Sunday, February 27, 2011

Columns and Pillars and the Rest

If I am in Rome, I always visit this square. It's the Largo di Torre Argentina and it's reputedly where Julius Ceasr met his assassins. Apart from its beauty and antiquity, it is the home of an interesting and much photographed cat colony. Then to the rear is the very old Jewish Ghetto of Rome, where there are more antiquities and restaurants with arguably the best food in Rome. Various columns here have been salvaged - there are four temples - and stood beside each other in this large square. It's quite a sight. So I am going to talk of columns - one of the most discussed symbols. I am sure the Freud would agree. In any case, columns have always been derived from trees and the support structures for buildings were originally made from trees. They were designed, not only for support, but to give vitality to a building. Many architects do not like the current mode of suggesting that a building hasn't much support. This lacks vitality, they might argue. They appear without substance. And many reject the column since to them it implies patriarchy. It is thought however, that the sexual connotation of pillars is that a right hand pillar constitutes the active male principle and the left represents the passive female principle. That is primarily associated with the reproductive organs. It does not imply that males are always active and females passive! That's a question for another blog! I do like the arrangement of the columns in the picture and the deep blue sky at dusk. I could stand there for quite a while, as the light changes!