Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Another Day, Another Dome

I only intended to post one update per day of my trip, but apparently I took more photos on my last day than I did in the previous two combined, so this is the first instalment of my last day in Rome.

I learned the lesson of the day before and got to St Peter's at opening time, 7am. My hotel was less than a 10 minute walk away which made for a nice and relaxing start to the morning, especially as it was still relatively cool & I didn't feel like wearing trousers might actually kill me.

The square was empty, and it was beautiful.

And I was lucky enough to capture some of the beautiful rays of light falling perfectly into the space. I find it really hard to believe that images like this next one are completely fortuitous, someone must have designed it to be that way.

This lovely dome is so intensely decorated it's impossible to try and describe it properly. However, it does have a few of my personal favourite features: decorated spandrels, a tiered progression of figures to a central point, an illuminated lantern and a base level of clerestorey windows making the dome appear as if it were floating above the earth. 

The great sculpted baldachin created by Bernini is a piece of architecture within itself. You can feel Bernini's influence throughout the whole of St Peter's which carries through from his design for the square itself, and although I couldn't get a good picture of it, seeing his Pieta in real life was thrilling. Here, Bernini is at it again with the Throne of St Peter, which is of course stunning and overwhelming, but it reminded by of his Ecstasy of St Theresa, with the glow that seems to come from nowhere.

Here, again, is the light that becomes a piece of the architecture itself, lighting the physical pathway you take to approach the most holy part of the church. It perfectly lights the baldachin in another example of perfect arrangement.

An oval dome to shake things up a bit! I love an oval dome, and this one has many of my favourite features I mentioned earlier. I particularly like this for the fact that it is very literal in its representation of the transition from the earthly realm to the heavens.

There's that perfect light again!

I know what you're all thinking: but Jenna, did you go up to see the dome?
Silly question.

Here it is up close & personal.

All those steps were worth it, that's for sure.

I hope you're not sick of photographs because boy do I have some more for you!

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