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Photographer's Note

PORTAL I — TROGIR CATHEDRAL

The idea of posting the portal of a church was inspired by a pair of excellent photographs by Philippe Guillard (papagolf21), Eardrum of a Church and Why the Heads were Cut. Indeed, I am posting a pair of images of portals and dedicating them to Philippe. This is the first.

This basilica, set on the foundations of an early Christian church, was built in large part during the Romanesque Period of 13th century. Its vaulted ceiling dates from the 14th century, and displays Gothic features. Although construction commenced in 1193, it took four centuries to complete. The 47 m (154 ft) bell tower alone took two centuries to erect, and the various courses feature characteristic styles of several periods — Gothic in the lowest course, Venetian Flower Gothic in the second, a pyramidal structure in the top, adorned by sculpture in the Mannerist style. The 16th century bell-tower with its four statues was built in the Mannerist style.

The single most salient feature of the Trogir Cathedral, however, is not in its architecture, but in its art — a magnificent Romanesque portal (1240), the masterwork of one of Croatia's greatest sculptors, Master Radovan. This two-piece portal depicts scenes from the Gospel and the birth of Christ. The doorway is busy with scenes of everyday life, pictures of saints and apostles, exotic animals, sirens and centaurs. A pair of lions flanks the portal, and serves as seats for statues of Adam and Eve, respectively (these are not seen in the photo).

On three occasions in the past I had posted images of Trogir, and provided more comprehensive history on the town of Trogir.
#1 The Red Boat;
#2 Green Net…Red Boat; and
#3 One Day. In the first two of these one can see the majestic tower of the Cathedral of Trogir in the background.

When the subject is perfectly symmetric, I would want to accentuate its symmetry by photographing it accordingly. In this instance I was unable to take a photograph standing precisely in the center because of the crowd milling below the beautiful carving. I was able, however, to leave the crowd out of the image, holding the camera in my outstretched hands above me.

Hand held Nikon D-70, 18-70 lens; no filter, no flash, no tripod.

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6781 W: 471 N: 12169] (41261)
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