1902 Encyclopedia > Architecture > Greek Ionic Order: Wide Variety in Composition

(Part 48)

Greek Ionic Order: Wide Variety in Composition

A much greater variety is found in the composition of the Ionic than of the Doric order. Indeed, the examples of the Athenian Acropolis alone have neckings. In all the others the shaft runs up to the corbelled mouldings which bed the block of the volutes, and the flutes finish under them. neither have they a torus in that congeries, but a bead and ovolo alone, the latter projecting inconveniently under the pendent lines that connect the volutes, and thus the capital is not more than half a diameter in height.

The Asiatic or the truly Ionian examples of this order are far inferior to those above referred to. Their bases are differently, and certainly less elegantly composed. They are without hypotrachelia, as may have been inferred; they want the torus in the capital; and, in most cases, instead of flowing, pendent lines, they have straight lines connecting the volutes. Their entablatures are not so finely proportioned, nor so delicately executed. The coronas want breadth, and the bed-moulds of the cornice are as much too heavy as those of Athens are perhaps too light. Indeed, upon the whole, they have more of the grossness of Roman architecture than of the delicacy and elegance of Grecian, though the Ionian examples are supposed to be the models of those of Athens. In the celebrated temple of Diana at Ephesus the columns present an almost unique example of the lower parts being sculptured . Fine specimens of these are now in the British Museum. The only instance known of sculptured columns is at Narga in Nubia.

The width of the antae of the Ionic order is determined, as in the Doric, by the soffit of the entablature; and it will, of course, be exactly the same as, or rather less than, the inferior diameter of the column. It is slightly raised, too, from the face of the wall at the ends of which it stands. The base of the antae is, in one of the two examples of the Acropolis, a little deeper than that of the column, having a small projecting moulding between the lower torus and the floor; and the lower torus itself is reeded. In the other example there is no difference in the form and proportion of the antae and columnar bases, but both the tori are fluted horizontally, with beaded fillets between the flutes. The antae cap consists of a congeries of corbelling mouldings, nearly one-third of a diameter in height. It is divided into three nearly equal parts, the lowest of which is composed of a bead and an ovolo; the second of another bead and a cyma-reversa, all carved; and the third of a plain flat cavetto, with a narrow fillet and small crowning cyma-reversa, forming an abacus (fig. 11). The necking is like that of the capital, and is enriched in the same manner. The cap or cornice thus formed breaks round the projection of the antae, and is continued along the wall under the entablature the whole length of the building, or till it is impeded by some other construction; and the base is continued in like manner. Attached columns have the voluted capital, but their base is that of the antae; and it is detailed round them and along the wall to which they belong, as with the antae. It must be remembered, however, that the attached columns in the triple temple are about one-ninth less in diameter than those which are insulated, though they are similar in other respects, and have the same entablature.

The back of the triple temple, between the attached columns, presents one of the only two examples in Greek architecture of windows, the other being that of the temple of the Giants at Agrigentum. These are rather more than twice their width in height, and are narrower at the top than at the bottom. They rest on a broad. bold sill, which is equal in depth to two-sixths of the opening, and are surrounded externally by a congeries of mouldings, which, with a plain fascia, constitute an architrave. This architrave is one-fourth the opening in width; it diminishes with the window, and in the same proportion, and is returned above in two knees, which are made vertical to its extreme point at the base.

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