1902 Encyclopedia > Architecture > Greek Doric Order: Propriety in Composition and Arrangement

(Part 42)

Greek Doric Order: Propriety in Composition and Arrangement

Propriety in the composition and arrangement of antae is as necessary to the perfection of the Doric order as to that of the columnar ordinance itself, especially if the latter be in antis. Slight projections are made on the end and side faces of a wall, so as to form a species of pilaster, whose front shall be nearly equal to the diameter of the columns to which it is attached, exactly equal indeed to the soffit of the entablature, whose faces have been described as impeding the circumferential line of the column at a little above its base. This rests on the stylobate in the same manner as the columns do, with sometimes a small continuous moulding as a base; and its capital is a congeries of mouldings, about the depth of the abacus, with a plain fascia corresponding to the ovolo of the columnar capital. The entablature of the order to which it is attached rests on it, and, continuing along the flank of the building, is received by a similar combination at the other end. These, it may be remarked, were seldom diminished or fluted, an example at Paestum being about the only exception. Being projections from and upon the ends and faces of walls, they could not be diminished without involving an absurdity, and fluting on a straight surface must be productive of monotony, as the flutes can only project a series of equal and parallel shadows. Not so, however, with columns, on whose rotund surface fluting produces a beautiful variety of light and shade in all their gradations, which it could not possess without that enrichment; for on a plain column neither are the lights so bright nor the shadows so dark as in the former case, nor are they so finely diffused over the whole surface in the one as in the other.

In the Parthenon the antae, as well as the columns, are without bases. In all other examples the base line of the antae is marked by a few small mouldings. In the only example which occurs in the ancient architectural remains of attached Doric columns – that of the pseudo-peripteral temple of Jupiter Olympics at Agrigentum- the stylobate is peculiarly arranged. The upper gradus is grooved, and detailed round the columns and along the walls between them; and a congeries of vertically arranged mouldings and fillets rests on it, and receives the base of the column.

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