Archive for the ‘Padua’ Category

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Prato della Valle is a 90,000 square meter elliptical square in Padova, Italy. It is the largest square in Italy, and one of the largest in Europe. The square today is a monumental space of extraordinary visual impact, with a green island at the center, l’Isola Memmia, surrounded by a small canal bordered by two rings of statues.

Beautiful view of the piazza with the curve facade along with the curved fountain and pathway

View looking back at the way we approach the piazza

The harmonious facade language with the continuous loggia  on the ground floor defining the boundary of the piazza

The Palazzo della Ragione is a Medieval town hall building in Padua, in the Veneto region of Italy. Located just south of the historic Caffè Pedrocchi, and a necessary destination for those meandering about the historic center of town, the picturesque open-air markets of Piazza delle Erbe (Square of the Herbs) and Piazza della Frutta (Square of Fruit) frame this massive 13th-century palazzo and have stood as the town’s political and commercial nucleus for centuries.

The building, with its great hall on the upper floor, is reputed to have the largest roof unsupported by columns in Europe; the hall is nearly rectangular, its length 81.5m, its breadth 27m, and its height 24 m; the walls are covered with allegorical frescoes; the building stands upon arches, and the upper storey is surrounded by an open loggia.

The Palazzo was begun in 1172 and finished in 1219. In 1306, Fra Giovanni, an Augustinian friar, covered the whole with one roof; originally there were three roofs, spanning the three chambers into which the hall was at first divided; the internal partition walls remained till the fire of 1420, when the Venetian architects who undertook the restoration removed them, throwing all three spaces into one and forming the present great hall, the Salone. The new space was refrescoed by Nicolò Miretto and Stefano da Ferrara, working from 1425 to 1440.

The interior is as impressive as its exterior. The two-story loggia-lined “Palace of Reason” is topped with a distinctive sloped roof that resembles the inverted hull of a ship, the largest of its kind in the world. Inside the building, a large wooden sculpture of a horse attributed to Donatello. The 15th-century frescoes are similar in style and astrological theme to those that had been painted by Giotto, and comprise one of the very few complete zodiac cycles to survive until modern times.

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Scrovegni Chapel is a church in Padua, Veneto, Italy. It contains a fresco cycle by Giotto, completed about 1305, that is one of the most important masterpieces of Western art. The church was dedicated to Santa Maria della Carità at the Feast of the Annunciation, 1303, and consecrated for use in 1305. Giotto’s fresco cycle focuses on the life of the Virgin Mary and celebrates her role in human salvation. The chapel is also known as the Arena Chapel because it was built on land purchased by Enrico Scrovegni that abutted the site of a Roman arena. This space is where an open-air procession and sacred representation of the Annunciation to the Virgin had been played out for a generation before the chapel was built. A motet by Marchetto da Padova appears to have been composed for the dedication on March 25, 1305.

The chapel was attached to a new palace built by Enrico Scrovegni and was ostensibly a family oratory, but it also served some public functions related to the Feast of the Annunciation. Apart from Giotto’s paintings, the chapel is unornamented and features a barrel vault roof. Giotto’s Last Judgment covers the entire wall above the chapel’s entrance and includes the aforementioned devotional portrait of Enrico. Opposite it, on the chancel arch above the altar, is an unusual scene of God in Heaven despatching an angel to Earth. Each wall is arranged in three tiers of narrative frescoes, each with four two-meter-square scenes. Facing the altar the narrative sequence begins at the top of the right hand wall with scenes from the life of the Virgin, including the annunciation to her mother, St. Anne, and the presentation at the temple. The series continues through the Nativity, the Passion of Jesus, the Resurrection, and the Pentecost. The panels are noted for their emotional intensity, sculptural figures, and naturalistic space. Beneath the main scenes at dado level, Giotto used a faux architectural scheme of painted marble decorations and small recesses containing figures of the Virtues and Vices painted in monotone.

Photo of the interior, it is a symmetrical long space

The painting is vividly present to people, 3d quality are shown on a 2d plane wall.

Interior shot along the longitudinal axis in the opposite direction

The marble was painted on the wall, it is so vivid thus to give us a misvisual sense of the materiality