Looking at Buildings

Styles & Traditions

Doric and Tuscan

Click to enlarge
The Doric Order
Click to enlarge
Oxford, Nos. 86-87 High Street, Bank

The DoricGlossary Term is simplest and plainest of the ordersGlossary Term. The most common form is known as RomanGlossary Term DoricGlossary Term. Its columnGlossary Term has a roundGlossary Term capitalGlossary Term with a narrow neck band. The shaftGlossary Term may be plain or fluted, and rests on a baseGlossary Term. The entablatureGlossary Term has a distinctive friezeGlossary Term, with upright projecting grooved panels called triglyphsGlossary Term, one of which is always set above and in line with each columnGlossary Term. Between the triglyphsGlossary Term are panels called metopesGlossary Term, which may be ornamented with sculpture in relief; ox-skulls (called bucrania or bukrania), one of the most common subjects, are a reminder that the ordersGlossary Term evolved as parts of ancient temples at which blood-sacrifice was offered.

The DoricGlossary Term was associated with manly or soldierly qualities and by extension also with security, hence its popularity on the front of banks.

Click to enlarge
Greek Doric
Click to enlarge
Liverpool, Albert Dock

The Greek DoricGlossary Term is rather less common. The ancestor of the RomanGlossary Term style, it was not properly described or understood in Western Europe until the 18th century, when English architects were the first to revive it. Differences from the RomanGlossary Term kind show up most clearly on the columnGlossary Term. The capitalGlossary Term has a thin spreading convex shape (called an echinusGlossary Term), with no circular band below. The shaftGlossary Term is almost always fluted, and comes down to the ground without any separate baseGlossary Term. The proportions are stockier, and the sides bulge outwards more markedly as they rise - a trick called entasisGlossary Term, common to all the ordersGlossary Term, which stops the columns appearing to bow inwards in the middle.

Sometimes even simpler forms of DoricGlossary Term columnGlossary Term appear, with plain shafts, often used without a full entablatureGlossary Term. This Primitive DoricGlossary Term style was most in fashion in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, especially for agricultural or industrial buildings.

The TuscanGlossary Term orderGlossary Term is simpler than the DoricGlossary Term, and is sometimes difficult to tell apart from the RomanGlossary Term form. The most obvious differences are that the friezeGlossary Term is left plain, and the corniceGlossary Term tends to project more over it.

It developed from the architecture of Ancient Italy rather than Greece, in particular from the temples of the Etruscans, who lived in the part of central Italy that includes modern Tuscany. It is therefore often associated with ancient or rural simplicity.

Click to enlarge
The Tuscan Order
Click to enlarge
St Paul


Alternative Terms-
Replaced with-
Short Description-
Long Description-
Term Language-