Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Hey guys,

Sorry it took me so long for me to post... I've been vacationing in Europe (London, Paris) and just got back...

Seeing the amazing churches in Europe inspired me to look up some information on our very own MemChu. I just finished reading a really great book on Google Scholar (I'd recommend using this site to look up cool Stanford info) called Stanford Memorial Church: The Mosaics, The Windows, The Inscriptions by Willis Hall and learned some really interesting facts.

The most interesting aspect to read about was definitely the mosaics that adorn the museum's front facade. At the time that it was complete, the mosaic was the largest in America! It was designed by Antonio Salvati, a famous Venetian artist, and the tiny tiles that, when pieced together form the images, were pieced together by Lorenzo Zampato (it took him 4 years!) One of the walls is a mosaic reproduction of Soimo Roselli’s Last Supper from the Sistine Chapel in Rome. It is the only copy ever permitted to be made of this famous mosaic. Interestingly, Jane Stanford herself was responsible for a large part of the building project, and her influence is felt in that there are far more depictions of women throughout the church than in most churches. Finally, it makes perfect sense for the fa├žade to be in mosaic, because, unlike a painting, the colors of the tiles are unfaded by weather conditions. I’ll definitely see MemChu from a different perspective after reading this book…

-Alex Fialho

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