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Large Proportions

November 24, 2009

This is a response to my last post on St. Peter’s where I mentioned the use of large proportions to create a look to the basilica that made it seem smaller than it actually is. Two of those ways are evident in these two pictures below (I feel my art historian coming out).

This first picture is of a baby cupid what was in a niche off of the central nave. According to our TA, the little cupid is about the same size, even possibly bigger than the average person. Yet the cupid doesn’t seem that big, because you are significantly below it.

This second picture is of Bernini’s central altar piece. I had studied it in my Italian Baroque art class, so I had seen many pictures of if and was SO excited to see it for the first time up close. I couldn’t believe how big it actually is. The posts that I include in my picture are 5 times the thickness I thought they would be.

The combination of these big objects all over are proportional to each other to give the overall impression that the space is much smaller than one believes it is.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. November 24, 2009 10:43 pm

    that posts really look weird, had never seen anything like that.
    was Italian baroque an interesting class?

  2. November 24, 2009 11:05 pm

    I remember seeing those columns when I was a child. They are incredible.

  3. November 25, 2009 5:58 am

    Wow, the photo from Bernini’s central altar piece is so great. When seeing it it gives so much to imagination.

  4. November 25, 2009 11:13 am

    Local guide: the italian baroque is my favorite art history class that I have ever taken. My focus because of it is going to be from Braoque to the Romantic/Realism period

  5. November 26, 2009 12:23 am

    Those are strange columns, I’ve never seen anything like this before, mostly just the normal white column. I especially like the detail leaves on the second one.

  6. November 26, 2009 5:10 pm

    I didn’t know about the detailing until I saw them. Each of the four columns on the alter piece are different.

  7. November 29, 2009 11:45 pm

    Growing up Catholic and attending a Catholic school we were well versed in the architecture you are photographing.

    I still retain some vestigial memory of being taught how a sense of scale was achieved by the methods you are discussing. (items bigger when further from the viewer and vice versa).

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