Janet Ross e Nelly Erichsen – Pisa, The Duomo, the Baptistery and the Leaning Tower  – 2

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Pisa – Piazza dei Miracoli


After the first shock of delight produced by this union of sunlight and architecture we begin to analyse the source of our pleasure, and we find something lacking in this Pisan development of the Tuscan- Romanesque.

It has neither the aspiration of the gothic style, nor the perfect proportion and balance of Renaissance work.

There is, not to put too fine a point on it, something a trifle boorish about it, that suggests a rustic dressed up in the robes of a king. It appeals too much to the picturesque and not enough to fundamental excellence of design.

Wonderful is the perfection and finish of its detail.

Too wonderful indeed, for it suggests that the mind of the builder was possessed by a passion for splendid trifles, to the neglect of noble conceptions.

In this case however we have, on the whole, the style at its best.

Though we may be able to criticise individual points it is idle to deny that the whole effect is overwhelming. A better understanding of how the group of buildings dominates the city can be gained from afar.

From whatever point we choose a distant view annihilates the mass of huddled houses and churches, and we see the Duomo, the Leaning Tower, and above all, the Baptistery, rising giant-like between the mountains and the plain.

They represent Pisa, and in a sense they are Pisa.



( From the book “The Story of Pisa” by Janet Ross and Nelly Erichsen – Illustrade by Nelly Erichsen – London : J.M. Dent & Co, Aldine House, 29 and 30 Bedfod Street Covent Garden, W.C. – 1909 )


Pisa - Piazza dei Miracoli - 2013 07 02 - DSCF0842 a
Pisa – Piazza dei Miracoli – Battistero


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Pisa – Piazza dei Miracoli


Pisa - Piazza dei Miracoli - 2013 07 02 - DSCF0842
Pisa – Piazza dei Miracoli – Battistero



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