Santa Maria Novella Train Station, Florence, Italy

Update: See another train station built in Cincinnati around the same time. Florence is so famous for its Renaissance culture, that one forgets that it has a great train station, welcoming travelers into the city. It’s so not like Renaissance architecture, it provides a little bit of a respite from the oppressive ubiquity of Albertian…

Florence Cathedral

Update: See some more pictures of the Duomo and the Pantheon here. Sigh, Florence’s cathedral is so much more awesomer than St. Louis’s Cathedral. But I guess not everyone can have a dome designed by Filippo Brunelleschi.

Chapelle Expiatoire

The Chapelle Expiatoire might win the award for the building threatened with demolition the most number of times in its existence. Also, my streak of finding tourist attractions that are deserted continues, as I think there were a grand total of maybe four other people at this site when I visited. Expiatoire means “Expiation” which…

Les Invalides

I caught this view of the dome of the Invalides through the trees of the gardens of the Rodin Museum, which is a must-see when you’re visiting Paris. Designed by Jules Hardouin-Mansart, the structure serves as a critical step in the development of domes in Western architecture. The domed church was part of a larger…

The Gardens of Versailles

Business up front, party in the back, as they say. The backside of Versailles facing the extensive gardens is made up of three flat elevations with large swaths of reflecting ponds and gravel paths on the first terrace. The same garden designer as Vaux-le-Vicomte, André Le Nôtre, was brought in to design the grounds here…

The Luxembourg Palace

Another influential palace is the Luxembourg, constructed by Marie de Medici, the Florentine wife of Henry IV, who was assassinated. Their son was Louis XIII, and after numerous plots against by his own mother, he finally exiled her out of the kingdom. The famous Marie de Medici cycle was designed to fit in a giant…

Painting on Stone at the Saint Louis Art Museum

I hope readers can make it out to a fascinating new exhibit at the Saint Louis Art Museum curated by Judy Mann, curator of European Art to 1800 and Research Assistant Andrea Miller, entitled Painting on Stone: Science and the Sacred, 1530-1800. While we usually think of painting as an art form created on canvas…