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I've heard it argued that the white marble, limestone (and whitewash) of Mediterranean buildings, as well as reducing the impact of the sun, enhance the architecture of the buildings of ancient Greece and Roman; that the styles that arose, the ornament that developed and the massing that was adopted, came about, in part, because of the way the bright Mediterranean sun is able to throw such forms into sharp relief against their attendant shadows. Those who hold such views often advance in support of their argument the suggestion that the Gothic style developed in less brightly lit Northern Europe because it was more suited to the lower levels of sunlight. I've never found these arguments very convincing. Venetian Gothic, for example, looks just as sharp as Classical architecture under bright sunlight. Were Gothic cathedrals painted white they would look sharper still.
Moreover, Classical styles in Northern Europe, when seen under clear blue skies, show similar qualities to Mediterranean examples. I thought this a couple of days ago when I passed the Classically-styled Methodist church in Bourne, Lincolnshire. It was newly painted white and positively shone in the sunlight, the shadows of its pilasters, pediment and architrave looking like they were drawn with a ruler. Quite a contrast, in fact, to the surrounding, unadorned, bricks and mortar.
photograph and text © Tony Boughen
Camera: Nikon D5300
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 23mm (34mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f8
Shutter Speed: 1/800 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On