April 24: killing us softly

2012/04/24 § 4 Comments

On this day in 1874 John Russel Pope was born.

When you can design a dome that nearly puts the Pantheon to shame, you’ve got it going on.  When you can detail a huge blank wall that is all gorgeousness and not scary at all, you’re the man.  When your losing competition entry for the Lincoln Memorial is this cool (and a bigger badder version of this crazy thing), you make us run out of vocabulary of increasing exponential awesomeness, and we are tempted to use the term “yatztastic.”  (But then, thankfully, we remember ourselves).  And when you can design an arch that would make Titus green with envy,  and when you whip together this amazing composition when you’re not even trying that hard, and when you look like you could have been in the movies, and probably made Paul Philippe Cret bite his otherwise beautifully-manicured fingernails down to the quick, well.  We surrender.

John Russel Pope (d. 1943) was the bomb.

Image: National Gallery of Art, south portico (Clio’s)

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§ 4 Responses to April 24: killing us softly

  • stephenwhoward says:

    All hail the Pope!

  • Patrick Pinnell says:

    The guy’s architecture was really, really good and really, really cold. He also had a peculiar tendency to close things up, even when his model was open. No oculus at the Jefferson Memorial, unlike the Pantheon, for instance.

  • Clio says:

    Patrick, Interesting observation. We love this kind of well-delineated coolness which allows the life within and without to take center stage.

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