My professional interests in Art History are many. I am what we call today a generalist. In particular, I am fascinated by the inter-cultural interactions and influences that lead to the creation of new forms and styles both in Art and in Architecture.
Here is an example of such influences that I noted when I traveled in Greece:
The Image on the left (above) is the Erechtheion (420's BC), an ancient Greek temple situated on the north side of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. You may know of the more famous porch of this temple, the porch of the Caryatids on its south side. The image on the right is a detail of the north porch of the Erechtheion showing the marble ceiling with its coffers. Coffers are the recessed square panels between the beams.
Below is an interior view of the Pantheon in Rome, Italy. The Pantheon is a Roman temple (120's CE) and its name means in Greek "to all gods." On the interior of the dome you can also see ceiling coffers similar to those in Erechthion.
In both structures the coffers help reduce the weight of the ceilings and create decorative patterns at the same time. Note also the play of light and shade in the coffers that accentuate the plasticity of the ceiling. These photos also show the influence of the Greek architectural vocabulary on Roman architecture.
There are similar examples of artistic influences in other cultures around the world.