1902 Encyclopedia > Architecture > Greek Doric Order: Other Parts: Pediment, etc.

(Part 41)

Greek Doric Order: Other Parts: Pediment, etc.

This completes the Greek Doric order according to the generally received sense of the term; but there are other parts necessary to it. In the front or on the ends of a temple, or over a portico, a pediment is placed (Plate IX. Fig. 1) Its intention is to enclose the ends of the roof, but it forms no less a part of the architectural composition. In reason, it should be raised as much as the roof required; but when the span is great that would be unsightly; and reference appears to have been made to the common standard of proportion, as the pediments of most Doric temples are found to be about one diameter and a half in height at the apex of the tympanum, which in a hexastyle arrangement makes an angle at the base of about 14, and in an octastyle about 12 1/2 °. The pediment is covered by the cornice, without its mutules, rising from the point of its crowning fillet, so that no part of it is repeated in profile. Another moulding, however, is superimposed; sometimes this is an ovolo with a fillet over it, and sometimes a cymatium. It varies much in its proportion to the cornice, but in the best examples it is about one-half the depth of the latter without its mutules. Ornaments of various kinds, statues or foliage, are believed to have been placed on the apices and at the feet of pediments as acroteria. Of these, however, we have the remains of one only (a very beautiful one), viz., at Aegina; but indications of the plinths or blocks which may have received them exist, and such things appear represented on ancient coins and medallions. The tympana of pediments are well known as receptacles of ornamental sculpture. On the flank of a Doric temple, the cornice supported a row of ornamented tiles called antefixae. These formed a rich and appropriate ornament, but they rather belonged to the roof than to the columnar arrangement or order. The antefixae covered the ends of the joint-tiles as the pediments did those of the roofs; and corresponding ornaments called stelai rose out of the apices of the joint tiles, forming a highly enriched ridge (see Plate VIII. fig. 1).

A secondary Doric order arises in the disposition of a Grecian temple, from the columns of the pronaos and the inner part of the external entablature continued and repeated. Of this the frieze is generally without triglyphs, though there may be regulae and guttae on the architrave. The fascia of the frieze is either moulded or enriched on the face; and instead of a cornice, the beams of the ceiling are laid at equal intervals to support sunk panels or coffers, in which there may be flowers or other enrichments (Plate VIII. fig. 8).

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