1902 Encyclopedia > Architecture > Greek Ionic Order - Its Three Parts: (a) Stylobate; (b) Column

(Part 46)

Greek Ionic Order - Its Three Parts: (a) Stylobate; (b) Column

Of this graceful and elegant style we take the proportions and peculiarities from the perfect examples of the Athenian Acropolis. This order may also be considered in three similar parts, stylobate, column, and entablature.

The stylobate is in three receding equal courses or steps, whose united height is from four-fifths to one diameter.

The column, consisting of base, shaft, and capital, is rather more than nine diameters in heights; of which the base is two-fifths of a diameter, and the capital, including the hypotrachelium, is in one case three-fourths, and in the other seven-eights of a diameter high. As shown in the vases, it is invariably very long and slender, and without bases; but no actual example remains to us without a base. The base consists of a congeries of mouldings extending gradually from a diameter and a third to a diameter and a half, and its height is in three nearly equal parts, two equal fillets separating them. The lowest, a torus, rests on the top of the stylobate or floor of the portico, a fillet divides that from the scotia, second fillet intervenes between the scotia and a second torus, and a third fillet bases the apophyge or escape of the shaft. The upper torus of the base is, in example, fillet-fluted horizontally and in the other, the same member is enriched with the guillochos. The shaft diminishes with entasis from its lower or whole diameter to above five-sixths of it immediately under the hypotrachelium. It is fluted with twenty-four flutes and alternating fillets, which follow the diminution and entasis of the column. The flutes in plan are nearly semi-ellipses, and they finish at both ends with the same curve; a fillet is in thickness nearly one-fourth the width of a flute. The difference in the height of the capital is in the length of the necking, which in one case is separated from the head of the shaft by a carved bead, and in the other by a plain fillet. Above the necking, a height of about one-third of a diameter is occupied by a congeries of three spreading or corbelling mouldings – a bead, an ovolo, and a torus- which are all appropriately carved. On these rests the parallelogramic block, on whose faces are then volutes, and whose ends are concaved into what is technically termed a bolster to connect them. This part is about one-third of a diameter in height, and includes a rectilinear abacus, whose edges are moulded to an ovolo and carved with the egg and tongue ornament. The volutes are three-fifths of a diameter in depth, and extend in front to one diameter and a half; and they are nearly a semi-diameter apart. The volutes and the flowing lines which connect them are represented in figs. 5 and 9, Plate XI. The bolsters are fluted vertically with alternate fillets, on which are carved beads. An ornament composed of the honeysuckle with tendrils encircles the necking of the column. It must be remarked, that as the capitals are parallelogramic, and present but two similar fronts, to preserve the appearance of volutes externally on all sides, the capitals of the columns at the external angles of porticoes are differently arranged (compare figs. 15 and 16). The outer volute is bent out at an angle of 45o, and volutes are put on the end or side front of the capital also, the outer one being the other side of the angular volute of the front. To suit the angle internally, the two volutes of the inner face are placed at right angles to each other: this is, however, at best but as awkward expedient, and need not be employed when a portico projects only one intercolumniation. All the Greek volutes are flat on the surface, except at Bassae, where the volutes are curved.

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