After building the beautiful St. Basil’s cathedral, Russia’s best architect was blinded by Ivan the Terrible, in order to prevent him from ever building something better.
When I turn 65, I’m going to pay the big bucks to get a cake made to look like this, just so I can satisfy my undying urge to eat it.
Israeli archaeologists presented a newly uncovered 1,500-year-old church in the Judean hills on Wednesday, including an unusually well-preserved mosaic floor with images of lions, foxes, fish and peacocks.
The Byzantine church located southwest of Jerusalem, excavated over the last two months, will be visible only for another week before archaeologists cover it again with soil for its own protection. Read more.
francesco borromini, chiesa di san carlo alle quattro fontane, dome, begun 1638
this is the ceiling of my favorite baroque church. this church is nuts and beautiful all over and throughout. there is enough academic writing arguing that borromini embued the design with neoplatonic ideas, a design that becomes increasingly complex as the eye ascends the space in mockery of the stupefaction one experiences with closer and closer proximity to the divine light of god. note that the light source has a warm and ambiguous source, reminiscent of the ever absent light sources in caravaggio paintings maybe. this dome is the climax, a complex design of crucifix, oval and octagon coffers (each shape has religious symbolism, shit is real deep, the floor plan of the church is based on the same shapes. it’s totally nuts). borromini helped to usher in two schools of the high baroque, the ones who went buck-wild nuts and indulgent and those who resisted this and ran back toward classical forms in an effort to redeem the mediums. over the next 25 years, especially in the north of europe, you see many churches that are much like san carlino on meth. they love that whacky shit up there.
reviews were mixed contemporary to the building of the church but the overwhelming majority of people hated it. for the next 300 years it was written off as total anarchy, an utter abuse of classical architecture, despite the fact that it is heavily based on early classical roman forms. borromini’s family were milanese gothic masons and he started his career as a decorative iron worker, did some work under maderno who he loved so much he wanted to be buried next to him. he had been surrounded all his life by beautiful buildings, worked on san carlino for most of his career/life and was a weirdo master genius architect. every detail of the church is immaculate. early on, when borro took to working under bernini at st. peter’s, bernini had little experience as an architect and likely mooched borro’s ideas and expertise extensively. borromini hated bernini, bernini talked trash about borromini to the pope. asshole. bernini was the pretty golden boy sculpture of the age. borromini was the cranky humpback architect.*
despite all this, the trinitarian monks (very humble, taking up constant alms to buy back christians who’d been sold into slavery) were nuts about the church and spoke highly of how the transcendent design carried the eye around the space, never allowing it rest. borromini refused payment for the church and did not live to see the project completed though he did see a great deal of the building, including that of the serpentine & un-classical façade that helped get him in so much trouble with the haters. he killed himself 1667.
i stole this picture from here: http://abhvio.us/index.php?showimage=38
really nice images of rome there if you’re interested.
*okay, i don’t know that he had a hump but there is evidence in writing that he was very cranky.
I’m just going to leave this here because this description is better than any I could give and I adore this church.