By L. C. Kalff (auth.)
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Extra info for Creative Light
The classical columns were created for sunlight. In interiors all these intricate details become hardly visible because of the soft and diffuse light; the shapes of the columns therefore become rather functionless. 47 Fig. 42. In interiors architects have often tried to give more expression to these columns by replacing the effect of the shadows by shiny materials and different colours; the shafts in polished marble, the bases and the capitals in bronze or gold. (Library in the Benedictine Monastery of Wiblingen) 48 columns with those which we find in the Cistercian chapels the difference is striking, because there the columns have a simple square section and they are really part of a wall in which openings give access to the side aisle.
The parts that have to express strength, such as the columns and arches, are dark; the floor, the choir, niches and side chapels are bathed in a subdued and serene light. It is all clear and logical and simple, yet conveys no impression of being deliberately designed to please. 27 Fig. 23. The Cistercian buildings of the 12th century can be found all over Europe. They all have the same atmosphere of devoutness. (Heiligenkreuz near Vienna) 28 Fig. 24. Even in the dormitories of this Cistercian monastery the light entering the department is soft, notwithstanding the fierce sun of the Provence.
The course of the sun around the fluted columns gives each hour of the day a different aspect to the fronts of the temples. The cornices with their horizontal mouldings have their own rhythm of light and shadows that also varies with the position of the sun. Now in the Renaissance period and later also in the Classical era these architectural motifs, originally intended to be seen in full sunlight, are used for decoration in interiors. Of course, the light coming from windows has directions and quantities completely different from exterior light and therefore these shapes become more or less meaningless (Fig.
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