Monday, April 13, 2009

Roman Patina Preview

I saw many wonderful things on my trip to Rome, Naples and Florence, and here is a preview across the centuries:

Below is the so-called Farnese Bull from teh Hellenistic Period. Most likely the sculpture group, the most complete from antiquity, came from the Greek world during the Roman Empire as spoils from the conquest of the Mediterranean Basin.Below is the great Last Communion of St. Jerome by the early 17th Century artist Domenichino. What you are looking at is actually a mosaic copy replacing the original that was moved to the more climate controlled Vatican Painting Gallery. The work is huge, fitting comfortably into one of the massive altars of New St. Peter's Basilica.Below is the Portico of Octavia, the well-preserved entrance structure on the Campus Martius, or Mars Field along the banks of the Tiber. Originally outside the first set of walls of Rome, the area became the center of numerous monuments during the Roman Empire. The Portico shows the later adaptations of Medieval Romans as they built their own structures in the remains of Ancient Rome.The Cornaro Chapel, designed by the great Gianlorenzo Bernini, represents one of the high points of 17th Century Rome. Designed to appear as a great theater stage, the drama of The Ecstasy of St. Theresa unfolds in all of its glory before the viewer. Above the golden lit main composition, illusionistic ceiling painting completes the Gesamtkunstwerk.And finally, below we see the massive ruins of the Thermae of Caracalla, rising majestically from the exercise fields that once surrounded the largest public baths in Ancient Rome. The two gigantic piers at center once possessed two companions that together held up the largest dome from Antiquity. Truly one of the most stunning ruins in Rome, the Thermae influenced countless buildings throughout the world--including St. Louis.

1 comment:

A Blog detailing the beauty of St. Louis architecture and the buildup of residue-or character-that accumulates over the course of time.