THE GILDED BALL
Leonardo da Vinci, known as the creator of the two most famous paintings in history, was in reality only a part-time artist. A relentlessly curious man, he was a passionate scientist and consummate inventor. Other than the fact that he was born out of wedlock in the small Tuscan town of Vinci in 1452, little is known about his earliest years. When he was around 15 years old, however, he was apprenticed to Andrea del Verrocchio, who operated an exceptionally successful artists studio in Florence. (Sandro Botticelli and Lorenzo de Credi were two of Leonardo's fellow apprentices.) In the Renaissance such studios were multifunctional workshops, where commissions for architectural projects and decorations of palaces and churches were as likely as commissions for paintings and sculpture.
A generation before Leonardos birth Filippo Brunelleschi's had designed and built his wondrous dome, and crowned it with a lantern, the combined structure soaring to 114.5 meters (375 ft) or about 37 stories above the piazza below. Then in 1471 Verrocchios studio received a commission to place a large gilded copper ball on top of the lantern. Leonardo, at 19, participated fully, and indeed may have even overseen the actual project. Using hoists similar to those Brunelleschi had originally used in building the dome, Leonardo had a two meter diameter ball hoisted and placed on top of the lantern. This project was Leonardos first engineering project, and it awakened in him a lifelong passion for innovative engineering.
The tower seen on the right in the photograph is the campanile of the the Badia Fiorentina, an abbey church located in the Duomo District of Florence. The abbey was founded in AD 978 and is visible from many areas of Florence. The Filippino Lippi masterpiece entitled "The Virgin Appearing to St. Bernard" (1485), can be found in the abbey.
This image will be placed in a new group theme, DOMES. I Welcome others to contribute.
Nikon D70, 28-200 mm Nikkor lens, tripod, and originally shot at 3008x2000 pixels.
Wandering_Dan, carper, chpp, shabsslg, avene, marjan, windosil, stelli, vincz, azaf1, Emile, BWJ, stego, paololg, jaywalker, MLINES, siolaw, Photo65Net, berek, ChrisJ, gunbud, trekks, giorgimer, bostankorkulugu, robertosalguero, isabela_sor, papagolf21, tober, pablominto, wishlist, alvaraalto, Tue, Docarmo, riclopes, ilDottore, loves_summer has marked this note useful
Critiques | Translate
Wandering_Dan (3449) 2008-06-10 10:34
Hello, Bulent -
I can't believe that on a random checkin from Seattle, I'm the first to comment on this. I like the detailed look, with the balance of the wall dominating the side offset against the ball and the (relatively) delicate filagree of the dome of the Duomo.
carper (96) 2008-06-10 10:35
very beautiful my dear friend,
a piece of quality from your hand, a sharpnes fantastic, a wel taken shot, good details, yes the note dear Bulent is very good ofcaorse would I say. very good trekearth job here, wel done, have a nice day.
chpp (4281) 2008-06-10 11:17
I like the tight framing in this shot. perfect sharpness and colours
shabsslg (199) 2008-06-10 11:48
this is nice architecture.
avene (12675) 2008-06-10 17:31
again I have learned something new thanks to your photos and informative notes, very interesting story about Leonardo's first engineering project. the composition you have chosen that includes the part of the tower with the observation deck full of people works very well to let the viewer appreaciate the sie of the ball. and I've always enjoyed creative use of natural "frames", like here. excellent work, my compliments.
with best regards,
pboehringer (770) 2008-06-10 20:54
you always have that special professor knowledge in your notes that makes it a real pleasure to read through it and the photograph to go along putting your note into image. The post is tremedously good and gives the right scale to what you write. The gilded ball being 2 meters is impressive but it starts to get alive with the people standing there in the balcony and providing the scale to comprehend the real size of the ball. Extraordinarily good composition and POV.
marjan (6279) 2008-06-10 23:46
hi Buletn,I see , Florence is mother of architecture miracles :-)
your photos are good cose we can enjoy in beautiful details and good composition.
Mediterranean (0) 2008-06-11 1:41
oradayken bile bu kadar hakim olamadıgım bu katedralin detaylarını fotograflarınızla ve bilgi notunuzla tazeliyorum.
kitabınızın yayın tarihi yakın mı,kolaylıklar diliyorum
windosil (1158) 2008-06-11 2:20
Wonderful lighting, Bulent. Contrasting textures, restricted colour range, impressive subject, interesting note. Thanks,
r021251 (3917) 2008-06-11 4:08
Perfect sharpennes and colours, , very impresise this galery
Bravo mon ami
stelli (2993) 2008-06-11 4:37
Great tight framing and very good sharpness! Thnak you for sharing! Regards Stella
vincz (19113) 2008-06-11 5:50
I like very much this composition with the tower on the right and the dome in the middle. Lots of depth here. Great note as usual.
jrj (34843) 2008-06-11 8:21
An interesting crop and choice of details included Bulent. A most interesting town to visit loaded with ancient and medival history - lovely intro from Firenze to the south and the fine Tuscany landscape. Good idea and good capture here.
