Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Toledo Cathedral -- No, the Other One

I recently came across some splendid photographs of the cathedral of Toledo. I mean, Tow-leeey-do, not Toe-lay-do. Or perhaps we should just go Byzantine and call it Toledo of the Ohioans. But anyway, it's a gorgeous structure that partakes of both the high Gothic of Spain and the rugged Romanesque of Vezelay and southern France. Particularly worth noting is the broad, boldly-frescoed, round-arched barrel vault of Romanesque inspiration that blends seamlessly with the more Gothic decoration of the lower registers. This is a robust and unique bit of ecclesial design worthy of study.

An intelligent and distinctly non-derivative take on Gothic.

Towards the sanctuary.

The coronation of Mary depicted in the conch of the apse - a splendid fusion of twentieth-century innovation and Byzantine traditions.

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