THE COMPOSITE ORDER

HISTORY of THE COMPOSITE ORDER

The Composite Order is considered to be wholly a Roman Order.  Although the order emerged during the Empire age, it wasn’t until the early Renaissance period that it became a separate – the fifth – Classical Order of Architecture.  Some of the first examples of the Composite use was seen on the Arch of Titus (AD 82) in the Forum in Rome and later on the Arch of Septimus Severus (c. AD 204).  The Composite Order was another favorite by the Romans – and as so – Composite columns are regularly seen on triumphal arches.

The order, itself, is incredibly similar to the Corinthian Order, but the ultimate distinguishing factor of the Composite Order is the capital section of the column, which is deemed to be a fusion of the Ionic and Corinthian capitals.  However, there had been debate among classical architects such as Serlio, Vignola, Palladio & Scamozzi in regards to the best name for this order.  It has been identified as the “Italian Order,” the “Roman Order,” the “Latin Order,” and – of course – the “Composite Order.”  Due to Palladio’s urging of the name, “Composite” (Italian: Composito) – this is the term that has become the customary title for the order as a whole – as it logically makes sense that this order is a composition of the Ionic and the Corinthian Orders.

The significance of the Composite Order is connected to the notion held by the Romans of “conquering glory,” simply because many triumphal arches showcased Composite Columns; and it is known that the combination of Roman victory and subjugator’s annihilation was an extremely formalized event (as seen in the construction of large triumphal arches).  There is a valid link between the use of a new classical order to denote an independent order that did not precisely copy the architectural styles of conquered nations.  The Composite Order, therefore, can be directly correlated to both Roman victory and humiliation of the defeated, and many Renaissance authors have associated this order with the female goddess, Victoria – a winged figure holding a victor’s wreath for crowning the emperor.

The Composite Order is classified by slender proportions and has a column height of 10 diameters.  The column shaft can either be plain or fluted.  Fluted shafts consist of (24) flutes around the column and fillets in between them, with the flutes being rounded off before meeting both the capital and the base.  The column shaft terminates downward to an Ionic (or Attic) base that consists of two convex tori (an upper and lower ring) that are divided by a concave section called a scotia.  The Composite capital, although similar in certain aspects, is what distinguishes the order from the Corinthian Order, specifically.  It has the standard inverted bell-shape platform that is separated from the column’s shaft by an astragal molding.  The bell-shape platform is divided into three rows – the bottom two with identical acanthus leaves surrounding the capital.   Two small flower accents ascend from the upper row of acanthus leaves on each face of the capital that rest below what is, essentially, an Ionic capital.  The third, and uppermost, row of the capital is made up of eight volutes (as characterized by the Ionic Order) that are diagonally positioned to support the abacus at each adjoining angle.  The square abacus has (4) concave sides that curve outwardly to a point.  Egg-and-dart molding that is typical in an Ionic capital sits directly underneath the abacus and is part of the upper row of the capital.  Each face of the abacus is adorned with a centrally-placed fleuron ornament.

The Corinthian & Composite entablatures are the tallest of all the orders at a height of 2 diameters, and the latter follows the same details that are seen in the Corinthian entablature.  It consists of 3 main parts (bottom to top):  the architrave, the frieze, and the cornice.  The architrave, in regards to detail, ranged in design – from generally plain designs to extravagant ornamentations.  The frieze typically featured a continuous panel of sculpted ornamentation.  The uppermost part of the entablature, the cornice, was the most distinct section due to its increased embellishments.  It maintained the use of dentils but also incorporated the use of bracket-like decorations that were situated under the corona and evenly spaced along the spans of the entablature.  The cornice showcased a vast repertoire of circular ornamentations, or modillions, that were highly enriched with acanthus designs.  The cymatium was the top level of the entablature, and it extended past the frieze.

Overall, the Composite Order displays sumptuous decoration that reflects a sense of triumph and grandeur.  Historically, Composite columns were utilized to represent Victory, and they seemingly represent the blending of Wisdom with Beauty.  As so, Composite columns are best utilized for projects that call for supreme opulence, prestige, and success.


