Looking at Buildings

, printed from the Looking at Buildings website on Friday 12th August 2022

Corinthian and Composite

CorinthianGlossary Term [1] orderGlossary Term [2] is more slender still than the IonicGlossary Term [3], and also more ornately treated. It was the most common RomanGlossary Term [4] type, and was popular in addition in the Eastern Mediterranean.

capitalGlossary Term [5] is tall, with rings of foliage representing the leaves of the acanthusGlossary Term [6] plant. The shape tapers outwards, like a basket: a legend tells how a sculptor called Callimachus invented the form after he saw a basket with a flat stone on top, through which growing acanthusGlossary Term [7] had sprouted. The corniceGlossary Term [8] is elaborate too, often with a decoratedGlossary Term [9] friezeGlossary Term [10]. The shaftGlossary Term [11] can be plain or fluted.

CompositeGlossary Term [12] is a more elaborate variant of the CorinthianGlossary Term [13]. Its capitalGlossary Term [14] has acanthusGlossary Term [15] leaves below, spliced with IonicGlossary Term [16] volutesGlossary Term [17] above. It was developed by the Romans, and tends to be used to give the effect of particular richness or luxury.

Last updated: Monday, 26th January 2009