Dominance of Shape

 

 

 

 

The Baroque church, Santa Maria della Salute, designed by Baldassarre Longhena and completed in 1867, sits at the mouth of the Grand Canal in Venice. The church was built as an offering to St. Mary of Health after the city survived a devastating plague in 1630.

Santa Maria della Salute © John Lovett

Santa Maria della Salute

The church is crowned by two imposing domes and flanked, at the rear, by a pair of domed bell towers.

The dominating round shapes provide the church with a more feminine appearance, reflecting its dedication St. Mary of Health.

An octagonal plan gives the church a more rounded, Byzantine  appearance where repeating arches dominate the cavernous interior. Circular motifs of inlaid marble carry the dominating curves all the way down to a magnificent floor.

The dominating curves of the building have made it an icon of Venice, inspiring artists ever since it was built.

Dominance of Shape © John Lovett

Santa Maria della Salute