PLATES

(click on the plates to review the .pdf)

The Composite Order - Plate The Composite Entablature - Plate The Composite Capital Layout - Plate The Composite Capital - Plate The Composite Base - Plate
ORDER ENTABLATURE CAP LAYOUT
CAPITAL BASE

Courtesy of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art | Renderings by: M. Gunnison Collins


CLASSICAL APPLICATIONS

•  Triumphal Arch of Septimius Severus (Roman)
view
•  Thermae of Diocletian (Roman)
view
•  Arch of Titus (Roman)
view
•  The Mausoleum of Santa Costanza (Roman)
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•  Loggia del Capitaniato (Roman)
view

Lescot Wing, the Louvre | Paris, France

Lescot Wing, the Louvre | Paris, France

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Somerset House | London, England

Somerset House | London, England

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Altarpiece capitals, St. James' Church | Goose Creek, South Carolina

Altarpiece capitals, St. James’ Church | Goose Creek, SC

 

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THE CORINTHIAN ORDER

HISTORY of THE CORINTHIAN ORDER

 

GREEK CORINTHIAN ORDER

The Corinthian Order, named so after the city of Corinth, was infrequently utilized by the Greeks in comparison to their Doric & Ionic orders, and its origin is vague simply because elements of the Corinthian Order were scattered throughout designs from a plethora of buildings.  A fun myth of the order’s origin is described by Vitruvius about the Athenian sculptor, Callimachus.  It is said that as Callimachus walked by the grave of a young Corinthian girl, he noticed a possession-filled basket placed atop the grave directly above the root of an acanthus plant.  The leaves grew to surround the basket, which was topped off with a flat, square tile that protected the goods inside.  This event is mythically said to have been the inspiration for Callimachus’ invention of the Corinthian capital, and interpretations of the capital have been sketched to show what Callimachus saw.

The establishment of the Corinthian Order did not distinguish itself, immediately, as it was first incorporated within the Ionic Order capitals.  The first noted example, at the Temple of Apollo at Bassae, appeared centrally among a troupe of Ionic columns, and this specific Corinthian-esque column holds much significance because the acanthus decoration was often linked with Grecian funeral celebrations; and the column may have been built to portray one of the many characteristics of Apollo, which was Sudden Death.

Although the Greeks did not use the Corinthian Order as much as the Doric or Ionic, one of their earlier examples of Corinthian influence was at the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates in Athens; and arguably the most recognized model of the Greek Corinthian Order is at the Tower of the Winds.  Because of the capital’s unconventional layering of acanthus leaves in only one row with only one row of water leaf designs above that, the Tower of the Winds capital distinguished itself from the Roman version of the order and, in turn, has become synonymous with the Greek Corinthian Order as a whole.  The two are often interchanged in dialogue.

The Corinthian Order, similar to the Ionic Order, is classified by slender proportions and has a column height of 10 diameters, while the column shaft is predominately fluted (24) times around with the flutes being rounded off before meeting both the capital and the base.  Post-Renaissance, Corinthian columns were also seen having no flutes.  The column shaft terminates downward to an Ionic (or Attic) base that consists of two convex tori (an upper and lower ring) that are divided by a concave section called a scotia.  The Corinthian capital is undoubtedly the most discernible aspect of the order, but details in the Greek version of the capital varied greatly because the acanthus plant has many species that reveal different-looking leaf forms.  Standard, though, is the inverted bell-shape platform that is separated from the column’s shaft by an astragal molding.  A single tier of identical acanthus leaves decorate the lower portion of the capital, with an upper tier of water leaves supporting a square abacus that has (4) concave sides that curved outwardly to a point. The only Greek exception was the Tower of the Winds capital that had a square abacus with no curvature.  In some instances, on each face of the abacus, floral ornamentation – usually an anthemion or palmette accent – was centrally positioned.

Both Corinthian & Composite entablatures are the tallest of all the orders at a height of 2 diameters, and consist of 3 main parts (bottom to top):  the architrave, the frieze, and the cornice.  The architrave, in regards to detail, is identical to the Ionic architrave – having 3 fasciae that overlay on each plane and have little to no decoration.  The frieze was typically plain or either featured a continuous panel of sculpted ornamentation.  The uppermost part of the entablature, the cornice, was the most distinct section due to its increased embellishments.  It maintained the use of dentils but also incorporated the use of bracket-like decorations that were situated under the corona and evenly spaced along the spans of the entablature.  The cymatium was the top level of the entablature, and it extended past the frieze.

Overall, the Greek Corinthian Order displays elaborate decoration that reflects a sense of lavishness and luxury.  Corinthian columns are versatile because their style can adapt to a wide spectrum of applications – and according to Vitruvius – Corinthian columns represented the delicate and pristine nature of the female persona.  As so, Greek Corinthian columns are best utilized for projects that call for supreme opulence and prestige.

