Monday, January 2, 2012

Pasadena City Hall

City Hall afternoon   20" x 24"  oil on canvas
Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to get back to work!  I recently completed a painting of the Pasadena City Hall with its impressive central rotunda.  Instead of creating the composition dead-on at the entrance, I decided a more interesting view was from the north corner of City Hall, creating a dramatic perspective of the receding building.  Rather than choose the brightly lit side, I liked how the central tower was largely in shade revealing only a few thin slivers of bright illumination from the intense late afternoon sunlight.  I also played down the cars parked in front of the building.  I wanted to represent the place and its architecture similar to a classic European cathedral and piazza.

The Pasadena City Hall, originally completed in 1927, is a significant example of the City Beautiful movement of the 1920’s.  It was designed by the San Francisco architectural firm of Bakewell and Brown who drew upon the style of the 16th century Italian architect Andrea Palladio for their inspiration.  The massive central tower and dome is over 200 above street level.   Pasadena City Hall was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on July 28, 1980 as a contributor to the Pasadena Civic Center District.

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