I am not an architect, and after taking this photograph in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., I had trouble finding the term for this circular opening between two floors. I asked several attendants but no one knew the architectural term for it. Finally I was directed to a young man walking down the hall, he took one look at the photo on my camera and said, “Oh, that’s an oculus.” As I struggled with how to spell “oculus”, he politely told me how to spell it and then went on to say “Oculus means round, it is Latin for the word eye, and as an architectural term it is basically anything that is round that you can see through, such as a round window, or this circular cut between two floors.” I thanked him and started to leave but a bewildered look came over his face. “Wait a second”, he said, “that is not an oculus, now that I think about it, that’s an . . . “ but before he could finish the sentence someone told him he was wanted down in the cafeteria where he worked, so he hastened away and I was left befuddled. When I got home I looked up the word “oculus” and I think that is what this is a photograph of, but then again . . .
Thank you to the groups “Canon DSLR”, “Featured Only”, “High Quality Images” and “ImageWriting” for featuring this photograph.
Camera: Canon Rebel XTi 400D