 

ROMAN CORINTHIAN ORDER

          Roman architects established a deep affinity for the Corinthian Order because of its elaborate decoration, elegance, and versatility; the order quickly became a Roman favorite and was vastly utilized for structures and buildings that were constructed to honor deities.  The Corinthian archetype the Romans fancied was seen at the Temple of Zeus Olympios in Athens, and it was this order that was predominately implemented during the Empire.

A fun myth of the order’s origin is described by Vitruvius about the Athenian sculptor, Callimachus.  It is said that as Callimachus walked by the grave of a young Corinthian girl, he noticed a possession-filled basket placed atop the grave directly above the root of an acanthus plant.  The leaves grew to surround the basket, which was topped off with a flat, square tile that protected the goods inside.  This event is mythically said to have been the inspiration for Callimachus’ invention of the Corinthian capital, and interpretations of the capital have been sketched to show what Callimachus saw.

Details within the Corinthian Order, in essence, owe their beginnings to their Ionic predecessors.  The order is classified by slender proportions and has a column height of 10 diameters, while the column shaft is predominately fluted (24) times around with the flutes being rounded off before meeting both the capital and the base.  Typically, a Roman Corinthian column is fluted, but there are several examples – one being the Pantheon – where the Romans left the shaft unfluted.  Post-Renaissance, fluting was considered optional for Roman Corinthian columns.  The column shaft terminates downward to an Ionic (or Attic) base that consists of two convex tori (an upper and lower ring) that are divided by a concave section called a scotia.  The Corinthian capital is undoubtedly the most discernible aspect of the order, and the Roman Corinthian version varied greatly from the Greek version.  Standard, though, is the inverted bell-shape platform that is separated from the column’s shaft by an astragal molding.  The usual Roman Corinthian capital consisted of two tiers (as opposed to one tier by the Greeks) of 8 acanthus leaves in each tier.  NOTE:  the species of acanthus leaves used on the Greek & Roman Corinthian capitals also differed.  The Acanthus spinosus was likely the model for the Greeks due to its spikier and taller characteristics, and the Acanthus mollis was likely the model for the Romans due to its more blunt leaf ends and shorter height.  Above the upper level of acanthus leaves, rise 8 caulicoli that form the third tier of leaves and encircle the capital.  The upper portion of the caulicoli transition into helices that are positioned to support the diagonals of the abacus that has (4) concave sides that curved outwardly to a point.  Each face of the abacus is adorned with a centrally-placed fleuron ornament.

Both Corinthian & Composite entablatures are the tallest of all the orders at a height of 2 diameters, and consist of 3 main parts (bottom to top):  the architrave, the frieze, and the cornice.  The architrave, in regards to detail, ranged in design – from generally plain designs to extravagant ornamentations.  The frieze typically featured a continuous panel of sculpted ornamentation.  The uppermost part of the entablature, the cornice, was the most distinct section due to its increased embellishments.  It maintained the use of dentils but also incorporated the use of bracket-like decorations that were situated under the corona and evenly spaced along the spans of the entablature.  The cornice showcased a vast repertoire of circular ornamentations and modillions, that were highly enriched with acanthus designs.  The cymatium was the top level of the entablature, and it extended past the frieze.

Overall, the Roman Corinthian Order displays sumptuous decoration that reflects a sense of lavishness and luxury.  Corinthian columns are versatile because their style can adapt to a wide spectrum of applications – and according to Vitruvius – Corinthian columns represented the delicate and pristine nature of the female persona.  As so, Roman Corinthian columns were favored for use on religious, civic, and imposing buildings; they are best utilized for projects that call for supreme opulence and prestige.


