1902 Encyclopedia > Architecture > Roman Corinthian Order: 3 Parts (cont.): (c) Entablature

(Part 68)

Roman Corinthian Order: 3 Parts (cont.): (c) Entablature

The entablature varies in different examples from one diameter and seven-eights to more than two diameters and a half in height. Perhaps the best proportioned are those of the portico of the Pantheon (Plate XIV. ex. 4) and of the temple of Antoninus and Faustina (Plate XIV. ex. 3), the former being rather more than two diameters and a quarter, and the latter rather less than that ratio. The entablature of the Jupiter Stator example is more than two diameters and a half in height, of which the cornice alone occupies one-sixth more than a full diameter, leaving to the frieze and architrave somewhat less than one diameter and a half between them. In this latter particular it nearly agrees with the other two quoted examples, so that the great difference in the general height is in the cornice almost alone, the cornices of the others being about a sixth less, instead of as much more, than a diameter in height. The Roman Corinthian entablature may be taken, them at two diameters and a quarter in height. Rather more than three-fifths of this is nearly equally divided between the architrave and frieze, the advantage, if any, being given to the former; the cornice, of course, takes the remaining two-fifths, or thereabouts. The architrave is divided into three unequal fasciae and a small congeries of mouldings, separating it from the frieze. The first fascia is one-fifth the whole height; one-third of what remains is given to the second, and the remainders is divided between the third fascia and the band of mouldings, two-thirds to the former, and one to the latter. A bead, sometimes plain and sometimes carved, taken from the second fascia, which is itself enriched in the Jupiter Stator example, marks its projection over the first; and a small cyma-reversa, carved or plain as the bead may be, taken from the third fascia, marks its projection over the second. The band consists of a bead, a cyma-reversa, carved or plain according to the general character of the ordinance, and a fillet. In non-accordance with the practice of the Greeks, the face of the lowest or first fascia of the architrave, in the Roman Corinthian, impends the face of the column at the top of the shaft, or at its smallest diameter; and every face inclines inwards from its lowest face up. The whole projection of the architrave, that of the covering fillet of the band, is nearly equal to the height of the first fascia. The frieze impends the lowest angle of the architrave. Its face is either perpendicular, or it slightly inclines inwards, like the fasciae of that part of the entablature: in some cases is quite plain, and in others is enriched with a foliated composition, or with sculptures in low or half relief. The cornice consists of a deep bed-mould, variously proportioned to the corona; but it may be taken generally, when it has modillions, at three-fifths, and when it has none, at one-half of the whole height. It is composed, of a bead, an ovolo or cyma-reversa, and a fillet, a plain vertical member, sometimes dentilled, another bead, and a cyma-reversa, with fillet or ovolo, as the lower may not be; this is surmounted, when modillions are used, by another plain member, with a small carved cyma-reversa above it. On this the modillions are placed, and the cyma breaks round them. They are about as wide as the member from which they project, and are about two thicknesses apart. In form they are horizontal trusses or consoles, with a wavy profile, finishing at one end in a large, and at the other in a small volute; and under each there is generally placed a raffled or acanthus leaf. In proportioning the parts of this bed-mould in itself, one-third of its height may be given to the modillion member, and the other two-thirds divided nearly equally, but increasing upwards into three parts, one for the lowest mouldings, one for the plain or dentil member, and the third, and rather largest portion, for the mouldings under the modillion member. The mouldings of this part of the cornice are carved or left plain, according to the character of the ordinance; and its greatest projection, except the modillions themselves, that of the modillion member, is about equal to half its height. The upper part of the cornice -- the corona, with its crown-mouldings -- consists of the vertical member called the corona, which is two-fifths the whole height; -- this, in the examples of the temples of Jupiter Stator and Antoninus and Faustina, is enriched with vertical flutes; -- a narrow fillet, an ovolo, and a wider fillet, occupy one-third of the rest, the other two-thirds being given to cyma-recta, with a covering fillet which crowns the whole. Its extreme projection is nearly equal to the whole height of the cornice.

The ordinance of the temple of Vesta, or of the sibyl, at Tivoli (Plate XIV. ex. 2), whose entablature is the very low one mentioned, is not generally in accordance with the scale we have given, and it must be referred to for its own peculiar proportions.

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