Corinthian order

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Related to Corinthian column: Ionic column, Doric column

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.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Procedure: Corinthian columns typically have sculpted leaves of the acanthus plant at their tops, or capitals.
The new portico featured six Corinthian columns rising from plinths that supported a triangular pediment bearing a royal coat of arms.
It consists of a circular colonnade of 21 unfluted Corinthian columns with three projecting rectangular porticoes and has now been restored thanks to thousands of pounds worth of grant funding.
Corinthian columns still stand at the entrance and they are decorated with crowns and wreaths of acanthus leaves," said Kiwan, adding that there are also the temple of Zeus (god of heavens) in the southern part of Qanawat city and the Temple of Athena (goddess of wisdom) which were built in the same era.
The architectural detail on the original building is superb - the wide gateway has fluted Corinthian columns, there are mullioned and transomed windows and there are exquisite vinescroll decorations to the tie beams and barge boards on the upper floor.
The Kensington period town house in Queen's Gate has stacks of architectural features and period details, including Corinthian columns, marble fireplaces and French windows.
This decorative opulence continues into the chapel, with Corinthian columns of coloured marble framing the entrance to the mummified corpse of Saint Theodora.
The grand bank lobby features Corinthian columns, three-story tall barrel vaulted ceilings and murals by Jules Guerin.
I like the design with Corinthian columns - often six in a row.
First, they considered the context of the buildings, constructed in the 1930s in a classical colonial-era style with a marble facade and lots of Corinthian columns. "We wanted to refer to some of the historical details, not copy them," Holley says.
We spent hours walking round the Dome with a copy of Oleg Grabar's superb guide, concentrating on the smaller details: curled volutes on Corinthian columns, the Mamlukera Arabic writing, the 1,200 square metres of patterned mosaics--what the critic Lisa Golombek describes as the 'draped universe' of Islamic art.
A personal highlight was when the band retired to the shadows of the Corinthian columns of the Bacchus Temple, and Bona brought out his "black magic box, my black magic Baalbek box, by black magic voodoo box."