HEAVEN AND EARTH: discussing the relationships between the church of St Stephen’s Walbrook by Sir Christopher Wren and Agnolo Bronzino’s Allegory with Venus and Cupid (also known as Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time).
The current church was designed by Wren to replace an existing building destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. Constructed 1672-91, it is an example of English Baroque Architecture and was praised by Palladio as “the truest proportioned enclosed building in the world”2. Allegory with Venus and Cupid predates the church by a little over a century (painted C.1546)3. It was likely to have been commissioned by the Medici family and was later sent as a gift to King Francis I of France4. It is an example of the High Mannerist style of painting which characterised the late Italian Renaissance.
These two works use a similar vocabulary, drawing on classical forms, but the rhetoric of each is very different. The painting is a taut, visceral image: it shows the complex agony of the desires of the flesh. It is explicit to the point of antagonism and unusually, it appears not to be a straightforward moralistic, ‘anti-vice’ allegory5 .
The church rejects the high drama of the painting. Wren's restrained baroque styling is applied in a rational scheme with emphasis on harmony, space and light. It is a sanctuary from the noisy, overcrowded, foul smelling and necessarily earthly surroundings (in 1685 the North door of the building was bricked up against the odours from the slaughter houses)6. By excluding the darkness and turmoil of the streets, Wren provided an enclosure of purity for the parishioners of St Stephen’s - a different vision from Bronzino’s allegory.
One of the most stri...
... middle of paper ...
...omposition. The church, if it has a narrative, tells of God and an immaculate experience brought to Earth.
1 http://ststephenwalbrook.net/history_masterpiece.htm (2013)
2, 7 http://princevulpinelondonchurches.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/st-stephen-walbrook.html (15th April 2013)
3 C. Bambach, J. Cox-Rearick, G. R. Goldner The Drawings of Bronzino (2010), p.146
5 B. A. Oard, The Mirror of Mannerism , 2011 Essay: AGNOLO BRONZINO, AN ALLEGORY WITH VENUS AND CUPID, 1540-50 (National Gallery, London)
6 S. Perks, The History of the Mansion House (1922), p. 119
7 see 2
8 R. Mayer, The Artist’s Handbook of Techniques and Materials, 4th Ed. (1976), p.112-113
9 Ven. P. Delaney, Walbrook and The City of London: Thoughts on the Architecture (2011), p. 2
10 see 5
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Daniel H. Burnham was a very influential American architect in the late 1890’s and early 1900’s. He helped rebuild Chicago after the Great Fire, helped develop the modern skyscraper, and helped revolutionize urban planning. His plan to redesign Chicago still influences designs today of modern cities, and his “Flat Iron” building is still one of the most well-known buildings of the twentieth century. Daniel H. Burnham was born just outside of New York City on September 4, 1846. When Daniel was nine years old, he and his family moved from New York to Chicago, Illinois where he would finish out his childhood and graduate from a public high school.... [tags: Architecture]
1319 words (3.8 pages)
- Question: Traditional culture in architecture is being eroded by modernity of the present architecture in China. Analyze the causes and effects of this problem and possible solutions. In China, urbanization is at dramatic pace but in static patterns. This leads to the Chinese cities losing their own styles, and being built in the static architecture modes which are introduced from developed countries. Moreover, the traditional architecture cultures are being eroded by the static modern architecture patterns.... [tags: Architecture]
1940 words (5.5 pages)
- Abstract: Contemporary architects have a wide variety of sources to gain inspiration from, but this has not always been the case. How did modernism effect sources of inspiration. What did post-modernism do to liberate the choice of influences. Now that Contemporary architects have the freedom of choice, how are they using “traditional” styles and materials to inspire them. Even after modernism why are traditional styles still around. Through the modern era technologies evolved and avant garde was not just a matter of being ahead in you design concepts,.... [tags: architecture]
1649 words (4.7 pages)
- Commercial architecture does it respond to the identity surrounding it. Or does it merely respond to the conditions of Globalization. In order to answer the question above, in the following written piece I must explore the key elements of globalization and identity. I intend to relate both factors to commercial architecture, using the Hilton Tower in Manchester as a prime example. This written piece will effectively be split into two parts (Globalization and Identity). The first decade of the 21st century has seen globalization and identity emerge as the most critical challenge to society.... [tags: Architecture Essays]
2531 words (7.2 pages)
- Introduction The 12th Century saw the move away from the Romanesque architecture which had typified the preceding centuries to the era of the great Gothic cathedrals which were to become the architectural symbol of the middle ages. The transformation was not simply one of size or scope but a manifestation of the cultural shifts which were occurring as the medieval age commenced. By this time, numbers and geometry had acquired a metaphysical significance and were believed to have occult symbolism and power.... [tags: Architecture]
3562 words (10.2 pages)
- The time between World Wars was a tense and significant point in the history of humanity, especially for the European continent. France had suffered immensely during the First World War, and the psyche of the nation was deeply shaken. The result was, for some, a desire for a return to the comparatively peaceful state felt prior to the War. The “Call to Order” as it became known embodied this effort. Many artistic movements were abandoned, temporarily or permanently. Such was the fate of the Futurist movement, which somewhat naively glorified all of the things that had made World War I so incredibly destructive to the continent, technology, and violence.... [tags: World History, World Wars, Architecture]
1981 words (5.7 pages)
- The History of Greek Architecture The architecture of ancient Greece is represented by buildings in the sanctuaries and cities of mainland Greece, the Aegean islands, southern Italy and Sicily, and the Ionian coast of Turkey. Monumental Greek architecture began in the archaic period, flourished through the classical and Hellenistic periods, and saw the first of many revivals during the Roman Empire. The roots of Greek architecture lie in the tradition of local Bronze Age house and palaces.... [tags: Arts]
1034 words (3 pages)
- Mayan Architecture & The City of Tulum Outline I. Intro II. The Mayan Civilization A. Mayan Time Periods B. Mayan Territory C. Mayan Accomplishments D. Mayan Collapse III. Mayan Architecture A. Intro B. Tulum (Case Study) 1. Tulum’s History 2. Tulum’s Influences and Styles 3. Tulum’s Design a. Site 1. Economy 2. Social Class Orientation 3. Defenses b. Buildings 1. El Castillo 2. Temple of Frescos 3. Temple of the Wind 4. Temple of the Descending God 5. Temple of the Initial Series 6. House of the Haiach Uinic IV.... [tags: Architecture Ancient America]
2032 words (5.8 pages)
- Influences of Spanish Architecture in Mexico Spanish expeditions conducted during the seventh and eighteenth century has brought a variety of architectural and artistic influences to the different indigenous regions of the New Americas. It is documented that “the Architecture of Mexico began with the Spanish conquest of the country.” (Mullen, 18) The architecture of Mexico has exhibited much richness and wealth, has displayed the political and religious conditions of the time, and has showed off the countries beauty and grace through different artistic devices, mainly through the ornamentation of buildings.... [tags: essays research papers]
2643 words (7.6 pages)
- An architect designs and sometimes supervises the construction of buildings. Anything from tunnels that run far beneath the ground, to skyscrapers that tower above it, architects have always had a hand in building these great structures. Yes, you too can be an architect. But how, you ask. Just read on, and you will find out. Architects have designed the greatest buildings in history, from the stoic World Trade Center in New York, to the graceful and natural Falling Waters house in Pennsylvania, building styles differ as much as the architects who build them.... [tags: essays research papers]
690 words (2 pages)