Monticello is Thomas Jefferson’s house and neoclassical architectural ideal with the perfectionism of Greeks located in Charlottesville, Virginia. Monticello is an ostentatious view. It reminds the residence of some rich oil magnate or the summerhouse of the English prince. The area around the house only adds up to the beauty of Monticello.
When I first saw the building, I was impressed with the sophistication and elegance of each feature it has. The white columns in the front part of the building and the railing on the roof make the building look particularly Greek-like and, therefore, majestic. The white cupola possesses something religious, reminding me of the Moslem mosques or Buddhists temples. The cupola seems to gather all the energy from the sun and be the most enigmatic place that hides many mysteries.
The building is a combination of different architectural features which make it especially charming: French doors and Georgian windows in combination with Greek columns and facades made of white marble, including red and yellow tulips in front of it, create an atmosphere of the utmost level of neoclassical architectural eloquence.
Monticello seems to have appeared from a fairy-tale written by someone who travelled half the world. Terraces on the roof as if prove the powerfulness of the person who lives inside – the desire to enjoy the sun at day, and observe the mysterious night sky. A person is in peace with the nature, knowing some of its hidden laws.
The shape of the building is quite difficult to describe. It does not seem to be balanced, more chaotic despite the front portico and the cupola. However, it can be only the impression due to the foreshortening of the picture. Moreover, if to look at our two-dollar bills, we would see the other side of the house which shows its harmonic architectural elements and no chaos of imbalance. There is something about the building that makes it difficult to describe with simple words – maybe it is its unusual elegance or overwhelming sophistication and certain perfectionism. However, the beauty of Monticello is undeniable.
Observing the house generates the thoughts on comfort, coziness, pleasant atmosphere of richness, and the desire to look inside. However, the house has also the feeling of an impregnable fortress where only empowered can enter. The place does not seem to be hospitable, more hostile despite its elegant beauty. Probably, this impression is due to the windows – despite their beauty, they do not invite to come closer.
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The terraces compel a strong desire to have a walk there. I have an impression that the view, which will open up from the terrace, can be quite breathtaking; otherwise they would not circumfuse the whole roof of Monticello. These terraces also remind me of the Royal evening parties of the Renaissance epoch where only the most well-known people of the society can be invited. The ladies walk in the posh dresses, holding delicate umbrellas, and smiling modestly and amiably at each other, whereas men in tuxedos and with amusing knobbed staffs under their arms and pipes between their teeth enthusiastically discuss the last news of the country. I think this impression is created with the help of the Greek elements and unusual cupola in the exterior design.
The colors of Monticello are warm. They make the building look a little bit oriental. The cold white, however, makes the architecture unreachable for everyone, just for the chosen ones. In spite of the diversity of different elements, in the architectural design, they all are quite complementary and do not make the building look like it lacks unity.
In conclusion, I would like to say that Monticello is a great example of the neoclassical art which proves that tasteful combination of even opposite elements can create a majestic view with unspeakable beauty, when the architect puts his soul into his piece of art.