An Oculus, circular window, or “rain-hole” (Latin: compluvium) is a feature of Classical architecture since the 16th century. They are often denoted by their French name, oeil de boeuf, or “bull’s-eye”. Such circular or oval windows express the presence of a mezzanine on a building’s façade without competing for attention with the major fenestration. Circular windows set in dormers have been a feature of French Classical architecture since the beginning of the seventeenth century. For structural reasons, they are also found as the portholes of ships.

Oculus (plural oculi),the name of the round opening in the top of the dome of the Pantheon in Rome, and in reference to other round windows, openings, and skylights.

The Oculus in the Pantheon, Rome, has always been open to the weather, allowing rain to enter and fall to the floor, where it is carried away through drains. In the picture, sunlight streams through the opening and strikes the lower part of the dome. The bright opening and the surrounding smooth concrete above the coffering resembles an eye, giving the opening its name.

I am a simple man who loves making photographs and spending time with my wife and daughter. I am fortunate to be able to spend a good amount of time on personal projects, travelling and collaborating with a team of rad people. I make my bed in Qormi, Malta

View Full Profile


  • Redbubble Community  Team
    Redbubble Comm...about 2 years ago

    I’d love to see rain streaming through this oculus onto the floors….. sounds beautiful! – Rosemary

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

10%off for joining

the Redbubble mailing list

Receive exclusive deals and awesome artist news and content right to your inbox. Free for your convenience.