Sunday, 12 July 2009

Curious about...Grotesque


Definition from

"In architecture and decorative art, fanciful mural or sculptural decoration involving mixed animal, human, and plant forms. The word is derived from the Italian grotteschi, referring to the grottoes in which these decorations were found c. 1500 during the excavation of Roman houses such as the Golden House of Nero. Grotesque decoration was common on 17th-century English and American case furniture.

First revived in the Renaissance by the school of Raphael in Rome, the grotesque quickly came into fashion in 16th-century Italy and became popular throughout
Europe. It remained so until the 19th century, being used most frequently in fresco decoration. Although the animal heads and other motifs sometimes have heraldic or symbolic significance, grotesque ornaments were, in general, purely decorative"

All photos
©Adrian Fletcher and posted here with the author's permission, thank you Adrian!
You can visit his website , which is loaded with beautiful photographs and relevant descriptions, for a feel of a truly artistic journey around Italy.

1.Ceiling of the Piccolimi Library in Siena Duomo
2. Ceiling of a passageway in Assisi
3. Ceiling of the Vasari Corridor of the Uffizi Gallery, Florence
Border in the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, Spoleto.

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