Friday, August 7, 2009

Venerdi in Venice: Arch Rivals


Here we have the architectural equivalent of hedging one's bets, expressed in a typical arched window in Venice, grounded by geraniums running delightfully amok from the window box. I say 'typical', but the underside is a rounded {Roman} arch and the top is a pointed {Gothic} arch. And I've just spent a long and thoroughly pleasing time browsing Venice photos and failing to find a similar example. Hmmmm. Not so typical, I guess. Invigorated by an odd fit of latent curiosity about the whole thing, I just read that in early examples of Gothic architecture, semi-circular and pointed arches were often used in the same buildings - typically, pointed arches {technically a derivation of pointy-topped doo-dads} were used for larger openings and curved arches were reserved for smaller openings and windows. I guess they couldn't decide when they came to build this one and with a nice Friday afternoon Chianti beckoning, figured two styles were better than one. Who can blame them.

Happy Venerdi in Venice to you ...

14 comments:

  1. Shell, I don't know anything about architecture or the difference between Gothic and doo-dads. My reaction was simply, "Ooh, pretty."

    Happy Venerdi in Venice to you, too!

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  2. I would never have known these arches were rivals had you not told us. Why am I not surprised that this particular window caught your (artistic)eye?
    How do you manage to not only see such detail, but to create it so faithfully and delicately? You could draw the phone book and make it something special.

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  3. I was going to say something like cali said—but not as eloquently. Some people just have an "eye" and notice the wonderful details that the rest of us are blind to. I think we're capable of appreciating them when they're pointed out, though. So how nice for us that you can create such lovely visuals—and also that you're willing to share. I just love visiting Venice with you on Friday!

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  4. Elyse ~ “Ooh, pretty,” sounds perfectly wonderful to me!

    Cali and Alexa ~ {Blush} - thank you! And now, I'm off to find the phone book. {Kidding! Or am I???}

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  5. If you are going to illustrate the phone book, could you please make sure you draw Daniel Craig's or Clive Owen's home number? Thanks!

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  6. If you draw the phone book could you add cute Cartier guy's number also? Although I think we have his number already, wink, wink, nudge, nudge!


    Word ver: belame! Come on, people! I can't get no respect!

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  7. Not much to add about your always stunning vision of Venice, Alexa, Cali and Elyse said everything !

    As for the Roman/Gothic competition, I've always been facinated by it, in my early days, when I was thinking of doing something in architecture (but too much calculation). I've heard and read that finding them in the same building was quite common.
    It lasted until all workers knew how to calculate the shape of those b.... stones (Maths again !!) to make that "damned new thing work" !!! But it is the first time I see it on the same window !

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  8. LOL, PCN and Cali ~ great minds! If I had those numbers, that would really be a test of my caring, sharing nature, wouldn't it...

    Marylène ~ hey, thank you! I didn't know you had architectural leanings - have you ever been in Pisa, by any chance? ;) I'm intrigued that you haven't seen this in one window either. I'll be on the lookout now!

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  9. Maybe my eye is not so accurate as yours !
    It is well known the the eye of the artist catches a lot more than the average "fellow" (quidam ?), isn't that word too British ?

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  10. Marylène ~ "fellow" makes me think of Hugh Grant immediately. :)

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  11. Architecture fascinates me. Why, do you suppose, does each era and area commit to a particular style? It's fascinating that we can call a window "Gothic" or "Roman" by its shape and construction. People adhere to rules at every opportunity, rather than trying new things on a regular basis. Why do we do that? Why have we always done that?

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  12. Petrea ~ very philosophical and a great question! ;) I think these builders were into rule bending.

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  13. Lovely, beautiful sketch there Shell and some "invigorating" dialogue too. :)

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  14. Thanks, MmeB! We covered quite a bit of ground. ;)

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Merci, grazie, thank you for joining our conversation lounge. Your smile lights up the room. Even more beautifully than our crystal chandelier. x