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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Faldoni, parts 2680 - 2683

2680. At that time and during that period of art history artists considered themselves fortunate if the church provided the funds and the opportunity for them to spend their careers covering great vaults of space and huge walls of gigantic church structures with paintings of all sorts, as long as the paintings they created were all grounded in biblical imagery and history.

 2681. But as fortunate as those artists were to have the church as their patron, still the jobs they were given presented certain almost insurmountable problems that required peculiar solutions. The most gigantic of their problems involved the odd shapes of the surfaces they had to paint.  Almost never was the artist given a simple square or a humble rectangle with right angles at all of their corners to project their vision on.

 2682. On the contrary, the churches were full of odd, distorted, stretched out curving walls, vaults cut off by truncated curving triangles, shapes next to windows whose tops tapered to slender points. How was one to put some humble image of a saint getting tortured as he is being flayed  to death into some niche above a door that is triangular on the right and elliptical on the left, and split by a flat pilaster in the middle?

2683. From the earliest times of church decoration, the device was hit upon to execute the paintings in a standard rectangle, either vertical or horizontal, or a simple square if possible, and then to fill up all of the remaining space, no matter how varied, with multicolor geometric borders one after another.

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