Monday, September 13, 2010

Milan Duomo in Comparison with the Sultanahmet in Istanbul

The Duomo in Milan is a classic example of a Gothic cathedral and easily recognizable by its many spires and intricate detail. Unllike most cathedrals the apex or the center is not the highest point of the building. Here it is much more relatable to the typical styles of a mosque. Below the Sultanahmet mosque from Istanbul can be seen with its minarets on either side of the structure. Both styles keep the focus on the central apex by creating a dominating negative space around it.
The Duomo in Milan
Photo by Ethan Weber
The visuals similarities begin with the main structure coming to a point in the center and its spires on either side rising even higher. Cascading domes gradually increasing up towards the apex have a simplicity in their numbers unlike that of the cathedral's spires. Both buildings rely heavily on symmetry. Just as most mosques, the inside of the Sultanahmet below embellishes the scripture of the Qur'an through Kufic designs and patterns. The inside of the cathedral in Milan does the same with the stained glass windows that depict different saints and stories from the Bible. The difference is in the use of images versus strictly design. Each take advantage of all the space on the inside of the buildings to display scripture and to tell the tale of their respective religions.

Sultanahmet mosque in Istanbul
Photo from Flickr by DarkB4Dawn

The emotions emitted by the mosque are that of tranquillity through simplicity. The inside gives a similar feeling through complexity. In comparison, the Duomo displays an intricate structure that overwhelms the viewer in complexity. While both buildings display a dominance over their surroundings, the Duomo does so more abruptly with its straight verticals. The agenda of both buildings seems to be authority and power just as much as to honor their respective religions.

No comments:

Post a Comment