free ebooks

A History of Art for Beginners and Students

And such a tower was called a campanile


Again,

Wartburg was the residence of a remarkable person; for Luther dwelt there after escaping from the Diet at Worms. He was called Ritter George, and the room where he wrote and spent much of his time is shown to travellers who visit the castle.

We come back now to Italy, the country we left when we passed from the Romanesque to Gothic architecture. In the north of Italy where the Gothic order had prevailed after the eleventh century, it had been modified by the Romanesque influences and Roman traditions, in some such degree as the Moors had influenced the Gothic order in Spain. But, on the whole, the mediaeval buildings of Northern Italy were Gothic in style.

Rome, as we said, was individual, and her art remained Roman or Romanesque up to the date of the Renaissance. In Southern Italy, as we shall see, the architecture was of the Byzantine order.

Among the most interesting edifices of the Middle Ages are the Italian towers. They were frequently quite separate from the churches and were built for various purposes. Some of them were bell towers, and such a tower was called a _campanile_. Others were in some way associated with the civic power of the cities which built them; but the largest number were for religious uses.

The _campanile_ is always square at the bottom and for some distance up, and then is frequently changed to an octagonal or circular

form and finished with a slender spire or ornamental design.

[Illustration: FIG. 90.--TOWER OF CREMONA.]

Fig. 90 shows one of the finest square towers in all Italy. It was built in 1296 to commemorate a peace after a long war. It is three hundred and ninety-six feet high. It has little beauty in the lower two thirds; above that it is more pleasing, but the two parts do not look as if they belonged together. The tower of Italy, however, which is most beloved and most famous is that of Giotto, beside the cathedral of Florence. (See Fig. 102.)

Another striking feature of Gothic art in Northern Italy is seen in the porches attached to the churches. They are commonly on the side, and as they were usually added after the rest of the church was finished, and frequently do not correspond to the rest in style, they look as if they were parts of some other churches and had come on a visit to those beside which they stand. In Italy the main portion of these porches always rested on lions.

A porch at Bergamo is one of the finest, and certainly its details are exquisite, and the whole structure is beautiful when it is considered separately; but as a part of the church it loses its effect, and seems to be pushed against it as a chair is placed beside the wall of a room.

Some of the mediaeval town-halls are still well preserved, and a few of them are truly beautiful. Perhaps the Broletto at Como is as fine a remnant of civic architecture as exists in Northern Italy. It is not very large and is faced with party-colored marbles.


eBook Search
Social Sharing
Share Button
About us

freefictionbooks.org is a collection of free ebooks that can be read online. Ebooks are split into pages for easier reading and better bookmarking.

We have more than 35,000 free books in our collection and are adding new books daily.

We invite you to link to us, so as many people as possible can enjoy this wonderful free website.

© 2010-2013 freefictionbooks.org - All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us