Two graceful vaults (Dennis Aubrey)

I stumbled across this while ogling the beautiful photographs on this brilliant website, Via Lucis. The comparison between the athleticism of a footballer like Zidane and Romanesque/Gothic architecture is so true: power, grace, beauty. No coincidence I love them both.

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It seems to me that I’ve spent a lot of time talking very seriously about these Romanesque and Gothic churches, so much so that perhaps it may appear that my view of them is pretentious and self-important. I haven’t spent much time talking about how simply beautiful they are.

Trying to figure out a modern counterpart to these churches that evoke the same feeling, I reflected; what about the photography of Julius Shulman, who chronicled (and perhaps helped define) the rise of modernism? His work is extraordinary and it allows us to enter into and understand the works of the modernist architects.

Maybe it was an extraordinary exhibit of a group of Claude Monet’s series of paintings of the cathedral Notre Dame de Rouen in Normandy. He painted the western portal of the cathedral more than twenty times, the exact same scene under different light conditions. More than anything…

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