Sunday, May 25, 2008

Pavimenti d'Italia

I started taking pictures of floors in Italian churches when we visited in 2006. I continued on this trip, expanding my domain to include floors not in churches, although most of the pictures are still of marble and mosaics on which parishioners have walked, knelt, and crawled as they sought to have sins wiped from their souls. I guess by now, some of these floors have seen far more tourist feet than feet of the pious, but feet of sinners still.

This mosaic is in the Basilica dei Santi Maria e Donato on Murano in the Venetian Lagoon. The Byzantine church dates from either the 7th or the 10th Century, depending on the story you read. I believe this floor was laid in the 12th Century.

In Venezia, the floors are pretty standard with alternating blocks of red and white Italian marble--not too surprising I guess. It's pretty and it wears well. Timeless. Stands up to water and harsh treatment. Doesn't show the dirt. Environmentally sound I guess as it lasts thousands of years unless you decide you need to makeover your church to keep up with the latest fad. The flooring specialists did add various sorts of inlays to break up the large expanses and provide some individuality.

I particularly like to take low oblique angle shots of floors and capture sun flecks and shadows that are cast on the marble and mosaic.

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