Blogger, my host here, has been unusually wonky these last few days. Last night, it didn't work at all. Now it's OK. Here is another in my Leesburg architectural studies. This majestic portico is now the entrance to a group of insurance and real estate title offices.
The details in this nicely restored woodwork originate more than 2000 years ago in ancient Greek ornament, which was then elaborated in ancient Roman times. One of the things I love about historic Virginia Americana is that the people who created these buildings lived in a culture which was aware of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Those who were fortunate enough to have a higher education in those days (relatively few, that is) knew Greek and Latin and had read the Classics. They also knew their Classical architectural elements and this was the vocabulary of the American designer all the way from colonial times to the late 19th century. As a one-time classical scholar myself, I feel a kinship with these bygone classical designers and people living in a Classically inspired culture.
None of this survives today as anything but antiquarian. The world is globalized and design no longer comes from ancient Greece and Rome. But every time I see some of these white pillars I remember and appreciate my personal cultural origins.
Leesburg portico is technical pen ink on Fabriano paper, about 8" x 9", November 2011. Some color will be added later.