Monday, February 22, 2010

The Grand Tour Continues

The influence of ancient Rome and the Roman Empire on Western architecture and interiors can’t be under estimated. I was at Art College studying visual art when as a group we visited an exhibition from the city of Pompeii. The colours used in the interior decorations were spectacular. My favorite design style at the time and continues to be classic modern. My paintings abstract. I was not into period design at all.

But this exhibition impressed me. Over the years I have come to appreciate the wonderful designs of the past. The eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79 buried the town of Pompeii in lava. As a result the town was buried until 1748. Since then this Roman town situated not far from Naples has continued to be excavated. The brilliant treasures discovered have given a clear picture of the structure of and what it would be like to live in a Roman town.

The excavations have exposed theaters, temples, shrines, baths, fountains and meat markets. A number of private houses and shops are now also on view.

In Roman buildings rounded arches and classical orders were a dominant feature. Greek influences are unmistakable. So Kevin this week is off to Greece. What a great privilege it is to encounter all the wonders of the past from my comfy sofa. The wonder of technology. I heard the other day students entering their first year of university have never known a life without computers, mobile phones and many other modern gadgets.

Irish Joke
Due to an unfortunate error, the wrong name appeared in a death notice in the morning paper. When the man alleged to be dead read the notice he was very annoyed and rang the editor. ‘I’ve just read my death notice in your paper’ he said. ‘Really’ the editor replied, ‘and where are you ringing from’

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