rise sheer from

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october15

Senior Member
Portugal-Portuguese
Context:

The Church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição is a gaudy of maneirist fancies and frenetic painted decoration that seemed to rise sheer from the dark water as we drew into the wharf.

The character is critical about the church decoration, and is discribing the village in oposition to the orderly geometrical patterns of the mingling waters of the two rivers.

Could the highlighted expression infer "in sheer contrast with"?

october15
 
  • xqby

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    Structures and geological formations can be described as "sheer" when they rise up in a straight line. "Sheer cliffs," for instance. It's describing the geometry of the church, rather than how it appeared in context.
     
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