Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Around We Go

As the world seems to be spinning out of control lately, our thoughts have turned twisted.  Nothing too sinister though. Barley twists are popping up everywhere we look...on buildings, on furniture and at the bakery (we love those twisted donuts!).  One of the Baroque periods greatest masterpieces, Bernini's Baldacchino at Saint Peter's, arguably laid the foundation for what has become one of the most replicated motifs around the globe.  Once considered a bragging right of the skilled craftsman, the hand-carved barley twist with perfect symmetry and proportion has suffered a fate that the modern world takes for granted -- mechanical reproduction. Regardless, designers, architects and others are still drawn to this playful and optically stimulating motif just as they were centuries ago.  

Enjoy the feast below.  WARNING:  If you start to feel faint or dizzy, close your eyes and count to ten.
2. Cloister at the Basilica of Saint Paul, Rome  
3. Louis XIII Style Desk, France, c. 1890
1.  Bernini's Baldacchino, Saint Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, c. 1633
2.  Chimney stacks at Mapperton House, Dorset, UK, c. 1540
3.  Continental Mahogany Secretaire, late 19th century
1.  Italian Chandelier, 19th century
2.  Brass and wood barley twist candlesticks
3.  Staircase detail, Henrietta Spencer-Chuchill

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