The proportions of the portico and dome—the grandeur and simplicity of the cornice and vault—and the beauty of the marbles and columns, within the vast circumference—are of such rare excellence that, in despite of spoil, decay, and dirt, they are contemplated with untiring admiration, and justify the taste which pronounce the Pantheon a model of perfection—the only entire specimen which is left to us of the magnificence of ancient Rome (Peale 113).
He expresses his strong admiration for the building and its simple yet grand architectu...
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...with such a friendly radiance, that you come at last to regard it simply as the graceful, indestructible soul of the place made visible. The Cathedral, externally, for all its solemn hugeness, strikes the same note of would-be reasoned elegance and cheer; it has conventional grandeur, of course, but a grandeur so frank and ingenuous even in its parti-pris. It has seen so much, and outlived so much, and served so many sad purposes, and yet remains in aspect so full of the fine Tuscan geniality, the feeling for life, one may almost say the feeling for amusement, that inspired it. Its vast many-coloured marble walls become at any rate, with this, the friendliest note of all Florence; there is an unfailing charm in walking past them while they lift their great acres of geometrical mosaic higher in the air than you have time or other occasion to look (James 382).
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