Mixing civilisations at Ca d'Oro  | Focillon Humane ClubMade with Humane Club

Mixing civilisations at Ca d'Oro 

Published May 20, 2022
Updated Jun 10, 2022

📍 🇮🇹 Mixing civilisations at Ca d'Oro

Built between 1422 and 1440 by one of Venice's most influential families (the Contarinis), it is deemed by French historian Henri Focillon as "one of the masterpieces of Italy's late Gothic period". A much more compact yet denser version of the Ducal Palace found at Piazza San Marco.

Why denser?

Because of the complex (and rare) mixture of Roman (patterned colored stones), Islamic (horseshoe or multi-lobed arches), and Gothic (quatrefoils) elements. And instead of a confusion of influences, eventually, we obtain a remarkably fluid and coherent facade.

The same Focillon added further on that Gothic architects had more building manoeuver here than for the construction of a church. This explains that balconies were more easily and widely carved at Ca d'Oro than for a cathedral's entrance - which (by definition) bears more weight and pressure due to bells and/or towers. Thus the feeling of openness and lightness that one gets when looking at Ca d'Oro from a certain distance.

Foci-Tip: spend at least as much time contemplating it from the outside, on the other bank, as from within.

____ Sources ____

>> Henri Focillon, "The Art of the West in the Middle Ages", 1938

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