Archive for the Architecture Category

American Vernacular

Posted in Architecture, Photo with tags on November 3, 2018 by Dylan Thomas Hayden

Walker Evans
© Metropolitan Museum of Art

Tre Capricci

Posted in Architecture, Painting with tags , , , on November 2, 2018 by Dylan Thomas Hayden

Pietro Paltronieri
oil on canvas, c. 1740
private collection

Hagia Sophia

Posted in Architecture, Poetry with tags , on July 21, 2018 by Dylan Thomas Hayden

Hagia Sophia – here the Lord commanded
That nations and tsars should halt!
Your dome, according to an eye-witness,
Hangs from heaven as though by a chain.

All centuries take their measure from Justinian:
Out of her shrine, in Ephesus, Diana allowed
One hundred and seven green marble pillars
To be pillaged for his alien gods.

How did your lavish builder feel
When – with lofty hand and soul –
He set the apses and the chapels,
Arranging them at east and west?

A splendid temple, bathing in the peace –
A festival of light from forty windows;
Under the dome, on pendentives, the four Archangels
Sail onwards, most beautiful of all.

And this sage and spherical building
Shall outlive centuries and nations,
And the resonant sobbing of the seraphim
Shall not warp the dark gilt surfaces.

Text: Osip Mandelstam, Selected Poems. London: Penguin Books, 1991
Image: Seraph pendentive at Hagia Sophia, source unknown


Posted in Architecture, Philosophy, Photo with tags , , , on November 17, 2016 by Dylan Thomas Hayden


“…I went to Paestum, and there saw Doric temples for the first time, symbols of severity, simplicity, harmony, and strength. There was the pure vein to be traced in the quartz of Roman accumulations and grossness…

Doric purity is not a thing to be expected again in history, at least not yet. It indicates a people that knows its small place in the universe and yet asserts its dignity. In early Christian art there may be simplicity and naïveté, but never self-knowledge. The aspiration in it is childlike. For anything like Doric fortitude in the West we must look to the castles, not to the churches; and the castles are Christian only by association. Here then was an ultimate point of reference, a principle of manly purity, to mark one extreme in the moral scale of all human arts…”

Text: George Santayana, My Host the World. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1953
Image: Alexander John Ellis, two daguerreotypes of the temple of Hera at Paestum, 1841. via Getty Images


Il serpente di bronzo

Posted in Architecture, Painting with tags on November 5, 2016 by Dylan Thomas Hayden


fresco, 1540-65
Cappella di Eleonora di Toledo, Firenze

Ideale Ansicht der Akropolis und des Areopags in Athen

Posted in Architecture, Greece, Painting with tags , , on October 13, 2016 by Dylan Thomas Hayden
E0702 KLENZE 9463
Leo von Klenze
oil on canvas, 1846
Neue Pinakothek, Munich

The Acropolis

Posted in Architecture, Greece, Photo with tags , , on October 12, 2016 by Dylan Thomas Hayden
Félix Bonfils
photograph, c. 1868-75
Princeton University Library
We find this a particularly evocative old view of the Acropolis, across mostly vacant fields now embedded in the hectic center of modern Athens; and we imagine the generations of slow feet that carved the path between the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the rustic buildings in the foreground. The next time we visit Athens, which will hopefully be soon, we will search for traces of that lost road.