Friday, January 2, 2015

Arian Baptistery in Ravenna and Baptistery of the Duomo in Siena and a Surprise Around the Corner

Happy New Year one and all. During these holiday weeks, we operate here with a skeleton crew. Today is definitely one of those days. It usually takes me forty-five minutes to an hour to drive from my home in downtown Chicago to the office here in Franklin Park. All week, the drive has taken me between fifteen and seventeen minutes; just wonderful!

I have been doing some experimenting with converting videos to more usable formats. So, rather than taking you diretly to YouTube, the videos are now embedded here independently. Pretty cool. So, this first one is a video I took in the Spring of 2013 while traveling in Italy. This is the Arian Baptistery in Ravenna, built between the end of the fifth and the beginning of the sixth century.There is no font in the space now, but the footage begins with a focus on the area in the floor where the font would have stood. Everything looks quite plain until one sees the ceiling's magnificent mosaic, which depicts the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan. The river itself is personified here. And then there is the circle of apostles that seem to beckon the newly baptized into their procession.

And here is a video of the font and ceiling of the simply amazing baptistery at the cathedral in Siena. The bronzes on the sides of the font are by several artists, including Donatello and Ghiberti, who did the famous doors of the baptistery in Florence. Here you go:
Why all the fonts and baptisteries? Hopefully I will have a surprise for you either today or tomorrow, which will put this all into perspective.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

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