25 January 2015

Every wand'ring bark

Sunset at Land's End, San Francisco
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove 

John Roddam Spencer Stanhope Love and the Maiden, 1877  Legion of Honor, San Francisco

O no, it is an ever-fixèd mark,
North tower of the Golden Gate Bridge
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
Sea Monster from the baroque set painted for my wedding in 2010




















William Shakespeare, Sonnet 116







.

03 January 2015

Ancient Patterns: Battistero di San Giovanni

detail of the mosaic floor, Baptistry, Florence
I collect patterns and details.  I just do.  I will spend over an hour staring at the floor in a dark historic site while everyone else is snapping shots of the famous gold mosaic ceiling and walking through the other side in less than 5 minutes on their way to the next famous spot. Then I will go back and do it again the next day. And maybe the next as well.
You understand why I do this.  Of course you do, that's why you are here.


mosaic marble floor in the Baptistry, Florence
mosaic marble floor in the Baptistry, Florence

The Baptistry of St. John is one of Florence's oldest buildings, having been built on the remains of 4th century octagonal church which was built on the remains of a Roman-era tower.  The present building dates from 1059, and the intricate marble mosaic floors were added circa 1209.  
Surprisingly, the oldest ornamental patterns in this space are also the most modern-looking. 

mosaic marble floor in the Baptistry, Florence
mosaic marble floor in the Baptistry, Florence
mosaic marble floor in the Baptistry, Florence
mosaic marble floor in the Baptistry, Florence
mosaic marble floor in the Baptistry, Florence
mosaic marble floor in the Baptistry, Florence
Similar patterns are also found in St. Mark's in Venice and other Romanesque and Byzantine interiors, many of them influenced by ancient Oriental and Arabic designs and by the popularity of cosmatesque ornament from Rome.
All of these patterns are unified in this room only by their limited palette of red, black, and white (with the occasional yellow). They are laid out on the floor in an asymmetrical grid divided by borders, with little or no repeated elements;  a marvelous collection of  flat but intricate designs that create a rich atmosphere indeed.

mosaic marble floor in the Baptistry, Florence

mosaic marble floor in the Baptistry, Florence
mosaic marble floor in the Baptistry, Florence
mosaic marble floor in the Baptistry, Florence
mosaic marble floor in the Baptistry, Florence



If you can believe it, there are even more photos of these floors in my Flickr album: Battistero di San Giovanni, Firenze




need more now?

Modern mosaic floors at New Ravenna

Dover Edition: Historic Designs and Patterns in Color from Arabic and Italian Sources









 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...