Tall & skinny

I may exaggerate slightly, but you get the idea.

The years and centuries toddled on. In the north, a new style of architecture (building design, that is) was replacing the rounded, grounded, low-center-of-gravity basilica which was the Romanesque style of church. The miracle of a basilica had been fitting an enormous circular dome onto a square church without the whole thing collapsing into itself. This new style was entirely different—strictly vertical. If you want to get closer to G-d, you build taller churches, right? You design tall, taller spires that go up and up with pointy arched windows to let in sunlight through stained-glass windows. You keep everything from falling down by attaching more spires—flying buttresses—to relieve the outward pressure and outsmart a building’s biggest enemy: gravity.

So tall and skinny is the new look.

Here’s an excellent article about Romanesque vs Gothic architecture—

A tip of the hat to the memory of Rolly Ivers, my high school art teacher, who introduced me to church architecture all those years ago.

Back to the beginning of The Western Civ User’s Guide to Reading & Writing.

5 responses to “Tall & skinny

  1. So interesting!
    John, have you read Ross King’s ‘Brunelleschi’s Dome’? (2000) If not, I think you’d enjoy it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ll have to get it! I love that he invented linear perspective just so he could show clients what he had in mind. Did you cover LP when you taught? A real grueling process—hours and hours of explanation, trying to get the students to understand, showing how it works, countless drawing exercises and then boom! comes the dawn—they get it. Those moments were the most gratifying and I remember ’em fondly.


  3. It’s been a long time since my teaching days but I don’t recall covering LP as a specific lesson; it’s ideas were mostly woven into basic composition as observational drawing skills. I enjoyed the book and later found this documentary that you might like:
    Great Cathedral Mystery:

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Black Letter | John Manders' Blog

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