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Hagia Sophia: Architecture Description

Basilicas were used for commerce, as public meeting places and for courts of law. The Hagia Sophia was built as the Byzantine Emperor, Justinian’s personal imperial church. It was built in the hopes of competing with the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. The Forum was built from a vast stoa-lined piazza measuring 660 by 390 feet (200x120m) with exedrae on two sides. The main entrance to the forum is on the southern side, a triumphal arch surmounted by a statue of Trajan in a six-horse chariot. The Basilica Ulpia lies at the north end of the piazza, which was cobbled with rectangular blocks of white marble and decorated by a large equestrian statue of Trajan. On either side of the piazza are markets, also housed by the exedrae. Justinian’s basilica was at once the culminating architectural achievement of late antiquity and the first masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. Its influence, both architecturally and liturgically, was widespread and enduring in the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Muslim worlds alike. The largest columns are of granite, about 19 or 20 meters high and at least 1.5 meters in diameter; the largest weigh well over 70 tons apiece. Under Justinian’s orders, eight Corinthian columns were disassembled from Baalbek, Lebanon and shipped to Constantinople for the construction of Hagia Sophia. The vast interior has a complex structure.
The nave is covered by a central dome which has a maximum diameter of 31.24meters (102ft6in) and a height from floor level of 55.6meters (182ft5in), about one fourth smaller and greater, respectively, than the dome of the Pantheon. The dome seems rendered weightless by the unbroken arcade of 40 arched windows under it, which help flood the colorful interior with light. Due to consecutive repairs in the course of its history, the dome has lost its perfect circular base and has become somewhat elliptical with a diameter varying between 31.24m (102ft6in) and 30.86m (101ft3in). The dome is carried on pendentives — four concave triangular sections of masonry which solve the problem of setting the circular base of a dome on a rectangular base.[15] At Hagia Sophia the weight of the dome passes through the pendentives to four massive piers at the corners. Between them the dome seems to float upon four great arches. These were reinforced with buttresses during Ottoman times, under the guidance of the architect Mimar Sinan.
At the western (entrance) and eastern (liturgical) ends, the arched openings are extended by half domes carried on smaller semi-domed exedras. Thus a hierarchy of dome-headed elements builds up to create a vast oblong interior crowned by the main dome, a sequence unexampled in antiquity. Despite all these measures, the weight of the dome remained a problem, which was solved by adding buttresses from the outside. All interior surfaces are sheathed with polychrome marbles, green and white with purple porphyry and gold mosaics, encrusted upon the brick. This sheathing camouflaged the large pillars, giving them, at the same time, a brighter aspect. On the exterior, simple stuccoed walls reveal the clarity of massed vaults and domes. The yellow and red color of the exterior was added by the architect Fossati during the restorations in the 19th century. Looking at the plan of Trajan’s Basilica, there seems to be good balance and symmetry in the design. The plan shows that the structure was huge, holding thousands of people if needed. The Hagia Sophia, while a large building in its right, to me still looks smaller and less grand because of its closed dome. Trajan’s basilica was open, giving it an even more open and expanse feeling. Hagia Sophia is also very symmetrical in design. In both cases, these structures were fully functional as community meeting places or religious places of worship. They reflected the wealth and power of their emperors who commissioned their construction. Each structure is huge and larger than life in their design: the Hagia Sophia was adorned with gold and beautiful mosaics on its interior walls while the Trajan’s Forum was large, open and had several statues and monuments built inside to honor Trajan.
Wikipedia contributors. “Trajan’s Forum.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 9 Apr. 2010. Web. 10 May. 2010.
Wikipedia contributors. “Hagia Sophia.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 6 May. 2010. Web. 10 May. 2010.

