Bridges 2010 Regular Paper
Types of Repetition and Multistable Perception in the Frieze Patterns on the Marble Pavement of the Cathedral of Siena
(Proceedings pages 43–50)
The marble pavement of the Cathedral in the Tuscan city of Siena
in Italy has been described as one of the marvels of the world.
Over the centuries much has been written about its biblical and
political characters, the stories depicted in its figurative mosaics,
the artists responsible for creating the mosaics, the types of
marble used, and the history of their construction. The many frieze
patterns framing the figurative mosaics are marvels of geometric
design, and yet, they have been conspicuously overlooked in the
vast literature concerning this pavement. Here these geometric
frieze patterns are analyzed in terms of a typology of patterns of
repetition, as well as from the point of view of the optical effects,
such as multistable perception, that they engender in the viewer.