Friday, February 18, 2011

Blog Post 6: Florence & Amiens

Regional context is apparent in the designs of the cathedrals influenced at Florence, Italy and Amiens, France. As Italy was beginning to enter the Renaissance, France was still in the gothic mindset. This idea was manifested in the architecture of the cathedrals: the Duomo at Florence appears to be more of an artistic expression whereas the Amiens cathedral is more rigid. The Amiens cathedral had a focus on structure more so than in Florence. Because Amiens was under constant threat of attack, the cathedral could possibly have been seen as a safe haven for the people. Amiens was also larger than the Florence cathedral, supporting this idea of protecting the people by being able to accommodate more. The Duomo at Florence uses color by using a brick roof on the domes. This makes sense because Florence is near the Italian coast, where more color is seen to be used, in contrast to Amiens' monochromatic stone facade. Use of circles and arches in both cathedrals contribute to the idea of "dematerializing" the church.
Both cathedrals address the universe in similar ways. The cross structure of the cathedrals reflect Christ, perhaps the Duomo in a more defined way, indicating locations of Christ's head, hands, and feet. Both cathedrals have geometric, labyrinthine floor patterns. This could symbolize the search for truth, or perhaps the complexity of religion. The floor pattern at Florence uses color and rounded elements, while Amiens uses darker, straight-lined patterns, staying true to their Renaissance and Gothic design influences.

Cognitive Maps:

The cathedral at Amiens literally comes to a point, and has a sense of hierarchy as one would walk through the building. This gave me the idea to use symbols of fire and clouds to represent heaven and hell; heaven is literally higher thus giving a vision of hierarchy, while the idea of walking during from the street during this war stricken time in France and deeper into the church suggests the idea of the church a safe haven. The religious implications of heaven and hell is appropriate for the church in this context, suggesting being saved when coming into the church.

This map is reminiscent of the map of Rome we saw in class, but at a building scale. The Duomo took the idea of the cross most literally, and was screaming at me to place the images of Christ's head, hands and feet on my cognitive map. This also gives a sense of hierarchy by traveling from the low to the high places on the body, and also because the building is heavier towards the side of Christ's head. The religious implications of this are also apparent because one enters from the street  to Jesus' feet in a very grounded state of mind and travels to the heart of the cathedral to become spiritually closer to God, like Jesus, and perhaps adopt a state of mind like Christ.

1 comment:

  1. Your maps were terrific! Good job interpreting them to your thoughts and great description to go along and help understand your images. However, watch out for your writing typos ("while the idea of walking during from the street during this war stricken" - from your first cognitive description). My mistake on the roof, it's not made of brick but of terra cotta.