1902 Encyclopedia > Architecture > Greek Doric Order of Architecture - Three Parts: (c) Entablature

(Part 40)

Greek Doric Order of Architecture - Three Parts: (c) Entablature

The third part of the order, the entablature, ranges in various examples from one diameter and three-quarters to rather more than two diameters in height, of which about four-fifths is nearly equally divided between the architrave and frieze, while the cornice occupies the remaining one-fifth: this is in some cases exactly the distribution of the entablature. (See Plate VIII. fig. 5.; Plate IX. Fig. 5.) The architrave is in one broad face, four-fifths, and sometimes five-sixths of its whole height; and the remaining fifth or sixth is given to a projecting continuous fillet called the taenia, which occupies one-half the space, and a regula or small lintel attached to it, in lengths equal to the breadth of the triglyphs above in the frieze. From the regulae six small cylindrical drops, called guttae, depend. There are examples to the contrary, but it may be taken as a general rule, that the architrave is not in the same vertical line with the upper face of the shaft, or its circumferential line, at the superior diameter, but it projected nearly so much as to impend the line or face of the column at the base. In one example only is the architrave known to be sculptured, viz., at Assos, where it has bas-reliefs of bulls fighting. The frieze, vertically , is plain about six-sevenths of its whole height, and is bounded above by a fascia, slightly projecting from it, which occupies the remaining seventh. Horizontal, however, it is divided into triglyphs and metopes, which regulate the intercolumniations; the former being nearly a semidiameter in width, and the latter (the space interposed between two triglyphs) generally an exact square, its breadth being equal to the whole height of the frieze, including the fascia. This latter breaks round the triglyphs horizontally, and is a little increased in depth on them. These metopes are shown on the vases to be holes between the ends of beams, and that the metopes were, at one time, open, seems to be proved by a passage in Euripides, who lived during the construction of the Parthenon. No example, however, early or late, remains to support this view. Each glyph, of which there are two whole ones and two halves to every tablet, is one-fifth of the width of the whole, and the interglyphs are each one-seventh of the whole tablet or triglyphs. The glyphs detail on the taenia of the architrave, but are variously finished above. In some examples they are nearly square-headed, with the angles rounded off; in others the heads are regular curves, from a flat segment to a semi-ellipse. The semiglyphs are finished above in a manner peculiar to themselves, with a turn or drop; but hardly two examples correspond in that particular. The tablets in which the glyphs are cut are vertical to the face of the architrave, the metopes recede from them like sunk panels; these are often charged with sculptures, and indeed almost appear contrived to receive them. The third and crowning part of the entablature, the cornice, in what may be considered the best examples, projects from the face of the triglyphs and architrave about its own height. Vertically, it is divided into four equal parts, one of which is given to a square projecting fillet at the top, with a small congeries of mouldings, different, and differently proportioned to each other, in various examples. Two other parts are given to the corona, and the remaining fourth to a narrow sunk face below it, with the mutules and their guttae. These latter form the soffit or planceer of the cornice, which is not horizontal or at right angles to the vertical face of the entablature generally, but is cut up inwards at an angle of about 80 degrees. The width of the mutules themselves is regulated by that of the triglyphs over which they are placed, to which it is exactly equal. They are ornamented each with three rows of six small cylinders, similar to those which depend from the regulae under the triglyphs and on the architrave. There is twice the number of mutules that there is of triglyphs, one of the former being placed over every metope also in the manner the examples indicate.

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