PLATES

(click on the plates to review the .pdf)

The Corinthian Order Layout - Plate The Corinthian Order Entablature - Plate The Corinthian Order Capital Layout - Plate The Corinthian Capital - Plate The Corinthian Base - Plate The Corinthian Order In Design - Plate
LAYOUT
ENTABLATURE
CAP LAYOUT
CAPITAL
BASE
IN DESIGN

Courtesy of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art  |  Renderings by:  M. Gunnison Collins


CLASSICAL APPLICATIONS

•  Choragic Monument of Lysicrates (Greek)
view
•  Tower of the Winds (Greek)
view
•  The Temple of Zeus Olympios (Roman)
view
•  The Temple of ‘Jupiter Stator’ (Roman)
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•  The Maison Carrée (Roman)
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roman-corinthian-columns-pic-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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roman-corinthian-columns-pic-1

THE IONIC ORDER

HISTORY of THE IONIC ORDER

GREEK IONIC ORDER

The Ionic Order derives from the Grecians who occupied Ionia, a Greek city-state that neighbored the Greek islands predominately around the middle of the 6th century.  The development of this order gave way to more noticeably complex, elaborate, and ornate detailing, which was a clear deviation and evolution of the earlier Doric Order – that was, in essence, more primitive and austere.

The most obvious features of the Ionic Order were its more slender proportions as well as the unique volutes, or scrolls, of the capital.  Vitruvius correlated the Ionic Order with femininity by linking the column’s slender proportions to the female figure and associating the capital’s scrolls to the curls of a woman’s hair.  This connection between column and female figure was also seen in early Egyptian temples honoring female deities, such as the constructed caryatid of the goddess Hathor.  It is believed that the first Ionic columns were constructed and represented the Greek goddesses, Hera (island of Samos) and, Artemis (in Ephesus).

Although the origins of the Ionic Order are clear, the origins of the Ionic capital – itself – are obscure.  Egyptian artwork conveys scroll-like capital details that many have said resemble rams’ horns, shells, or even the scroll pattern of rolled-up papyrus; and many ancient Ionic capitals possess spirals that mimic the curvature of plant life.  Some of the earliest Greek Ionic capitals are seen at the temple of Apollo, in Bassae as well as at the Erechtheum, in Athens.

Typically, the Ionic Order is exemplified by slender proportions and has a column height between 8 and 9-1/2 diameters, while the column shaft is predominately fluted (24) times around with the flutes being rounded off instead of ending at both the top and bottom of the column shaft.  The column shaft terminates downward to an Ionic (or Attic) base that consists of two convex tori (an upper and lower ring) that are divided by a concave section called a scotia.  The earliest Attic bases did not have square plinths below the base molding.  Flutes at the top of the column shaft are also rounded off before meeting the capital’s echinus that is generally ornamented on the front and back with egg-and-dart detailing above a bead-and-reel molding pattern.  The echinus transitions into two, parallel pairs of volutes that are around 2/3 the diameter of the column shaft in height and are topped off by a rectangular abacus, which is greatly smaller than the abacus in the Doric Order; and the abacus is generally enriched with a molded pattern – such as a lamb’s tongue design, for instance – around its rim.  Occasionally, in between the top of the column shaft and the bottom of the capital’s echinus featured an extended neck that was adorned with palmette, anthemion, or honeysuckle ornamentation, as seen on the columns at the Erechtheion.

Ionic entablatures are approximately 1/5 of the height of the Order as a whole and consist of 3 main parts (bottom to top):  the architrave, the frieze, and the cornice.  The architrave has three fasciae that overlay on each plane that have little to no decoration.  Early Greek entablatures omitted the frieze section, but other examples show friezes that were unadorned and generously fabricated with relief sculptures.  Triglyphs were excluded in order to avoid vertical interruption altogether.  The uppermost part of the entablature, the cornice, has no mutules but displays rich dentils underneath the ovolo; and the corona and cyma recta molding top off the cornice section of the Ionic entablature – both of which project over the frieze.

Overall, the Greek Ionic Order displays more elaborate decoration than seen within the Greek Doric Order – and according to Vitruvius – Greek Ionic columns were representative of female figures all the way from the captials’ volutes (a woman’s hair) to the flutes on the column shaft, which signified the folds of a woman’s dress.  As so, Greek Ionic columns are best utilized for projects that call for elegance and sophistication.

ROMAN IONIC ORDER

As with the Doric Order, the Romans were not unfamiliar with the Greek’s application and elements of the Ionic Order, and they gradually made distinct modifications to several areas in what is considered the framework of the Greek Ionic Order.  However – for Roman architecture – the Ionic order was not as favored as the Corinthian Order or the Roman’s very own, Composite Order.  One of the notable Roman applications of the Ionic Order is seen at the Temple of Fortuna Virilis.

