this by instilling a stronger belief in the

this folderEntire MailboxAddress BookContactsPrivacyOptionsSign out Mail Calendar ContactsDeleted ItemsDrafts 2Inbox (1493)Junk Email 32Sent ItemsClick to view all foldersaccauniwork experience (406)Manage Folders… Reply Reply all Forward JunkClose Abissha Suthanthirakumaran [email protected] help protect your privacy, some content in this message has been blocked. If you’re sure this message is from a trusted sender and you want to re-enable the blocked features, click here.Sent:08 January 2018 13:38To:[email protected] the imperial period, triumphal arches were initially constructed as an honorific monument ­to a military commander after a war victory. The arches feature as part of the triumphal procession, celebrating a commander’s conquest. Many features of the arch were carried on throughout the years, such as: form, power, concept of victory and passageways, power and ornamentation, and it is the symbolism of such features of the arch that led to it becoming such a potent form in Western architecture.The triumphal arch was essentially built as a symbol of victory, mostly in a military sense, such as the Arch of Constantine, which was ‘dedicated on 25 July 315 CE to honour Constantine’s victory over Maxentius’.1 Triumphal arches were built like this to commemorate the imperialistic splendour and glory of the commanders. I think that the arches helped to exaggerate their victories by instilling a stronger belief in the public about their strength, that the public began to monumentalise further triumphal arches as a sign of the power of the leader and country. However, they were also used to commemorate victories of the past such as ‘the victories and apotheosis of an emperor recently deceased’ such as the Arch of Titus.2 Titus’s brother and successor Domitian erected this arch after Titus died in 81CE. Built in honour of Titus’ achievements, it symbolised Titus’ victories, such as the ‘capture of Jerusalem in 70CE’. 3However, as Midford says, most arches ‘convey imperialistic sentiment, although, the reason for the construction was not consistently military victory’.4 Although Romans used it to celebrate war victories, during the Renaissance, during the birth of new ideas, Alberti designed a triumphal arch as a façade of the S. Andrea church. Here, I believe the victory is of a more religious nature, such as the victory of Christ over paganism in that time, or even the triumph of life over death. Victories came in different forms throughout the years, such that now they are also used in remembrance of fallen soldiers. This is evident in later arches such as the Arc de Triomphe, where Napoleon’s victory and the soldiers lost are both remembered. 5 Furthermore, the Millennium Gate Museum in Georgia was erected due to victory of success and keeping peace. 6 Overall, the symbolism of victory is a key reason that the triumphal arch is potent, even though the type of victory changed over time to civic or religious.Triumphal arches were an essential part of the triumphal procession for the returning military personnel, such that they became very symbolic as a passageway. ‘Gateways had an ancient, symbolic resonance for the Romans, who associated them with death and victory’7, so I think that constructing triumphal arches symbolised the victory as a passageway into new times of power, where the commander could conquer more places. The arch acts as a boundary, and ‘the archway proper invites passage and suggests the present beyond of a place different from that before it’.8 In the military sense, it represents a gate to a better time of strength for the country having just conquered, but as an arch was also used for civic purposes, its ‘axes organise space and traffic as funnels regulate flow’.9 Furthermore, the form of the arch caused ambiguity due to the focus point being the centre of the semicircle, but also at the expansion outwards of the arch, and this complication made it stronger as a portal and passageway. The upright contrast in axes of the arch high up and the path leading towards it creates the ‘impression of the passage being immediately apprehensible.’10 Also, the contrast between the solid piers holding up the arch and the massive arched void, and the contrast in the smooth arch and rigid structure beneath, makes it more symbolic and powerful as a passageway, especially when the urban siting allowed perpendicular axes and a clear view through the arch, due to the arch relating to the direction of the procession.11In the later periods, the concept of a gateway continued. Alberti’s church of S. Andrea portrayed a different type of passageway – I think the pathway into the church was symbolic of embarking on the passageway towards God or higher beings, and so create a sense of cleansing and purification as you entered it. Alberti’s church also had the contrasting ‘four large pilasters’ and the ‘large round headed opening’ creating a powerful image, however, the entrance then becomes a smaller opening, which I think is there to not symbolise power, but show the passage into an intimate and private space.12In the Arc de Triomphe (Fig. 1), it was more similar to the Arch of Titus (Fig. 2), with there being huge pilaster and a contrasting ‘single, monumental opening’, symbolising majestic glory and victory when travelling through the passageway. It too was used as a processional route by Napoleon, and the passage also symbolised progression into more glorious times.13 Overall, symbolism of the passageway and the urban siting and directional axes remained a potent feature, as it depicted the route into better and stronger times, or that of a different time to before.The form of the arches differed, but its monumentalism helped it remain potent. Triumphal arches signified the birth of the composite order in the Arch of Titus, and has continued to be used in many triumphal arches since. The mixture of Corinthian acanthus leaves and Ionic volutes form the new order, and have become symbolic in the form of the arch.14 The Arch of Titus is a ‘single fornix arch’15, however the more common feature is ‘the division of a space by columns into three unequal parts: narrow, wide, narrow’.16 The Arch of Constantine for example follows the basic form of the pedestals, piers and pilasters,entablatures, and then an attic storey, all dispersed with relief structures. 17However, Alberti’s new ideologies in the Renaissance meant the arch became a façade, and then followed through into the nave as a ‘three-dimensional extension of the triumphal arch’.18 (Fig. 3) His temple front is different to Roman arches, with the arch opening ‘below the pediment, flanked by pilasters with its own entablature running behind’, but most importantly the replacement of the attic storey by a triangular pediment.19 (Fig. 4) I think the attic storey represented the monumental glory, whereas the pediment here represents a sense of reverence and calmness. The Renaissance caused the evolution of the arch but Alberti still related back to Roman arches . In the Arc de Triomphe, there was not as much innovation – it was more like the Arch of Titus. It divides into the pedestals, huge piers and attic storey, however, it changed slightly as it had a large relief sculpture on the columns.20 Therefore, the form defined the triumphal arch but it did not restrict as there were evolutions during the Renaissance.Ornamentation of the arch was symbolic of the victory, such as in the Arch of Titus, where it features a relief sculpture of a triumphal procession of Titus, combining ‘historical, divine and allegorical figures’. There was also a structure of ‘Titus in his quadrigaas triumphator’, with him majestically on a horse, with a victory holding a wreath above him. 21 (Fig. 5) This symbolises the triumph of the emperor, and I think exaggerates victory as it is a constant reminder of his glory. The winged victories, which were also found on spandrels depicted divine approval. Furthermore, there are friezes and inscriptions representing the same victory.In Alberti’s church, there are minimal inscriptions and relief sculptures due to the difference in purpose. The Roman arches were for public glorification, whereas the church is more private and peaceful, so there are less sculptures. However, the Arc de Triomphe has many reliefs and sculptures, most famously the Marseillaise by Francois Rude. (Fig. 6) This ‘personification of war’22 symbolised people fighting for their country, representing glory like the Arch of Titus. It also has inscription of all the soldiers who died at war. Overall, the ornamentations have remained but changed to commemorations too as there is no longer need to exaggerate imperialistic power.In conclusion, the triumphal arch has many features such as symbolism of passageways and victory, power, form and ornamentation. However, the nature of these features changes according to the setting and time of construction, as well as the values of society at that time, such as in the Renaissance when ideas were challenged. Overall, it is due to the symbolism of the aforementioned features that the Ancient Roman triumphal arch remained as potent form in Western architecture. 


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