Time Traveling Art Historian Book Chapters

Topics: Florence Cathedral, Egyptian pyramids, Great Pyramid of Giza Pages: 5 (1637 words) Published: November 14, 2010
Final Project: Time Traveling Art Historian Book Chapters

With great excitement this book is written to share my analysis of artwork from the three time periods that I was so fortunate to visit during my recent time travels.The first time period I visited was the Italian Renaissance. The beautiful architecture of the Renaissance reflects symmetry, proportion, and geometry similar to the architecture from ancient Rome.

The second time period I visited was the Old Kingdom of Egypt. The religious beliefs of the afterlife played a prominent role in the architecture of this time. Massive, static and serene architecture emerged from the need to preserve the gods for the afterlife.

The last time period I visited was the Islamic Civilization between 680 and 692. The architecture of this time reflects the cultural values and how the people view the spiritual realm, the universe and the relationships to the parts as a whole.

I hope you enjoy the following chapters as much as I enjoyed the experience of visiting these fascinating time periods.  Chapter 1: The Florence Cathedral Dome

Italy is changing rapidly with its urbanization and political stability. The reinvention of ideals from Classical Greece and Rome are being reborn. Florence is quickly becoming the center of trade and economic expansion (Benton Rebold & DiYanni, 2008). Wealthy and powerful individuals such as the Medici Family have supported this culture. They have build churches, monasteries and palaces around the city. In addition, they have commissioned paintings and sculptures from the best artists to decorate them.

A very prominent artist, Filippo Brunelleschi is changing the appearance of Florence. Brunelleschi is basing his many architectural projects on models from ancient Greece and Rome (Grendler, 2004).

One particular structure built by Brunelleschi is the Dome of the Florecnce Cathedral. Florence was building the Santa Maria del Fiore for more than a century. This cathedral was designed to showcase the city’s wealth and power. The cathedral was supposed to be completed with a huge dome. However, it was impossible to construct. In 1418, a competition was announced. Florence’s Wool Industry funded the Opera del Duomo (the cathedral works) and offered two years of a carpenter’s salary to the man with the best solution. Fillippo Brunelleschi’s model was chosen.

The dome was divised by two shells, one within the other for support. The inner shell was built in a succession of self-supporting horizontal rings. The outer shell consists of 9arched ribs. Iron bars are embedded into the masonary to connect the two domes together, similar to hoops around a barrel. A humoungous hoist powered by an ox was built to haul 70 million pounds of stone, brick and mortor into the air. The rope weighed more than a thousand pounds.

The most talented and brilliant idea by Brunelleschi is how the bricks are fitted together in a fishbone fashion. This creative method is believed to have been built in the pattern of petals of a flower. It’s precise mathematical form is the key to position every brick in its construction (Adams & Alan, 2001). The following is a picture of this beautiful building today:

(Florence Cathedral, 2010)
This challenging feat shows the determination and passion of a ambitious man who was confident in the faith of God.  

Chapter 2: The Great Pyramids

The second time period I visited was the Old Kingdom (2686-2181 B.C.E.) of Egypt. I was very impressed at how well the Pharaohs have established a stable government. It is definitely reflected by its massive agricultural production, its wealth and the creativity that shows in its architecture. The population has grown immensily which has afforded the Kings the ability to utilize the masses for vast amounts of labor. Sculptors, artisans and builders have willingly cooperated in the building of giant monuments such as the Great Pyramids. The Great...
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