The most obvious features of the Ionic Order, still implemented by Roman architects, were its more slender proportions as well as the unique volutes, or scrolls, of the capital.  While the volutes were a universal identifier of the Ionic Order, the Romans created other variations of Ionic capitals.  Generally, Roman Ionic capitals seemed smaller than the most familiar Greek counterparts; and whereas a typical Greek Ionic capital had a pair of two parallel volutes, the Romans invented an Ionic capital with four identical sides – each possessing volutes that are equally angled.  Another popular practice for Roman Ionic capitals was to position the volutes at all four corners of the capital – giving it a total of (8) volutes.  This method was used to avoid the abrupt ending of a column that was situated at the corner of a structure.  The 16th century Renaissance architect Vincenzo Scamozzi created a version of this 4-sided capital, known – respectively – as the Scamozzi capital.

As mentioned in the History of the Greek Ionic Order, Vitruvius correlated the Ionic Order with femininity by linking the column’s slender proportions to the female figure and associating the capital’s scrolls to the curls of a woman’s hair.  This connection between column and female figure was also seen in early Egyptian temples honoring female deities, such as the constructed caryatid of the goddess Hathor.

The Roman Ionic Order still showcased columns with leaner proportions that had a height between 8 and 9-1/2 diameters.  In some instances, Roman architects reduced the height to 7 diameters, but the previous is what is widely considered standard even today.

Greek column shafts were always fluted, but Roman Ionic column shafts could be either fluted or unfluted.  The shaft in the Ionic Order as a whole, though, is predominately fluted (24) times around with the flutes being rounded off instead of ending at both the top and bottom of the column shaft.  The column shaft terminates downward – with a congé on the shaft – to an Ionic (or Attic) base that consists of two convex tori (an upper and lower ring) that are divided by a concave section called a scotia.  Below the slightly larger torus (lower ring), the moldings sat atop a square plinth that was 1/3 the height of the base moldings.  In some occasions, the complete column stood on top of a pedestal.

Flutes at the top of the column shaft are also rounded off before meeting the capital’s echinus that is generally ornamented on the front and back with egg-and-dart detailing above a bead-and-reel molding pattern.  Volutes on capitals that are positioned at an angle extend below the small, ornamented bead-molding.

Roman Ionic entablatures frequently dawned ornamentation at every possible location of the entablature, and they are approximately 1/5 of the height of the Order as a whole.  The entablature is broken down into 3 main parts (bottom to top):  the architrave, the frieze, and the cornice.  The architrave has three fasciae that overlay on each plane – the bottom which rested on top of the capital’s abacus.  The frieze regularly showcased garlands, putti, and other accents that appeared opulent.  At the Thermae of Diocletian, pulvinated friezes were first introduced.  Triglyphs were excluded in order to avoid vertical interruption altogether.  The uppermost part of the entablature, the cornice, has no mutules but displays rich dentils underneath the ovolo; and the corona and cyma recta molding top off the cornice section of the Ionic entablature – both of which project over the frieze and help support a projecting roof.  For the most part, Roman Ionic entablatures were highly decorated to convey a lavish and magnificent lifestyle.

Overall, the Roman Ionic Order can be associated with a female figure all the way from the capitals’ volutes (a woman’s hair) to the flutes on the column shaft, which signified the folds of a woman’s dress.  Many scholars have also correlated the Ionic Order with both wisdom and grace.  As so, Roman Ionic columns are best utilized for projects that call for elegance and sophistication.


PLATES

(click on the plates to review the .pdf)

The Ionic Order - Plate The Ionic Order Layout - Plate The Ionic Order Entablature - Plate The Ionic Volute - Plate The Ionic Order In Design - Plate
ORDER LAYOUT ENTABLATURE VOLUTE IN DESIGN
Courtesy of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art  |  Renderings by:  M. Gunnison Collins

CLASSICAL APPLICATIONS

•  Temple of Minerva Polias (Greek)
view
•  The Erechtheion, Athens (Greek)
view
•  Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae (Greek)
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•  Temple of Fortuna Virilis (Roman)
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•  S. Maria Maggiore Basilica (Roman)
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Ionic Order - Roman Ionic Plain Columns - Chadsworth Columns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE DORIC ORDER

HISTORY of THE DORIC ORDER

GREEK DORIC ORDER

The application of Post & Beam as a structural entity was collectively practiced by many early civilizations – such as the Cretan and the Minoan – that predate the wave of classical Grecian architecture.   Architectural intricacies of what is now considered as the Doric Order appeared in Egyptian work, like the colonnade from the funerary temple of Queen Hatshepsut (1480 B.C.).

