Cobre em Mumford (1938)

If the ear was stirred, the eye was even more deeply delighted. The craftsman who had walked through the fields and woods on holiday, came back to his stone-carving or his wood-working with a rich harvest of impressions to be transferred to his work. The buildings, so far from being “quaint,” were as bright and clean as a medieval illumination, often covered with whitewash, so that all the colors of the image makers in paint or glass or polychromed wood would dance on the walls, even as the shadows quivered like sprays of lilac on the fagades of the more richly carved buildings. (Patina and picturesqueness were the results of time’s oxidation: not original attributes of the architecture.) Common men thought and felt in images, far more than in the verbal abstractions used by scholars: esthetic discipline might lack a name, but its fruit were everywhere visible. Did not the citizens of Florence vote as to the type of column that was to be used on the Cathedral? Image makers carved statues, painted triptychs, decorated the walls of the cathedral, the guild hall, the town hall, the burgher’s house: color and design [51] were everywhere the normal accompaniment of the practical daily tasks. There was visual excitement in the array of goods in the open market: velvets and brocades, copper and shining steel, tooled leather and brilliant glass, to say nothing of foods arranged in their panniers under the open sky. Wander around the survivals of these medieval markets today. Whether they he as drab as the Jews’ Market in Whitechapel, or as spacious as that on the Plain Palais at Geneva, they still have some of the excitement of their medieval prototypes. (Mumford 1938:50-1)

MUMFORD, Lewis. 1938. The Culture of Cities. San Diego: Harvest/HBJ.