Sunday, April 29, 2012

So I have been thinking about how I am going to design the capitals for my cloister. I have a good idea how I want them to be. They need to be very simple because I will be using Styrofoam and I want the patterns to come through. Here are a few sketches I have come up with. The first is a very basic block style. The second would be a very simple outline of an angel which are featured on historiated or figured capitals. These all feature how the Roman double columns I plan to use would fit into the capitals. The figure in the bottom right corner is just a sketch of something I am not going to do, but would be awesome. The left column of the the two columns is decorated with mosaic which is seen in some more Byzantine cloisters. On the right is a twisted column. A really good example of the combination of these elements is at the cloister of the Major Basilica of San Paolo fuori le Mura.

So this week I am putting the finishing touches on my prospectus to present to facilities. I also have a powerpoint slide to go along with it. My prospectus is basically a proposal of what I plan to do and how I am going to do it. Included in the prospectus is an introduction of myself and my project, why I think the project is important, why I think the project is important to Loyola, and then the actual plan with a timeline and other specifics. The prospectus will include pictures and citations as needed. So hopefully facilities will accept my plan, but it may be a while before I find out. I plan on the presentation taking about thirty minutes to be followed by questions. Hopefully facilities will have suggestions to make my project better as I am by no means an expert in building cloisters.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The cloister has not always signified a structure that encloses monastery or convent like it is thought of today. The English word "cloister" comes from the Latin word "clausura", and clausura comes from the Latin verb "claudere" or "to shut up". Rather the cloister refers to the actual law or rule of a convent or monastery that shuts off a certain group of religious by lifestyle. It most simply refers to two or three (or a small group) of religious who live together in a permanent residence under a certain rule. Depending on the specific rule the laws can be more or less strict. For example in Western Europe women were not allowed to enter a men's monastery at all or even in some cases the inner part of a nun's convent. While in Eastern Europe an Africa there existed "double monasteries" where nuns and monks practiced the same rule under the same roof. Also in some cases pious women, virigins and widows, were allowed to live with clerics and monks. It was only later that the actual enclosing structure developed with the architecture in the Middle Ages to create what today is thought of as a cloister.

              Vermeersch, Arthur. "Cloister." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 4. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 25 Apr. 2012 <>.

Monday, April 23, 2012

One does not have to travel to Europe to see medieval cloisters. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has an exhibit called "The Cloisters". This would be a great place to visit to see and learn more about medieval architecture. The website for the museum is: Fordham University in New York also has a great website that outlines the exhibit also: I think this would be a great trip for students in the Medieval Studies program at Loyola University.

         Visit The Cloisters. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Web. 22 Apr. 2012. <>.

         Galligan, John. "Cloisters - Introduction." FORDHAM.EDU. Web. 22 Apr. 2012. <>.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


 The inspiration for the style of my cloister came from the Abbey of St. Pierre in Moissac, France. I found this cloister through the Paradox Place (cited below) which is a website that has all sorts of pictures and information on many things Medieval. I plan on using the double Roman columns and some of the designs from the capitals. Although I am going to use brick on the base it will be grey and not red brick. I suggest that anyone check out this website. It also has a ton of pictures and layouts of other medieval cloisters. The site was helpful in deciding in general what a medieval cloister should look like.

           "The Cloisters of the Abbaye St-Pierre De Moissac." Adrian Fletcher Travels Renaissance & Medieval Italy, France, Spain and Britain 1,000 Pages Packed with Outstanding Photos, Stories, Books, Insights, Food, Restaurants and Travel Tips. Web. 22 Apr. 2012. <>.