Emile (20352) 2008-06-11 17:13
Every time I come to see your pictures there is an excellent one plus a lecture of history in your notes that I personally appreciate very much, the same that many others TE members appreciate it. This picture is an example of photography and history and you did both in a superb way.
BWJ (3094) 2008-06-11 18:07
This is a beautiful composition. The intriguing shapes of the magnificent dome enhanced with tall vertical lines of the tower are exquisite. Details are sharp and the lighting enhances the lustrouos ball on top of the lattern. Your note is excellent!
hatti52 (12786) 2008-06-12 1:26
Merhaba Bulent Bey
perspektif,kadraj ve isik enfes
ayrintilari ile harika fotograf
azaf1 (15929) 2008-06-12 2:51
Great capture of the gilded ball. The sun light makes it look like a sun itself, nicely centered in the middle of the composition and with the tower to the right giving a feeling of a frame. The note is detailed and very informative
jhm (150674) 2008-06-12 5:45
Hello friend Bulent,
Juny 10, was your birthday, have you my email receive?
A nice idea for use the building part as frame, you place the tower excellent beside this brickwork wall.
Very high quality, we can see the people around the tower, this is very well.
Good photograph work here.
stego (24132) 2008-06-12 9:01
A very nice POV/compo, great clarity and colours, no sign of perspective distortion. If there weren't any people, it wouldn't occur me that the tower is so big. As usual, a very informative and interesting note.
Warm regards, José.
paololg (31448) 2008-06-12 15:08
Ciao dear Bulent,
it's amazing as an American can see the Italian monuments with best eyes of an Italian. This detail of the dome is perfect and the composition is pleasant. I read very gladly always your notes because are a true lesson of history of the Italian art. Thanks.
jaywalker (16101) 2008-06-12 15:15
Hi Bulent, I really like the composition here with the tight crop mainly focused of the cone & ball, the people give great scale &, the architecture itself is superb, wonderful light & overall very well crafted, kind regards Wilson.
anokutan (15097) 2008-06-13 0:00
Bülent Bey merhabalar,
Bakış açınız,netlik ve ışık mükemmel.Selamlar ve tebrikler.
MLINES (12516) 2008-06-13 17:01
Hi Bulent, This compositon has many good features, The blue sky as backdrop, the people to provide scale and the golden ball for interest and intrigue. Excellent notes as always. TFS. Murray.
siolaw (38292) 2008-06-13 21:09
This compo is quite creative with one side framed by the tower, giving depth and directing the viwer to the cupola... Light, colors and sharpness are good.
Photo65Net (43120) 2008-06-14 1:50
Nice architecture catch here.
Your compo is very original, and I like your note too, very informative.
setenay (7706) 2008-06-14 4:02
Merhaba Bülent Bey,
Netliğin,detayların, perspektifin, kadrajın ve renklerin göz alıcı olduğu mükemmel çalışmanız için kutlarım .Merdivenleri tırmanmayı göze almış olanları kıskandım ,Floransa merkezini kuşbakışı seyretmek ne güzeldir kimbilir.Elinize sağlık iyi hafta sonu dileklerimle selamlar saygılar
berek (49230) 2008-06-14 23:26
Merhaba Bülent bey,
güzel kesit ve detay . gökyüzü rengi süper. selamlar.
ChrisJ (111504) 2008-06-15 1:23
A marvellous blue sky, with good graphism of the tower, topped by a golden ball. Superb colour & sharpness. Tfs!
gunbud (34066) 2008-06-15 17:44
Magnificent capture at this one of a kind artist's first attempt at architectural splendor.
Wonderfully vivid blue sky background to set off the intricate details of the golden ball.
trekks (14348) 2008-06-15 17:58
I note that you placed the roof and ball in center of this composition and it immediately attracts full attention, but I must say the inclusion of the side wall for a full vertical is done deliberately to make this composition much more interesting with the earth colored texture of brickwork. The visitors at the balcony really give a sense of height and scale. Good work
giorgimer (34941) 2008-06-16 14:36
excellent detail, I like the human presence giving the right scale.
bostankorkulugu (42412) 2008-06-16 15:57
yine notla beraber daha da anlam kazanan şık bir kare bülent bey...
ağustosa az kaldı:)...
zeynepe (0) 2008-06-17 7:51
Merhaba Bülent Bey,
Bir daha dünyaya gelsem ne yapardım ??? Floransa'da sanat tarihi okurdum herhalde...
Mükemmel bir bakış açınızla ve etkileyici notunuzla bu güzel detayları yakalamaya devam ediyorsunuz:)
robertosalguero (284) 2008-06-17 8:24
Your editor notes are always very interesting because of the historica facts you present. The image is very pretty and the dome seem to be an excllent place to go up and see the city. Nice perspective with the other tower framing the dome. Exposure and details are very good. Lovely shot Bulent :-)
papagolf21 (98520) 2008-06-17 13:53
Bonsoir, mon bon ami Bulent,
J'aime beaucoup cette presque apposition de deux édifices architecturaux.
L'effet désiré est fort bien mis en valeur. J'aime également la présence de personnages dominant le dôme.
