Posted on December 9, 2012
For the latest Jake’s challenge I decided to post a photo of what was Michelangelo’s concept for a piazza in Rome.
It is better that you read a Wikipedia article to get a clearer idea about what you are going to see.
The existing design of the Piazza del Campidoglio and the surrounding palazzi was created by Renaissance artist and architect Michelangelo Buonarroti in 1536–1546. At the height of his fame, he was commissioned by the Farnese Pope Paul III, who wanted a symbol of the new Rome to impress Charles V, who was expected in 1538. This offered him the opportunity to build a monumental civic plaza for a major city as well as to reestablish the grandeur of Rome. Michelangelo’s first designs for the piazza and remodeling of the surrounding palazzi date from 1536. His plan was formidably extensive. He accentuated the reversal of the classical orientation of the Capitoline, in a symbolic gesture turning Rome’s civic center to face away from the Roman Forum and instead in the direction of Papal Rome and the Christian church in the form of St. Peter’s Basilica. This full half circle turn can also be seen as Michelangelo’s desire to address the new, developing section of the city rather than the ancient ruins of the past. An equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius was to stand in the middle of the piazza set in a paved oval field. Michelangelo was required to provide a setting for the statue and to bring order to an irregular hilltop already encumbered by two crumbling medieval buildings set at an acute angle to one another. The Palazzo del Senatore was to be restored with a double outer stairway, and the campanile moved to the center axis of the palace. The Palazzo dei Conservatori was also to be restored, and a new building, the so-called Palazzo Nuovo, built at the same angle on the north side of the piazza to offset the Conservatori, creating a trapezoidal piazza. A wall and balustrade were to be built at the front of the square, giving it a firm delineation on the side facing the city. Finally, a flight of steps was to lead up to the enclosed piazza from below, further accentuating the central axis.
The sequence, Cordonata piazza and the central palazzo are the first urban introduction of the “cult of the axis” that was to occupy Italian garden plans and reach fruition in France.
Executing the design was slow: Little was actually completed in Michelangelo’s lifetime (the ‘’Cordonata’’ was not in place when Emperor Charles arrived, and the imperial party had to scramble up the slope from the Forum to view the works in progress), but work continued faithfully to his designs and the Campidoglio was completed in the 17th century, except for the paving design, which was to be finished three centuries later. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitoline_Hill
For this challenge I went with three different concepts I have of the piazza. The more natural one, the funky one, and the one I like best as it is closest to how I had pictured it.
I wonder which one of my photos Michelangelo would hate least 😉
Listen to some music while you are here …
Posted on December 1, 2012
Is there a nicer, more important word than peace? (well, except for love)
When I need peace I turn to nature, most often to small lakes with still, mirrored surfaces where I can reflect and ponder in peace.
Here is the photo that says peaceful to me.
This is my response to Jake’s Sunday Post challenge.
Posted on November 17, 2012
What is the purpose of architecture, beside the utilitarian and aesthetic one? It is to teach us history, like in the case of this small quaint chapel in the middle of Slovenian woods.
During my recent trip to Slovenia I stumbled upon an odd piece of architecture, a Russian chapel, standing amid the forest near the edge of the Vršič pass road at some 1,600 m altitude.
What struck me as odd was the typical Russian design which was never to be expected in the western Balkans. This has made me research, naturally, and I’ve learned that the chapel was initially built in 1916 by WWI Russian prisoners that had been ordered by Austro-Hungarian authorities to build a road through then strategically important town of Kranjska Gora. The prisoners worked in appalling conditions fighting heavy snowfall, and during an avalanache some 300 of them were killed. A year later a Russian memorial chapel was built by the remaining prisoners to honour their perished comrades.
My picture shows the chapel as it was renovated in 2005, a year before the Vršič road itself was renamed Ruska cesta (Russian Road) in memory of the killed soldiers.
Being a reminder of WWI, and a symbolic link between Slovenia and Russia, this little chapel provided me with another lesson in history.
Here is a traditional Russian song (instrumental) I hope you’ll like.
Posted on November 10, 2012
Ages ago a city vanished under the raging lava to be uncovered 17 centuries later and shown to the world. The dead city with so many traces of life remains as a reminder of once advanced civilisation.
In the middle of the yard of an anonymous house surrounded by ancient columns stands a tree, the subject of my take on the Sunday post challenge.
Listen to Rodrigo Leao’s Vita brevis (as in Ars longa, vita brevis – or in my interpretation of Pompeii “Lives were extinguished, but art lives on”)
Posted on November 4, 2012
Posted on October 20, 2012
Posted on October 13, 2012
It’s weekend at last, and time to play!!! If it is ugly outside, take out your toys and stay at home!
This is my response to Jake’s challenge: Toys.
I hope you will enjoy the music too 🙂
Posted on October 10, 2012
Posted on September 30, 2012
Posted on September 23, 2012
I entitled the below photo “A watchful eye lurking for a giving hand at the entrance of a church ….“
It took me many years to get rid of the habbit of emptying my pockets every time I saw a beggar. It is symptomatic that they are always strategically located at the entrance of churches, taking advantage of the “faithfull“ in despair to redeem their soul ….
The Latin inscription above the door is from Gospel according to Saint John (X, 29): “Ego sum ostium per me si quis introierit salvabitur” (I am the door. By me if any man enter in, he shall be saved)…. And on his way out, he shall meet beggars – this part is not in Gospel – I am not trying to offend anybody here, and I was raised to always help the needy, but I don’t care for impostors, liars, and people taking advantage of others – scammers in short…. People are strange, or may seem strange… Listen to the attached song People are Strange (The Doors)
Posted on September 15, 2012
Autumn? Not quite here yet, I am afraid….
I hope to see some autumn colours in this town in a few weeks, that is if the torrential rain that has been falling since Thursday does not sweep all the leaves off the branches or leaves them rotten.
However, I’ve noticed one unmistakable sign of Autumn: pumpkins 😀
I can’t carve them, I can’t cook them, but I hope I know how to photograph them.
Here is a bonus track for you by Smashing Pumpkins: Hope