Corinthian order


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Related to Corinthian order: Ionic order, Doric order, Composite order, Tuscan order

Corinthian order,

most ornate of the classic orders of architecture. It was also the latest, not arriving at full development until the middle of the 4th cent. B.C. The oldest known example, however, is found in the temple of Apollo at Bassae (c.420 B.C.). The Greeks made little use of the order; the chief example is the circular structure at Athens known as the choragic monumentchoragic monuments
[Gr.,=of the choragus, the chorus leader], small decorative structures erected in ancient Greece to commemorate the victory of the leader of a chorus in the competitive choral dances. The best known is that of Lysicrates (c.335 B.C.
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 of Lysicrates (335 B.C.). The temple of Zeus at Athens (started in the 2d cent. B.C. and completed by Emperor Hadrian in the 2d cent. A.D.) was perhaps the most notable of the Corinthian temples. The Greek Corinthian, aside from its distinctive capital, is similar to the Ionic, but the column is somewhat more slender. The capital, which may have been especially devised for circular structures, is of uncertain origin. Callimachus is the legendary originator of the design. The delicate foliated details make plausible an original in metalwork. The Romans used the Corinthian order in numerous monumental works of imperial architecture. They gave it a special base, made carved additions to the cornice, and created numerous capital variations, utilizing florid leafage and sometimes human and animal figures. The prevailing form of Roman Corinthian is seen in the Pantheon and the Maison Carrée, and it was embodied in the order as later systematized by the Italian writers of the Renaissance (e.g., Vignola). The capital joined acanthus leaves and volutes, scroll-shaped forms, in an intricate combination, and Renaissance sculptors and metalworkers, especially in Italy, France, and Spain, found in its complexity a medium for their full virtuosity. The volutes either became mere light scrolls or were replaced by birds, rams' heads, or grotesque figures. The composite order, so named by the 16th-century codifiers, is actually only a variation of the Corinthian, devised by the Romans as early as the 1st cent. A.D. by forming a capital in which were combined both Corinthian foliage and the volutes and echinus, or rounded molding, of the four-cornered type of Ionic. For the other Greek orders see Doric orderDoric order,
earliest of the orders of architecture developed by the Greeks and the one that they employed for most buildings. It is generally believed that the column and its capital derive from an earlier architecture in wood.
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 and Ionic orderIonic order
, one of the early orders of architecture. The spreading scroll-shaped capital is the distinctive feature of the Ionic order; it was primarily a product of Asia Minor, where early embryonic forms of this capital have been found.
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Corinthian order

The most ornamental of the three orders of architecture used by the Greeks, characterized by a high base, pedestal, slender fluted shaft with fillets, ornate capitals using stylized acanthus leaves, and an elaborate cornice.

Corinthian Order

 

one of the three principal Greek architectural orders, which developed in the second half of the fifth century B.C. as a more ornate variation of the Ionic order (it has a higher capital and its acanthus is decorated with stylized leaves and volutes). The Corinthian column was used by Ictinus in the cella of the Temple of Apollo at Bassae in the Peloponnesus (c. 430 B.C.). Modillions or more elaborate ancons were added, sometimes replacing the dentils under the corona of the cornice. The lavish and festive Corinthian order was used widely in Hellenistic Greek and particularly, ancient Roman architecture.

Corinthian order

In Classical architecture, the slenderest and most ornate of the three original Greek orders; commonly has an elaborate cornice and a fluted shaft. For an illustration of a Corinthian base, see bases.
References in periodicals archive ?
After recounting the history of various analogies (body-column, body-church, body-city, body-world, art-nature), Rykwert devotes six of his 12 chapters to a minutely documented study of Greek temple architecture (with excursions into Egyptian, Anatolian, Phoenician and Etruscan), and specifically the technical origin and gender-character of the Doric, Ionic and Corinthian orders.