1902 Encyclopedia > Architecture > Greek Doric Order: Simplicity, Harmony, Grace, Elegance, Light and Shade

(Part 44)

Greek Doric Order: Simplicity, Harmony, Grace, Elegance, Light and Shade

Such are the materials of which the Greeks composed those beautiful temples, whose peculiar effect and character arise from their simplicity and harmony. These qualities are visible in the long unbroken which bound their forms, and the breadth, boldness, and fitness of every part. The entablature, though massive, is fully upborne by the columns, whose spreading abaci receive it, and transmit the weight downwards by the shafts, which rest on a horizontal and spreading basement, -- the magnitude of every part, as before remarked, being determined by the capacity of the sustaining power. Besides graceful and elegant outline, and simple and harmonious forms, these structures exhibit a wonderful variety of light and shade, arising from the judicious contour and arrangement of mouldings, every one of which is rendered expressive. The effect is heightened by the fluting of the columns and the peculiar form of the columnar capital, with its broad square abacus, which projects a deep shadow on the bold ovolo, the play of light and shade about the insulated columns is strongly modified by the deep shadows on the walls behind them; and in front, where the inner columns appear, the effect is enchanting. For all the higher effects which architecture is capable of producing, a Greek peripteral temple of the Doric order is perhaps unrivalled.

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