Thursday, October 19, 2017

San Michele in Foro

San Michele in Foro, Piazza San Michele, Lucca
San Michele in Foro
Piazza San Michele
Lucca, October 2017

“San Michele in Foro is a Roman Catholic basilica church in Lucca, Tuscany, central Italy, built over the ancient Roman forum. Until 1370 it was the seat of the Consiglio Maggiore (Major Council), the commune's most important assembly. It is dedicated to Archangel Michael. The church is mentioned for the first time in 795 as ad foro (in the forum). It was rebuilt after 1070 by will of Pope Alexander II. Notable is the façade, from the 13th century, with a large series of sculptures and inlays, numerous of which remade in the 19th century. The lower part has a series of blind arcades, the central of which includes the main portal. The upper part, built using plenty of iron materials to counter wind, has four orders of small loggias. On the summit, flanked by two other angels, is the 4 m-tall statue of St. Michael the Archangel. According to a legend, an angel's finger would have a huge diamond. On the lower right corner of the façade is a statue (1480) of the Madonna salutis portus, sculpted by Matteo Civitali to celebrate the end of the 1476 plague. The church interior has a nave and two aisles with transept and semicircular apse; the nave is supported by arcades on monolithic columns. From the southern transept rises the bell tower, built in the 12th-14th centuries, with a series of single, double and triple mullioned windows. The last floor was demolished during the rule of Giovanni dell'Agnello (1364-1368), Doge of Pisa.” (San Michele in Foro, Wikipedia)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Sign of the Times

Sign of the Times by Steinbrener/Dempf & Huber, Hotel InterContinental Wien, Johannesgasse (facade on Lothringerstrasse), Vienna
“Sign of the Times” by Steinbrener/Dempf & Huber, 2016
Hotel InterContinental Wien
Johannesgasse (facade on Lothringerstrasse)
Vienna, September 2017

“It is one of the iconic images of the silent film era: In the movie SAFETY LAST! (1923), the distinctive, stoic Harold Lloyd is dangling from the hand of a huge clock on the outside of a skyscraper in New York. He is turning to the viewer for help while the clock face is inevitably torn from its anchorage and slowly tilting forward. His double is currently dangling from a building in Vienna – not quite as high above the canyons of Manhattan as Harold Lloyd, but at least between the 7th and 8th floors of the Hotel InterContinental. His exact remake. As big as the movies. This creative and film-related intervention was conceived by the Viennese artist group Steinbrener/Dempf & Huber, who, in the past, have repeatedly attracted a great deal of attention with their actions in public spaces.” (Sign of the Times, Viennale)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Holy Apostles

Bell tower of the church of the Santi Apostoli di Cristo
(Holy Apostles of Christ) by Alessandro Vittoria 1575
Campo Santi Apostoli, Cannaregio
Venice, September 2013

“The 7th Century campanile was destroyed by the fire of 1105. Rebuilt 1450, renovated 1601-09 by Francesco di Piero, brought down by a storm in 1659 and rebuilt 1672-1720 to a design by Andrea Tirali. Jan Morris says that an 'old and simple' sacristan fell from the campanile soon after its completion in 1672(?) but was caught by the minute hand on the clock, and so was slowly lowered to a parapet as time passed.” (Santi Apostoli, The Churches of Venice)

Monday, October 16, 2017

Zsolnay Tiling

Colourful Zsolnay tiling from Pécs, Great Market Hall (Nagyvásárcsarnok) by Samu Pecz, Fővám tér, Budapest
Colourful Zsolnay tiling from Pécs
Great Market Hall (Nagyvásárcsarnok) by Samu Pecz, 1897
Fővám tér
Budapest, September 2017

“Pyrogranite refers to a type of ornamental ceramics that were developed by Zsolnay and placed in production by 1886. Fired at high temperature, this durable material remains acid and frost-resistant making it suitable for use as roof tiles, indoor and outdoor decorative ceramics, and fireplaces. Architects that used the material in their buildings include Miklós Ybl, Ödön Lechner, Béla Lajta, Samu Pecz, and Imre Steindl. It can be seen in buildings such as Matthias Church, the Hungarian Parliament Building, the Museum of Applied Art, the Geological Institute, the Kőbánya Church, the Gellért Baths (all these buildings are in Budapest), the Town Hall in Kecskemét and many buildings, like the Post Office Palace, in Pécs.” (Zsolnay, Wikipedia)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Facade of San Miniato

Facade of San Miniato al Monte, Viale dei Colli, Florence
Facade of San Miniato al Monte (St. Minias on the Mountain)
Viale dei Colli
Florence, April 2015

“St. Miniato or Minas was an Armenian prince serving in the Roman army under Emperor Decius. He was denounced as a Christian after becoming a hermit and was brought before the Emperor who was camped outside the gates of Florence. The Emperor ordered him to be thrown to beasts in the Amphitheatre where a panther was called upon him but refused to devour him. Beheaded in the presence of the Emperor, he is alleged to have picked up his head, crossed the Arno and walked up the hill of Mons Fiorentinus to his hermitage. A shrine was later erected at this spot and there was a chapel there by the 8th century. Construction of the present church was begun in 1013 by Bishop Alibrando and it was endowed by the Emperor Henry II. The adjoining monastery began as a Benedictine community, then passed to the Cluniacs and then in 1373 to the Olivetans, who still run it. The monks make famous liqueurs, honey and herbal teas, which they sell from a shop next to the church.” (San Miniato al Monte, Wikipedia)

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Industrial Palace

Middle hall of the Průmyslový palác (Industrial Palace) by Bedřich Münzberger, Výstaviště Praha (Prague Exhibition Grounds), Areál Výstaviště, Holešovice, Prague
Middle hall of the Průmyslový palác (Industrial Palace) by Bedřich Münzberger, 1891
Výstaviště Praha (Prague Exhibition Grounds)
Areál Výstaviště, Holešovice
Prague, September 2017

“The Industrial Palace (Czech: Průmyslový palác) is an Art Nouveau (or Historicism) building, built by Bedřich Münzberger in 1891, which is used for exhibition purposes, but also for various cultural events. It is a glass building with steel construction and is divided into 3 independent parts, left and right wing and a middle hall with 51 m high clock tower. In 2008 the Palace was engulfed in a fire and the left wing burned. The left wing is currently being rebuilt.” (Výstaviště Praha, Wikipedia)

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Dome and the Bell Tower

The dome and the bell tower of the Duomo di Siena (Siena Cathedral), Piazza del Duomo, Siena
The dome and the bell tower of the Duomo di Siena (Siena Cathedral)
Piazza del Duomo
Siena, April 2017

“The cathedral itself was originally designed and completed between 1215 and 1263 on the site of an earlier structure. It has the form of a Latin cross with a slightly projecting transept, a dome and a bell tower. The dome rises from a hexagonal base with supporting columns. The lantern atop the dome was added by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The nave is separated from the two aisles by semicircular arches. The exterior and interior are constructed of white and greenish-black marble in alternating stripes, with addition of red marble on the façade. Black and white are the symbolic colors of Siena, etiologically linked to black and white horses of the legendary city's founders, Senius and Aschius.” (Siena Cathedral, Wikipedia)