sacrosanct. Everything was open to creative reinterpretation and column capitals in particular have been used more imaginatively in this city than anywhere else I know.

At a glance, from a distance, this capital on the façade of the Scuola di San Rocco looks like a typical ornate Corinthian capital until you look more closely. Suddenly, you are looking into the wide-eyed and rather startled face of a woman who looks like you have just walked in on her as she is stepping out of the shower, hurriedly sweeping up a frilly robe to not very successfully cover herself.

Who is she, and what is she doing on this building, like a ship's figurehead? I have no idea. What I called a robe could be fronds of seaweed, which might make her a mermaid, but as we can only see her torso, that's just speculation.

On the column capitals around the San Polo markets are all kinds of fish and other seafood, as well as boats and fishing gear, and fishermen and sailors. Around the Doge's palace the capitals are full of all kinds of animals and people, some of them very convincing portraits of obviously real people, with a wide range of facial expressions.

In the days when every part of a stone building was hand-hewn, not just assembled from factory produced components, the building workers didn't just blindly follow an architect's blueprint. Many of the decorative details relied on the expressive skills of the stonemasons who were artists as well as craftsmen and who took pride and care in their work – sometimes adding in amusing touches of their own invention.

This surprised lady might be one of them.


Blogger ninest123 said...

lululemon, nike air max, michael kors outlet, michael kors, new balance pas cher, mulberry, nike free run uk, michael kors, michael kors outlet, kate spade handbags, burberry outlet online, hollister, air force, michael kors outlet, coach purses, sac guess, coach outlet, hermes, true religion jeans, true religion jeans, hogan, north face, vans pas cher, abercrombie and fitch, true religion outlet, ugg boots, nike air max, hollister pas cher, michael kors outlet, vanessa bruno, coach outlet, true religion jeans, tn pas cher, burberry, lacoste pas cher, michael kors, michael kors outlet, timberland, converse pas cher, ralph lauren uk, replica handbags, nike roshe, nike blazer, ray ban uk, north face, ray ban pas cher, nike air max, oakley pas cher, michael kors, ugg boots

April 15, 2016 1:29 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

nike outlet, louboutin, longchamp outlet, oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton, ugg boots, nike air max, louis vuitton outlet, louboutin shoes, polo ralph lauren outlet, burberry, cheap oakley sunglasses, sac longchamp, ugg boots, christian louboutin outlet, prada handbags, air max, oakley sunglasses, longchamp pas cher, air jordan pas cher, jordan shoes, replica watches, ray ban sunglasses, gucci outlet, tiffany and co, louis vuitton, prada outlet, oakley sunglasses, kate spade outlet, nike air max, chanel handbags, michael kors, longchamp outlet, tory burch outlet, replica watches, longchamp, polo ralph lauren outlet, nike roshe run, louis vuitton outlet, uggs on sale, ray ban sunglasses, louboutin pas cher, louis vuitton, ray ban sunglasses, nike free, tiffany jewelry, louboutin outlet, oakley sunglasses, nike free, ralph lauren pas cher

April 15, 2016 1:35 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

giuseppe zanotti, wedding dresses, insanity workout, iphone 6 plus cases, ghd, nike air max, iphone 5s cases, new balance, chi flat iron, vans shoes, baseball bats, birkin bag, abercrombie and fitch, iphone 6 cases, beats by dre, iphone 6s plus cases, mont blanc, louboutin, ferragamo shoes, hollister, celine handbags, hollister, longchamp, reebok shoes, soccer jerseys, nike huarache, valentino shoes, lululemon, mcm handbags, p90x workout, soccer shoes, instyler, bottega veneta, timberland boots, iphone cases, north face outlet, oakley, nike trainers, asics running shoes, nike roshe, north face outlet, ralph lauren, herve leger, babyliss, hollister, ipad cases, s5 cases, jimmy choo shoes, nfl jerseys, mac cosmetics, nike air max, iphone 6s cases

April 15, 2016 1:40 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

swarovski crystal, hollister, pandora charms, converse outlet, canada goose, converse, toms shoes, barbour jackets, moncler, louis vuitton, supra shoes, moncler, karen millen, gucci, moncler, moncler, barbour, replica watches, pandora charms, lancel, moncler, swarovski, canada goose uk, pandora jewelry, ugg pas cher, bottes ugg, moncler outlet, wedding dresses, vans, louis vuitton, ugg boots uk, pandora jewelry, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, links of london, moncler, thomas sabo, juicy couture outlet, canada goose, louis vuitton, moncler, canada goose outlet, juicy couture outlet, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, montre pas cher, marc jacobs, canada goose, ray ban, sac louis vuitton pas cher, coach outlet, doudoune canada goose, louis vuitton, canada goose outlet, canada goose

April 15, 2016 1:46 PM  
Blogger dalia alaa said...


January 12, 2017 6:31 AM  
Blogger omar ali said...

Thanks for supplying this info

January 03, 2018 11:53 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home