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Poreč, Cathedral of Eufrasius, nave, north arcade, marble capitals and stucco decoration

Poreč, Cathedral of Eufrasius, nave, north arcade, marble capitals and stucco decoration

The capitals and columns of the nave arcade were carved in Proconnesian marble from island quarries near Constantinople. Similar work and masons’ marks appear in the Hagia Sophia of Constantinople and at San Vitale, Ravenna, works of the 530s and 540s respectively (Terry and Maguire [2007], p. 59-60). These six capitals on the north arcade illustrate several types found throughout the church and complex (See: Terry [1988]). From west to east, the first and fifth pieces are pyramidal capitals of the paneled impost type, one decorated with vine scrolls, the other with two intertwined vines climbing vertically and a symmetrical pattern of split acanthus leaves falling to each side. In both cases, the deep undercutting creates a striking black and white contrast. The second and fourth are pyramidal capitals of the split palmette impost type with a lotus flower and palmettes on each face, framed by a vinescroll. The third and sixth are composite capitals decorated with two rings of acanthus leaves and an egg and dart moulding between the volutes. Ann Terry has argued that the heterogeneity of the relatively small set of capitals at Poreč suggests that they were not obtained directly from the Proconnesian quarries, but rather through an intermediary site, probably Ravenna (Terry [1988], pp. 56-57). The stucco beneath the arches bears traces of paint and presents a variety of designs, with doves, peacocks, cornucopias and diverse foliage in various forms of geometric panelling. Cited sources: Terry, Ann. “The Sculpture at the Cathedral of Eufrasius,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 42 [1988]: 13-64; Terry, Ann and Henry Maguire. Dynamic Splendor: The Wall Mosaics in the Cathedral of Eufrasius at Poreč. Univ. Park, Pa: Pennsylvania State UP, 2007. D'Emilio photo archive no. 19773734_1296u
Galleries: Arcade, Arcades, Cathedral of Eufrasius, Poreč, Composite capitals, Croatia, Intrados or soffit of an arch with decoration, Italy and the Adriatic, 500s, Pyramidal capitals
Keywords: intrados, marble, stucco
Photo Location: Poreč, Croatia
Photographer: Dr. James D’Emilio
Device Make: Nikon
Device Model: Nikon SUPER COOLSCAN 5000 ED
Original Dimensions: 5238×3610
Picture Orientation: Landscape
GPS Coordinates:
Picture Number: 22309