Pendentives are the triangular curving segments that support a dome and transfer its weight to the pillars below. They were introduced by Byzantine architects who first used it on a large scale at Hagia Sophia in today's Istanbul. Its use allowed for more extensive unobstructed interior expanses as well as the enclosure of a square opening with a circular dome. Pendentives provide surfaces that can be decorated with either mosaics, frescoes, or sculpture reliefs. Examples of pendentive mosaics include the Four Doctors of the Church in the Gregorian Chapel at St. Peter's (1580s), executed by the Mannerist artist Girolamo Muziano. Pinturicchio frescoed the pendentives in the retro-choir of Santa Maria del Popolo, Rome (1508), with the same theme. Terracotta reliefs by Donatello in the pendentives of the Old Sacristy, San Lorenzo, Florence (1421-1428), and those by Luca della Robbia in the Pazzi Chapel (1433-1461) in the same city provide sculptural examples.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pendentive — Pen*den tive, n. [F. pendentif, fr. L. pendere to hang.] (Arch.) (a) The portion of a vault by means of which the square space in the middle of a building is brought to an octagon or circle to receive a cupola. (b) The part of a groined vault… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pendentive — 1727, from Fr. pendentif (mid 16c.), from L. pendentem “hanging” (see PENDENT (Cf. pendent) (adj.)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • pendentive — [pen den′tiv] n. [Fr pendentif < L pendens, prp. of pendere, to hang: see PENDANT] Archit. one of the triangular pieces of vaulting springing from the corners of a rectangular area, serving to support a rounded or polygonal dome: usually… …   English World dictionary

  • pendentive — /pen den tiv/, n. Archit. 1. any of several spandrels, in the form of spherical triangles, forming a transition between the circular plan of a dome and the polygonal plan of the supporting masonry. 2. any of several masonry devices, as squinches… …   Universalium

  • Pendentive — A pendentive is a constructive device permitting the placing of a circular dome over a square room or an elliptical dome over a rectangular room. The pendentives, which are triangular segments of a sphere, taper to points at the bottom and spread …   Wikipedia

  • Pendentive —    Spherical triangles of brick or stone that fill in the corners of four arches to create a continuous surface for the base for a dome (q.v.) to rest on. It solves the problem, as does the squinch (q.v.), of how to put a round dome over a square …   Historical dictionary of Byzantium

  • pendentive — noun Etymology: French pendentif, from Latin pendent , pendens, present participle of pendēre Date: circa 1741 one of the concave triangular members that support a dome over a square space …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • pendentive — noun The concave triangular sections of vaulting that provide the transition between a dome and the square base on which it is set and transfer the weight of the dome. <! from wikipedia Dome article …   Wiktionary

  • pendentive —    A concave, triangular piece of masonry (a triangle section of a hemisphere), four of which provide the transition from a square area to the circular base of a covering dome. Although they appear to be hanging (pendant) from the dome, they in… …   Glossary of Art Terms

  • pendentive — [pɛn dɛntɪv] noun Architecture a curved triangle of vaulting formed by the intersection of a dome with its supporting arches. Origin C18: from the Fr. adjective pendentif, ive, from L. pendent , pendere hang down …   English new terms dictionary

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