Friday, January 09, 2009

The Pantheon

How this place thrills me! Even before I traveled to Italy last summer and got this picture of the coffered ceiling, when I would get to the page in my art history textbook about the Pantheon, I would shiver. The innovative thinking and the flawless execution just blow me away when I think back to the building of this temple in the 2nd century A.D.

And to think I might not have made it! We had been touring Rome all day (can you imagine Rome in a day?) - the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's, the Forum, the Colosseum - I called it the Roman march. And it was hot! Marching, marching in the heat - pressing on to the next fabulous place to see. By the time we got deposited into some square, my group was exhausted. There was another group from our bus that was going to walk the few blocks to see the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain. My group was pooped and wanted to have a gelato and sit. I didn't blame them one bit - I wanted to do the same.

But - this might be my only chance to see the Pantheon. How could I live with myself if I got back home and didn't make the supreme effort (that it seemed at the time) to go there? Would I ever forgive myself? NO! In a split second I knew I had to go - and was it ever worth it! The marble, the light, the sacred geometry enveloping me in its glory. It was truly a high point of my trip to Italy. The link in the Post title from the blog of Smarthistory.org is quite delightful - check it out! And, for my students, it also touches on the Hagia Sophia and the dome of Brunelleschi. Very nice!

5 comments:

Ms. K, Chester Academy said...

Hello! Our sixth grade students do a fun unit on architecture with model blocks, stamps and gold leaf embellishments. Their biggest challenge is the keystone concept - when we extend this to an opportunity to construct a dome, they're ecstatic, as they've all been to our state capitol building in Concord NH, to see our own gold dome AND have been to the State House in Boston MA to see theirs. It is beyond belief how ancient architects and their crews could erect such amazing feats of structure!
Ms K, Chester Academy

Liam McShane said...

Wow. I have seen a lot of cool ancient architecture, but I would say the Pantheon is one of the greatest. All that went into it, from the beginning to the end of its construction(all without modern technology) is a wonder. I think manmade art is often found where it was not originally intended.

Liam M., Ms. Miller's student, 3rd period

Benjamin C., Art1/Speech, 2nd period said...

I really agree with the comment about sacred geometry, and the straightdown truth, if I can say, is that indeed the architecture of this structure-- the Pantheon --is extremely fascinating. Deep down I strongly believe that in fact it IS sacred geometry. The dome shape, it's just so fascinating. It is like architecture way beyond its time.
I think sacred geometry is fascinating.

Harshita Pilla said...

Wow. It is truly stunning is it not? I actually had the fortune of going there and experiencing this architectural wonder hands on and it was one of the most geometrically pleasing pieces of art I have ever seen. One of a kind.

Harshita P. Pd.4

Theo said...

I like this piece of architecture which is undoubtedly art. The vaulted ceiling and the graceful curves of the walls. The design in the ceiling is also intriguing, makes you want to stare at the work.

theo adama.