Visions of Heaven
The Dome in European Architecture
, Victoria Hammond
Publication date 11/1/2005
11 x 11.5 inches (27.9 x 29.2 cm), Hardcover
192 pages, 125 color illustrations
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There's an ethereal magic to standing beneath a dome, neck craned, looking up at a vision of the heavens created by some long-ago figure of genius. From the Pantheon to the Hagia Sophia, the power of the dome seems transcen-dent. Photographer David Stephenson's magnificently kaleidoscopic images of dome interiors capture this evanescent drama, and make Visions of Heaven one of the most spectacularly beautiful books we've ever produced.
Traveling from Italy to Spain, Turkey, England, Germany, and Russia, among other countries, and photographing churches, palaces, mosques, and synagogues from the second to the early twentieth century, Stephenson's work amounts to a veritable typology of the cupola. His images present complex geometrical structures, rich stucco decorations, and elaborate paintings as they have never been seen before. Brilliantly calibrated exposures reveal details and colors that would otherwise remain hidden in these dimly lit spaces.
Visions of Heaven shows more than 120 images, including the Roman Pantheon, the Byzantine churches of Turkey, the great domes of the Renaissance, the decorative cupolas of the Baroque and the Rococo ages, and a nineteenth-century synagogue in Hungary.
David Stephenson is head of photography at the University of Tasmania School of Art, Hobart. His work has been exhibited throughout the world and published in numerous publications.
Victoria Hammond has worked as an art historian and art museum director and has curated several acclaimed nationally touring exhibitions. She has written extensively on art and historical architecture and is the award-winning author of many art catalogs and histories.
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