Missing 500-Years of Loggias, Porticos Described
In an article in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, architecture professor Kim Sexton accounts for the time between the 7th and 12th centuries when there are no surviving porticos. In European history, loggias represented more than just interesting architectural features. They also served important cultural functions.
"It's important because we had porticos in Roman times, and then they come back in the Renaissance," she said. "It's unaccounted time -- what happened in between?"
Sexton argues that they returned to prominence because different ethnic groups used them "to display their judicial systems." As court proceedings were held outdoors, "they used different styles to frame that." At times there was German law and at other times, Roman law, and certain loggia announced each style.
"In this competitive kind of culture, they start to use the portico again," Sexton said. "From there it comes back into prominence in the Renaissance and late medieval Italy."
Loggias were "used to display activities that were kind of new, and maybe people felt unsure about their value. So that they wanted to display there was something good about the justice system." She compares it to television today, as a powerful medium that can influence behavior.
Loggias and porticos have long interested Sexton. "They seem at once so transparent in their function because they seem like simple shelters," she said. "But then, why did they come to be built with such magnificent architecture by some of the best architects of the Renaissance?"
Sexton discovered images in several medieval sources -- the center of a gem, illustrations of the book of Psalms, illuminations from law codes and encyclopedias. The article's most important image, which is in color on the journal's cover, shows the only known instance of a king in a loggia where a trial is actually in progress.
"If you see them empty, you're not getting what it's about," she said of loggias. "You have to see it when they're full of activity."
Sexton is associate professor of architecture, Fay Jones School of Architecture, University of Arkansas.
comments powered by Disqus
nerriwy wang - 1/14/2010
Prom Dresses 2010 including designer Jovani prom dresses, cheap and affordable prom dresses,
sexy prom dress, wedding, bridesmaid and mother of the bride
Shop prom dresses, formal dresses, prom shoes, 2010 designer prom gowns at PromGirl.
- Here's a look at history of 'religious freedom' laws
- ‘Hamilton’ Puts Politics Onstage and Politicians in Attendance
- Earth Tectonic Plate Simulation Reveals Our Planet Has Changed A Lot In 200 Million Years
- For G.O.P., Support for Israel Becomes New Litmus Test
- Yale’s Beinecke Library Buys Vast Collection of Lincoln Photos
- History's Grandin Wins Bancroft Prize for "The Empire of Necessity"
- Nobel prize-winning scientist writes a history of science
- Ken Burns tackles history of cancer
- If historians have their way, Americans will soon learn how important religion has been in US history
- Role-playing history game gets students jazzed