Although elements of the Doric Order observed in the most primitive applications of architecture existed before the canonization of the 5 Classical Orders of Architecture, the Greeks are widely recognized for compiling the strands of architectural thought to form a precedence that could be classified and defined in all its elements.  Most notably, the Parthenon in Athens – since the mid 18th century – has been considered as the model of proportions and antiquity.

Highly distinguished as the earliest and the simplest of the classical orders, Greek Doric columns have a height (including the capital) between 4 and 6-1/2 times their diameter and consist of a capital and column shaft with no molded base.  Instead, Greek Doric columns sat directly on a stylobate, or a tiered step-structure.  The column shaft has a convex profile (or entasis) and typically consists of 20 shallow, concave vertical flutes; occasionally, the Greek Doric shafts were left unfluted to give them a more archaic and sturdy look.  On fluted columns, the shaft ends when the flutes meet a band of 3 horizontal grooves, or hypotrachelion, at which point the flutes continue upward onto the columns’ neck.  The top of the necking consists of horizontal rings called annulets, which signify the end of the column shaft and the beginning of the Greek Doric capital.  Above the annulets, the column transitions upward to the capital portion which is first introduced to a convex, cushion-like component called the echinus that supports a plain, square abacus – thus ending the column section of the Greek Doric Order and leading into the Greek Doric entablature.

Vitruvius sets the prototype for the Greek Doric entablature, which consists of 3 main parts (bottom to top):  the architrave, the frieze, and the cornice.  The architrave consists of two bands – the lower band consisting of a flat face and the upper band consisting of flat molding (or taenia) that contains, underneath, guttae – or drops that resemble a cone like shape.  There are generally 18 total guttae, broken up into three rows of 6 that lie underneath the mutules.  The frieze is most noticeable for its triglyphs that are positioned directly over the column’s center-line as well as directly over the center-line within the spacing of each column.  The uppermost portion of the entablature, the cornice, is broken up in two portions – the cymatium and the corona – both of which project over the frieze.

Overall, the Doric Order commonly displays minimal decoration, and according to Vitruvius – Doric columns were traditionally representative in form to the stature of a man’s body because of their broad proportions and utilitarian, structural purposes.  As so, Greek Doric columns are best utilized for projects that require a sense of stability and refinement.

ROMAN DORIC ORDER

Even before the Roman conquest of Greek colonies in southern Italy, Roman architecture’s assimilation of the Grecian architectural form was already in motion.  Although Roman architects implemented the Greek’s use of the Doric Order, they gradually made significant modifications to many components of the Doric Order.  The Theatre of Marcellus in Rome is an early, prime example of an application that blends both Greek traditional standards and Roman architectural advancements of the Doric Order as a whole.  In this paradigm, the columns mimic the Greek Doric style by excluding the base portion of the column and simply resting the shaft on an elevated surface; whereas, Roman influence includes a plain column shaft that is more slender (7.65 diameters high) leading up to a simplified ring, or astragal, that signified the end of the column shaft and beginning of the neck leading up to a Tuscan-like capital.

As the Roman Doric Order continued to evolve (throughout 400 centuries), additional modules appeared within the order that are more representative of what is currently acknowledged as the Roman Doric Order, and due in large part to the advancement of printing, we are able to reflect on different versions of the orders from a variety of Renaissance authors and architects.  Agreeably, the column is 8 diameters high with a fluted shaft.  Also, a base molding and a plinth was added to the bottom of the column shaft to show the termination of the column itself.  The two styles of base moldings introduced were the Roman Doric style and the Ionic [Attic] style – both which sat atop a flat, square plinth.  The necking of the column, above the astragal, often was adorned with 4 or 8 decorative rosettes or paterae. (See our Renaissance Doric capital).  The astragal may be ornamented with a bead-and-reel molding, while the echinus may display a decorative egg-and-dart pattern around the molding.

The Roman Doric entablature also experienced modifications as the architrave was occasionally divided into two fasciae that were sometimes plain and sometimes decorated.  The frieze maintained triglyphs positioned at the column’s center (and not touching at the frieze’s angles), but the frieze’s metopes were often garnished with rosettes, paterae, or bucrania.  The cornice was also more elaborate as it showcased dentils on the bed-moldings, and its soffit was richly decorated with guttae and geometrical moldings spaced between the mutules.

