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…

Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter in Chains, Cincinnati

We head across the Ohio River into Cincinnati and come to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter in Chains, which is perhaps one of the more uniquely named seats of an archbishop in the United States. It is a very old building, whose cornerstone was laid in 1841, but has received an extensive renovation in…

Domes in the Day and Night

These are some grainy old iPhone photos of two of my favorite buildings in the world that I took back in 2018, the Pantheon in Rome, and the Duomo of Florence. I’ve been thinking about traveling a lot lately, and wondering when I be able to get back to Europe. Both were revolutionary in their…

McLean Mausoleum, Bellefontaine Cemetery

I’ve always enjoyed the McLean Mausoleum in Bellefontaine Cemetery. It’s perhaps an understated example of the Egyptian Revival in funerary architecture in local cemeteries, but there are other reasons I like it. The most obvious being, if you look closely, is that the obelisk towering over the mausoleum sits above thin air, as the window…

Our Lady of the Snows, Mosaics

I’ve looked at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows over in Belleville twice over the years, first in 2014, when I looked at the Mary Chapel, and then again in 2015, when I looked at the Christ the King Chapel. I also wrote a short article about it for St. Louis Magazine. But…

Former St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church

Founded in 1891 and closed in 1993, the church of St. Agnes sits on a quiet stretch of Sidney Street at the intersection of Salena. It is currently vacant and has been for a number of years. It was designed by James McNamara, and if one looks closely, we can tell that this church was…

Villa d’Este, Tivoli, Latium, Italy

Rising up quickly from the Roman campagna where Hadrian’s Villa can be found, you hit towering mountains, and the train snakes through gorges and canyons. A waterfall can be spotted off in the distance, and after a tunnel or two, you realize the train station for town of Tivoli is right by that cascade. After…

Hadrian’s Villa, Tivoli, Latium, Italy

Let’s forget about ice storms and head to the Roman Campagna, the hills to the northeast of Rome, where at the base of the mountains that rise up to Tivoli lies the ancient ruins of Hadrian’s Villa. I also realized it had been a long time since I had added to the Architectural History category,…

Spolia from the Imperial Fora

Acanthus leaves, rosettes, volutes, ogees, egg and darts, dentilated cornices: they all started back in the ancient world. This chunk of marble from the imperial Roman fora has been copied directly and indirectly thousands of times around St. Louis.

Basilica of Constantine and Maxentius

The Saint Louis Art MuseumSculpture Hall is influenced by the Baths of Caracalla, but it’s also inspired by the Basilica of Constantine and Maxentius, which is one of my favorite buildings in the Roman Forum. It is mostly collapsed from earthquakes, but still never fails to impress me when I see it.