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Architecture Here and There

"Versailles," by Jean-Francois Rauzier. (http://www.waterhousedodd.com) “Versailles,” by Jean-Francois Rauzier. (http://www.waterhousedodd.com)

Roy Lewis has sent two marvelous illustrations, below, that remind me of my post on the “Hyperphotography of Jean-François Rauzier,” in particular his “Versailles,” above, which I used to illustrate a number of posts a year or so ago. When I first saw a smaller version of “Versailles” I thought it was a field of wheat. Feel free, indeed feel empowered by the link offered for free on this blog, to visit the website of Jean-François Rauzier.

The use of multiple imagery replicating a single masterpiece of architecture, variously manipulated, creates a scene that performs a happy jujitsu move upon the mind’s eye. You are not at first sure what it is or whether it is real. The artist/photographer has staged a coup, two of them below, one of which adumbrates a famous Stalinist building, Moscow State University. The other is a…

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Set in Stone

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PiranesiCampo Marzio – Giovanni Battista Piranesi 1762

This is one of my favourite architectural drawings of all time. It was etched by the renowned Piranesi no less, and it depicts a slice of Rome, the city he dedicated many years to documenting. He was fascinated by the architecture of antiquity, the grandeur of the past, and in particular its beauty in ruinous decay.

In a way Piranesi was like a storyteller, painting the picture of an overlooked greatness of an unrivaled past, shining the spotlight on melancholic structures, in awe of the successes of a civilisation that was now over. Perhaps he saw an opportunity for his work to speak as a metaphor; a fading memory of what society had devolved from, the best was over and the skill and care that he offered in his own work could only be found in the masters of the past.

This feeling of nostalgia for…

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