Saturday, April 6, 2013

Orvieto Cathedral Duomo Italy

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Here are some of my images from the Duomo (Cathedral) of Orvieto, in the region of Umbria, Italy. The building was started in late 1290. The church is designed with stripes of stone, alternating green and white similar to the Duomo in Siena that earns the nickname of “the zebra castle” with one of my friends back in Texas

While many hands are sometimes involved in the designs of Italy’s landmark buildings, Sienese architect and sculptor Lorenzo Maitani gets the credit for designing the façade. It does not feel like it when you are there, but the position of the church is such that one may see the full face of the church from a great distance from the city. It rises above the other architecture and Caroline told me that on a sunny day, that gold is gloriously broadcast about!

I also enjoy the addition of the pink stone on the façade. As in the famous Duomo of Florence, Italy, the white, pink, and green combinations serve to simply and sooth the eye when framing the more complicated compositions of the mosaic designs. The dark green bronze sculpted doors and sculpture also do this. I was amused that this piece of architecture featured so many statues of animals seeming to “take a leap” off of the face of the church.

Oh, the stories these carvings in marble tell! It is a shame that the lower part must be covered by a semi-transparent protective barrier. I often wonder what is the protection from – vandals or the extremely high numbers of adoring fans and maybe believers who just want to rub on the artwork. Enjoy!

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