|Roman arch, Lincoln, UK|
|Roman amphitheatre, Verona|
Rome is enduring. Certainly history of art and architecture courses over the decades have taken me there, and dragged me through a mind-boggling agglomeration of antiquities and more.
Last night, a documentary on Acorn hosted by Mary Beard (Dame Winnifred Mary Beard - titles omitted in the interest of conciseness- Professor of Classics at Cambridge) kept us there for a bit, and will draw us back.
|a glimpse of the forum|
Sure, it was hot. But there were water vendors, and cool spots inside stone buildings. And Pompeii, pretty much to ourselves.
Roman streets, public buildings, dwellings, the like of which we'd never seen. Remarkably realistic frescoes, mosaics, colonnades and pergolas, statues and fountains. Life lived well.
Unless you happened to be among the conquered.
|Roman Baths, with later overbuilding, Bath, UK|
|Roman stone construction, baths in Bath|
|There was once a Roman wall at York, this is later|
And this is purported (by folks in the Gloucester village where we stayed with family) to be a Roman well. Might be newer, Medieval maybe. A newbie.
|following the Roman road alongside|
But there's no need for speculation along Hadrian's wall, built from one side of the country to the other, separating Roman Britain and the wild Scots (they just couldn't deal) over 14 years beginning in 122 CE. After 2000 years, sections of the wall (which weren't repurposed as churches, homes and barns) still stand, along with remains of mile castles and turrets.
|Cawfields Roman Wall and mile castle, Hadrian's wall|
|Vindolanda, Northumberland, UK|
|replica altars with inscriptions|
|open air museum - temple, Domus exhibit|
As a result of all this Roman research, I signed up for that Yale course. It's a MOOC, Massive Open Online Course, and that means I won't be sitting down any time soon with my tutorial leader. I'll keep you posted (unless I start to skip class, and will be embarrassed to admit it.)
|graceful lines at Campbell House, Toronto|
British home-builders of the mid 18th to mid 19th century (and Canadians of the 1820s to 50s) began to apply plans, elevations and decorative details found in ancient Greek and Roman buildings to domestic and public buildings.
|Breakenridge House, Niagara on the Lake|
Pattern books offered architects and builders ways to 'soften' the long-standing symmetrical, typically 5-bay Georgian form. The arch appeared in elliptical fanlights, curved porticos and additions, and applied decoration like urns, orbs and swags. Delicate mullions 'lightened up' doorcases, pillars and pilasters added gentle gravitas.
Niagara on the Lake is a great spot to spot Neoclassical architecture, as it was rebuilding from the ashes after the fires of the War of 1812, at the time the style was king.
|blind arcading, Niagara on the Lake|
This is such a great place, do visit.
Enough Neoclassical Ontario for one day. If you want more, here's the seminal text in PDF format. Print away. Author Leslie Maitland cites the legacy of the style as "a taste for historical accuracy and a love of lucid design."
Okay, my work-out here is done. Best go start work on that Roman Archi course. As Seneca said: "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."