Although modified, the Roman Doric Order was still associated with sturdiness and masculinity, and according to Serlio, Roman Doric columns were suitable for the application in churches dedicated to specific male Saints who may have participated in military action.  Overall, the Roman Doric Order is observed as simplistic with slight ornamentation, having broad proportions and practical when a project’s objective is to appear firm and stout.


PLATES

(click on the plates to review the .pdf)

The Doric Order - Plate The Doric Layout - Plate Denticulated Doric - Plate Mutulary Doric - Plate Mutulary Doric Pediment - Plate Doric Order Spacing - Plate Doric Order In Design - Plate
DORIC ORDER
DORIC LAYOUT
DENTICULATED DORIC
MUTULARY DORIC
MUTULARY PEDIMENT
   DORIC    SPACING
   IN    DESIGN

Courtesy of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art  |  Renderings by:  M. Gunnison Collins


CLASSICAL APPLICATIONS

•  The Parthenon (Greek)
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•  The Lion Tomb at Cnidos (Greek)
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•  The Temple of Hephaestus (Greek)
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•  The Roman Doric temple at Cori (Roman)
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•  The Theatre of Marcellus (Roman)
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Mahogany Wood Greek Doric Fluted Column by Chadsworth Columns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exterior Fluted Fiberglass Greek Doric Columns by Chadsworth Columns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interior Wood Fluted Roman Doric Columns with Attic Bases by Chadsworth Columns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exterior Plain Roman Doric Columns with Roman Doric Bases by Chadsworth Columns

THE TUSCAN ORDER

HISTORY of THE TUSCAN ORDER

The Tuscan Order, or what may be considered a simplified version of the Doric Order, originates in the temples built by the Etruscans, native Italic people whose civilization predates the foundation of Rome and at its height encompassed the areas around Rome known as Latium and Campania. The Etruscans were known to the Greeks and featured prominently in the early history of Rome before they were fully assimilated into the Roman Republic. The Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, which was on the Capitoline Hill in Rome, is among the best known Tuscan style temples.
             First described by Vitruvius, but not codified until the Renaissance, the Tuscan Order has a column height of seven diameters, widely spaced columns possible due to its having a wood architrave, and simple, bold molding profiles.  Etruscan temples had a stone base, but the upper levels were largely made of wood, mud, and terracotta, hence archeological evidence is scant.  To protect these vulnerable upper walls, the Etruscan temple incorporated a roof with a deeply projecting eave to shed water away from temple.
             Generally, the Tuscan Order is characterized by squat proportions and its simple base and capital. Its capital is composed of a square abacus, which is sometimes finished with a fillet, a round echinus, and a fillet prior to the neck of the column.  The neck is separated from the column shaft by a round astragal and fillet before the hypophyge curves down to the column shaft, which is smooth, without flutes.  A Tuscan base, from the Renaissance onwards, is composed of a square plinth and a round torus topped by a fillet before the apophyge curves up into the shaft of the column.  Both archeological evidence and Vitruvius, however, describe the plinth as round. Either plinth would be correct today.
              The Tuscan entablature was simply a wood architrave supporting the deeply overhanging roof, but Renaissance authors show the entablature with its typical three parts of architrave, frieze and cornice.  In some treatises the architrave is shown split into two fasciae, and in others, only one.  Some authors also show an ovolo instead of a cyma recta for the cymatium of the cornice.All in all, ornamentation is minimal, lines are plain, and proportions bold; all contributing to the simple strength conveyed by the Tuscan Order.  With this in mind, the Tuscan Order is suitable to more plain buildings or where an essence of firmness and robustness is desired.

 

Text by:  Christine G. H. Franck | Designer, Author, Educator

www.christinefranck.com


PLATES

(click on the plates to review the .pdf)

The Tuscan Order - Plate The Tuscan Order Layout - Plate The Tuscan Order - Entasis The Tuscan Order Pediment - Plate The Tuscan Order In Design - Plate
ORDER LAYOUT ENTASIS PEDIMENT IN DESIGN

Courtesy of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art  |  Renderings by:  M. Gunnison Collins


CLASSICAL APPLICATIONS

•  The Temple of Piety
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•  The Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus
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•  Lower Order of the Amphitheater Arles Temple near the Church of S. Nicola in Carcere in Rome
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•  Lower Order of the Colosseum
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Tuscan Column by Chadsworth Columns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exterior Tuscan Wood Columns by Chadsworth Columns