Wednesday, February 25, 2009


This week I felt that the word with the most meaning and connection with all the classes was the world Duality. Duality fits in with the culture that we are currently talking about on more than one level. One example of duality is the duality of heaven and earth, or the measure of man to heaven. Another duality that came up with the drastic difference in life styles between the rich and the poor. This duality was relevent in all of the cultures that we have studied so far, and is present in todays society as well. One example of the difference between the rich and the poor is the rich were able to donate money to build chapels on the cathedrals, in return for donating money to the church they were given indulgences, which according to the church meant the rich could buy their way into heaven. "The monasteries and church officials wielded great power for they were wealthy, had extensive land holdings and could build profusely."(Blakemore 69) It is obvious in the society after the fall of Rome that money meant power, another example of this is that after the fall of Rome "during the period of Charlemagne's Frankish Empire the basis was laid for the feudal system"(roth 303). The feudal system was a way to seperate the different social classes from the church and royal court to the barons and peasents. In a sence the feudal system of the middle ages is a precedent for the social class system that we use today being the difference between celebrities, white colar working class and blue colar working class and so on. The duality between heaven and earth can be seen in the architecture styles Roman and Gothic. The Roman dome with the oculus represents the universe and the oculus represents the heavens

In the Gothic style they took the form of the Greek orders as a precedent and stretched them as high as they could to reach towards the heavens. They took building upwards to a new extreme with the Amiens Cathedral. Not only did the medieval style use Greek orders as a precedent. "From the collapse of the Roman Empire to the end of the middle ages, two international styles of art had the greatest import for medieval western Europe: Romanesque and Gothic."(Blakemore 68).

Precedents have been used for architecture from one culture to the next, after the fall of the Roman Empire was not the first time. "Both form and inorante Roman design was based on greek prototypes"(blakemore 67) and the Greeks used Egyptian architecture as a prototype for theirs. within medieval middle ages architecture "innovations in European castle design were inspired in part by what the crusaders saw of the fortifications around Constantinople and also from what they learned of fortifications built by the muslims" (Roth 307)

We can relate duality to drawing as well as to social orders and architecture. In class we did a drawing of our bedrooms how we remembered them. The duality being drawing from life as aposed to drawing from memory. It was hard to get some of the details and proportions right as well as perspective. When drawing the room we had to think of a specific moment and draw how we remembered the room that morning. Its easy to get the basics of the room down because you are so familiar with a room like your bedroom but to capture the moment from memory was really hard.

We also drew moments when we went out to various buildings. We had to draw various rooms and we had to make sure to add a scale figure to give it a feeling of presence and not just an empty building. Adding the scale figures really captured the moment because there is action and you can see how the various rooms funtion.
Along with drawing thumbnails we were told to draw the building in more depth, by drawing the buildings bigger we were able to capture the moment even better. When drawing the buildings bigger we were suposd to pick an artists work as a precedent and mimic their drawing techniques in our own. It was important to feel the presence of the artist techniques with out completly changing our own techniques.

One way of trying to capture a moment was when we were asked as a warm up to draw the teacher assistants. We only had five minutes to capture what they were doing, or to capture the moment which made it really difficult to add any detail, because i was focusing more on trying to get the proportions down.

One way that the Amiens Cathedral captures a moment is by having this piece in the center of the cathedral. It represents the Architects that worked on it and the archbishop of the cathedral. This captures various moments, it represents the time that each of the three architects worked on the project and the work that they did. It also gives a sense of presence in that the octaganal plank that the architects and archbishop are represented on will always be there.

The architect that built the foundation of the Amiens Cathedral used a metric system to lay out the floor plan. The floor was made up Roman feet which are 29.5 cm each. It was made up of tiles, in a very geometic pattern. Geometric patterns line the floors.

Overall this week I was able to draw a lot of connections between the Prompt words, our classes, and the world around me. There are examples of duality all around us, capturing the moment has a duality between real life, and memory. Drawing people in the moment, or having representations of people in a space gives the space or drawing a presense. There is geomety and the metric system present whether we measure in what our idea of a foot is or a Roman foot. And there are precedents present in every thing we do, whether its exterior architecture or interior architecture, or drawing.

Dome Image found at

Amiens Cathedral image found at

1 comment:

j.foster. said...

in future opus' try to use more drawings rather than online images