The dome above the mausoleum has wooden pendentives
that are painted with magnificent decorations.
Expanding his gaze chronologically and geographically, Mathews makes splendid use of the wall paintings in the Red Monastery at Deir Anba Bishai in Egypt, conserved since 2002, although his account of Ezekiel's vision introduces some later confusion into his discussion of the hexapteryga --the sloe-eyed, six-winged celestial creatures who support God in the pendentives
of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, whom he describes as cherubim (Fig.
Mark Justiniani's installation of wood, lights, metal and mirrors is derived from the classic interior architecture of Binondo church and Manila Cathedral, replete with domed ceilings, pendentives
or curved triangles that meet the dome and the columns and saints in niches.
Nelson ends on a fascinating note, an image of the newly-revealed face of a seraphim from one of the pendentives
at Hagia Sophia, in which the modernist qualities attributed to Byzantine art are missing: here is a figure that is individualized and corporeal.
Above the staircase and atrium, a circular faceted dome, within an octagonal frame and supported by four pendentives
, dramatically descends from a great height to four columns whose steel-capped capitals terminate at the second level.
The Central Reception Room boasts a circular ceiling with pendentives
, and plasterwork in neoclassical style designed by Francesco Bernasconi.
It is also very cleverly supported by pendentives
, which act as upturned buttresses, bearing the heavy weight and spreading it evenly on the pillars and supporting walls.
The dome is supported on four pendentives
and by lower semi-domes on each side of the cross's arms.
In particular, though usually regarded merely as symptomatic of architect Brunelleschi's emulation of Roman architectural forms, the row of nine domed vaults with pendentives
capping the renowned facade loggia of the Hospital of the Innocents in Florence (1419-27) may owe something as well to the forms and ideas addressed in this essay insofar as those cupolas tend to isolate each bay from its neighbors.
However, there were also structural problems associated with the piers supporting the pendentives
, drum, and dome of Soufflot's creation, and it was Jean-Baptiste Rondelet (1743-1828), Soufflot's former assistant, who emerged as the key figure in stabilising the building (although Maximilien Brebion [1716-96] and Francois 'Le Romain' Soufflot [before 1764-1802] were also important protagonists).
Above the central pool and its fountain there was probably a vaulted ceiling supported by on arcading or columns--some elements of a unique stucco ceiling have survived--and possibly a large dome set on pendentives
that would have echoed and reflected the sound of cascading water.