Last Supper by David Lachapelle: Analysis

I am going to analyse the image taken by mentioned artist above. The essay will cover wide range of descriptive language from focus, light, depth of field, contrast ET all. In other words I will try to give an accurate detailed description of the image. The series of Jesus is a homeboy demonstrates God on rough urban streets and in the neighbourhood between homeboys. Except for one white looking guy who is Jesus.
The author composition of the image is to draw viewer attention to the table and the Jesus sitting in the middle but not only because straight away your eye going to the source of aureole light and Jesus face which is focal point in the image. Further the photograph is staged we can see Jesus and young people in modern settings sitting around the table but all of their faces looking at Jesus as to some discussion is going on there. Also Jesus open hands lying on the table symbolise peace and hope for the subjects around. In fact only males are represented that creates the diversity and a sense of the corrupt company that was kept by Jesus. As well the wooden floor makes the room looking homely also the roses in the left back corner of the frame are showing us there is a life and fact that they are kept in water shows that this people do care. Even they had problems in the past they are still preparing to go in right direction. Moreover there is also a sense of exploration that engages the viewer. We could look at the image over and over again and each time we will find something new that or evokes a different story based on what mood you are in when you approach the piece. Certainly we can see a mystery or curiosity, confusion or excitement or suspicion or scandal also social engagement and claustrophobia.
Either the lighting in the image is artificial mainly coming from above of the subjects but also behind Jesus head, they are three high watt neon bulbs on the ceiling as you can recognise in the left window behind. Along the light looks diffused as you cannot see any shadows on the wall. Generally the top part of the image is lighten the most through the lights you see a fly traps hanging from the ceiling what shows that the moment is situated nowadays but not only that is helping you recognise what is the time line. In particular we can recognise the modern urban society by the way they dressed or their body language plus the burger and the beers across the table. We see that mostly they are coming from criminal activity background as they having tattoos all over their bodies. Again we would say that there is another light set up in front of the subject because their faces are lighten from the side. To look at this another way the light composition create bright rather cold atmosphere. The photograph allows us to guess a time of the day which is a night time regarding to the lamp post recognize in the left side window. Differently the texture is eye catching colourful and inviting the walls covered in light brownish patterned wallpaper creates a clear open space but at the same time amount of people in the room makes you feel claustrophobic. The table cover texture feels smooth and is patterned too also colourful because of the light falling on it. Similarly top of the table surface value is smooth rather the bottom part where the shadows area of the table looks glossy in highlights but overall is looking like a cloth texture. In addition the darkest value of the photograph is in the left corner slightly going through the foreground when the lightest value is the very top part of the image the same as the Jesus aureole bright light.
Appears to that the camera angle is lower than the eye level and the viewer is looking straight on the focal point already mentioned Jesus then the eyes following to the one side then to another carefully watching the subjects sitting around the table. The artist angle of view make the viewer feel like the image is directly trying to jar our minds to rethinking make us aware of something. Furthermore the camera is placed in front of the subject and the vantage point is right in the middle of the frame. What is more the focus is sharp through the foreground and getting soft focus while you are reaching the background. The edges of the subjects are gentle because author using selective focus by changing the aperture setting. The author placed the subjects and the lighting in the boundaries of the frame. In view of this it is really making the image looking narrow its pushing the viewer to look straight first and creates lines in triangle shape reaching the focal point.
Then the setting and its physical surroundings looks real as we can notice the windows and opened doors, walls with wall paper on a furniture which is adding to it. Notably the house does not looks care about as seems to be just exist than being lived in by people maybe it is just the meeting venue rather than a family home. The subjects are not surprised that Jesus appeared possible because they were expecting him to come and help them or answer the questions they might have about their future. Besides the girl in the door is looking up also holding her hands up in the air like she is praying for something important the expression on her face make us feel helpless and the fact that she is just only one female in the room. Although she looks like she was not in the room from the beginning because the fact that she is between the door and situation so she appeared after everybody else. Unsurprisingly artist use a colour to achieve many effects on the viewer because it is giving a sense of mood and place also time of the year. When the viewer moving his eyes around the composition colour creates a sense of space on a flat surface which is the image. If for example the image would be in black and white our interpretation might be completely different to the one we see in colour. Either the colours in the image are saturated and wide range of them making us engage the relationship between subjects and what we see. Moreover we also can see the bowl on the floor with water in the bottle next to it. Artist try to recreate the Christ’s last meal from Bible but in a modern way as for the water is present for Jesus to wash his feet after.
Regarding to the bible the wine represents Gods promise in blood poured out in a humankind sin. It means that we have to self-examine ourselves and participate in body of Christ but instead the subjects are drinking beer and eating burgers and that is what the world came too. Therefore our interpretation shows that Jesus spent time with people from the street, hustlers because he feels comfortable and empathised with. The Bible interpretation of the Last Supper was considered blasphemous but is when Jesus actually pulled his believe for the people of the street. In a way that is why they are wearing modern clothes and they are in modern settings because this is the scenery would look like if we could get a second coming. Overall the majority were a shady characters as are we at best but many people do not notice that he tells this stories after when ”good people” were questioning him. They are surprised that how he could spend time with this characters and dine with them. In short maybe that is the place where he found open hearts and room to rest. Jesus is giving to poor understands them help them he says we all should be the same the more we give the more satisfaction from life we receive.
For if you give, you will get! Your gift will return to you in full and overflowing measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use to give — large or small — will be used to measure what is given back to you. ” (TLB, Luke 6:38)
“Don’t judge other people, and God will not judge you. If you judge other people, you will be judged in the same way you judge them”.
Matthew 7:1-5 (ERV)

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