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!