Une photo très originale quant au cadrage et au choix du sujet.
agustos07 (973) 2008-06-17 22:16
Güzel bir detay, hos bir bakis açisi, netlik ve renkler nefis. Ekdeki bilgiler için ayrica tesekkürler.
tober (8797) 2008-06-18 18:41
Merhaba Sayın Hocam, fotoğraflarınız ve bilgi notlarınızla Floransa ve Leonardo hakkında hiç bilmediğim ayrıntıları öğrenmiş oluyorum. Floransa'yı hiç görmedim. Ama bir gün gitmeyi tasarlarsam, ön çalışmamı kitap ve broşürlerden önce sizin fotoğraf ve notlarınızdan yararlanarak yapacağım. Çok saygılar, Tlga
albertz (2468) 2008-06-19 21:15
The framing of the wall on the right side is a brilliant idea with the subject well centered. But what i like most is the accompaniment of a superlative note giving me much desire to read. excellent work.
Angshu (56750) 2008-06-20 21:42
Hello Professor 'A'
Learnt something new again thanks to your photos and informative notes, the interesting story about Leonardo's first engineering project. The composition which includes the part of the tower with the observation deck full of people works very well. A very creative use of natural frame here. The post is excellent especially with the gilded ball of 2 meters & the people standing there in the balcony, providing the scale to comprehend the real size of the ball. Excellent work!
meltemi (0) 2008-06-22 2:04
Hello Dear Bulent,
professional work in this one. Fine framing to benefit from the elegant tower/campanile in the foreground. Fine choice of shooting angle to make the maximum of the graphical impact provided by this old architecture. Good inclusion of human element, and nice framing to show this dome at its best. Very interesting note as well.
All the best.
pablominto (53746) 2008-06-22 3:55
Excellent details in the tower architecture!
Inclusion of the wall to the right side makes nice framing, and the people on the viewing platform give good scaling...
The fine light renders great colours!
wishlist (4133) 2008-06-23 8:45
I really enjoyed your note, so informative and interesting as always, as well as the view of this beautiful picture. The inclusion of the people in the shot is important to give us the right scale of what is the real size of the ball. Quality is good throughout with well balanced colours and well visible details. A flawless picture and presentation for a great TE package.
Many thanks and best regards,
alvaraalto (9458) 2008-06-23 13:45
Excellent POV of the top of the Dome. The tower on the right gives depth and scale to the image. Lovely sunny day, much better than the time I was in Florence.
Tue (34478) 2008-06-24 15:31
Great to see the detailed views of the two towers. The quality is excellent with a good sharpness. The many people on top of the dome are a nice inclusion and add a nice idea of scale. The other tower is really well placed on the right hand side. Beautiful photo work, thanks for sharing!
Docarmo (9639) 2008-06-25 7:50
What a big tower! When I noticed the people there, dimensions of the building changed abruptly in a giant size in my mind - a strong visual impact!
Then, I read your note - excellent as always it is.
Superior quality of sharpness and luminosity!
Congratulations and thanks for sharing,
capthaddock (28790) 2008-06-25 9:19
Good architechtural detail, the summertime crowds of tourists are also interesting, and give scale.
riclopes (35577) 2008-06-27 23:00
Surprising image, Bulent. I would never guess the size of golden ball in the thumbnails. If it wasn't the tiny people seen on the balcony I would imagine a much smaller top of cupula. Great architecture detail and excellent 'intrusion' of the stone tower into the image. Very good interesting note, as usual.
evanrizo (456) 2008-07-03 11:40
Impressive image Bulent, clever framed-composed.
tetixxx (2383) 2008-07-05 9:28
çok güzel yerleştirmişsiniz kadrajı..kuledeki insanların varlığıda yapıların büyüklüğünü gösteriyor..ellerinize sağlık..
MarianneS (15338) 2008-07-24 13:59
Nice composition, I like the presence of the building on the right. But I am wonder how high it is because people seem to be so small in comparison with the tower.
I have never been to Florence but wish I will one day, as I heard it is a wonderful city.
ilDottore (5252) 2008-10-27 7:56
Dear Professor Atalay,
Thank you for sharing this interesting photo.
But your story is absolutely necessary here to explain us, what on this photo should be a most admired element.
Probably, visiting Florenc,e I would never pay my attention on this particular detail.
Thanks your note I'll have the occasion to wake up the respect in my family for my deep historical knowledge! :)))
Greetings from Dublin
loves_summer (1310) 2008-12-04 22:37
Original POV and good sharpness. This dome is a wonder of engineering and so is the spire on top. Great capture and descriptive note!
CanmoreKevin (2111) 2012-08-25 15:46
Looking way back here, but great example of math/science meets art. I spent a lot of time looking at this dome from the inside and out. The people at the lantern give a great sense of scale.
- Copyright: Bulent Atalay (batalay) (38511)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2007-07-13
- Categories: Architecture
- Camera: Nikon D-70, 28-200mm F3.5-5.6 ED AF Zoom Nikkor, 62mm UV
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): DOMES, SPIRES AND MINARETS [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2008-06-10 9:13