Looking at Buildings

, printed from the Looking at Buildings website on Saturday 20th August 2022

Doric and Tuscan

DoricGlossary Term [1] is simplest and plainest of the ordersGlossary Term [2]. The most common form is known as RomanGlossary Term [3] DoricGlossary Term [4]. Its columnGlossary Term [5] has a roundGlossary Term [6] capitalGlossary Term [7] with a narrow neck band. The shaftGlossary Term [8] may be plain or fluted, and rests on a baseGlossary Term [9]. The entablatureGlossary Term [10] has a distinctive friezeGlossary Term [11], with upright projecting grooved panels called triglyphsGlossary Term [12], one of which is always set above and in line with each columnGlossary Term [13]. Between the triglyphsGlossary Term [14] are panels called metopesGlossary Term [15], 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 [16] evolved as parts of ancient temples at which blood-sacrifice was offered.

The DoricGlossary Term [17] was associated with manly or soldierly qualities and by extension also with security, hence its popularity on the front of banks.

DoricGlossary Term [18] is rather less common. The ancestor of the RomanGlossary Term [19] 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 [20] kind show up most clearly on the columnGlossary Term [21]. The capitalGlossary Term [22] has a thin spreading convex shape (called an echinusGlossary Term [23]), with no circular band below. The shaftGlossary Term [24] is almost always fluted, and comes down to the ground without any separate baseGlossary Term [25]. The proportions are stockier, and the sides bulge outwards more markedly as they rise - a trick called entasisGlossary Term [26], common to all the ordersGlossary Term [27], which stops the columns appearing to bow inwards in the middle.

Sometimes even simpler forms of DoricGlossary Term [28] columnGlossary Term [29] appear, with plain shafts, often used without a full entablatureGlossary Term [30]. This Primitive DoricGlossary Term [31] style was most in fashion in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, especially for agricultural or industrial buildings.

TuscanGlossary Term [32] orderGlossary Term [33] is simpler than the DoricGlossary Term [34], and is sometimes difficult to tell apart from the RomanGlossary Term [35] form. The most obvious differences are that the friezeGlossary Term [36] is left plain, and the corniceGlossary Term [37] 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.

The Tuscan Order
St Paul

Last updated: Monday, 26th January 2009