Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Little More Pisa

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!  May your family and friends be legion, and may you be thankful for and aware of all your talents (of which keeping family happy and friends glad to be with you are definitely two!).

Here is a picture of the Baptistery and the side of the Duomo.  It's worth saying now that it isn't easy getting every building to "line up" since some have sunk a bit (like the Leaning Tower of Pisa) and since most builders weren't able to use earth movers to "level their playing field" as builders do today.

Until going to Italy I had not realized why Baptisteries existed or why they were so architecturally elaborate.  "So people were baptized in these buildings," I thought.  "What's the big deal?" My early protestant training reminded me of seeing baptismal fonts relegated to odd corners inside churches themselves.  What I did not know was that in earlier centuries, if you weren't baptized, you couldn't enter a church meaning that baptism had to take place elsewhere.  Becoming a baptized, card carrying Catholic was a huge event full of pomp and panoply (always wanted to use that word and here is the opportunity!).  The ceremony took place in a Baptistery and the newly baptized Catholics were escorted into a nearby church/Duomo.  At least that is my understanding and my memory of what I was told.  It made the architecture make sense to me.

The front facade of the Duomo.

A chance to see how the Tower "measures up" with the cathedral (did you really think I could resist that?). 

The columns and how they differ from each other in several different ways - fun to figure that out.

Back to Patterns, back to the frequently overlooked or under appreciated nooks and crannies.

Walkway with shadows: texture, color, light, and shadow.

The row of bas relief figures below the major element above:

Then the purely abstract designs:

The next two are among my favorites in this category:

Look carefully at all the elements here.

More possibilities for a quilter, painter, or any artist.

And just look at the rhythm and movement - the dance in stone.

With this I wish you the very happiest Thanksgiving yet and hope you find beauty wherever you look!


  1. I hope as I am writing this that your guests have arrived and your meal is all prepped, cooking and ready to go at the appropriate time. I will say I'm happy baptism in the Catholic Church is easier now. And that blue and brown/off white floor would make an excellent easy quilt to make. The tiles - also beautiful but a lot more work involved!!

  2. Loved your photos large and small.