1902 Encyclopedia > Architecture > Roman Corinthian Order (cont.): Pediments, Antae, Plasters, Ceilings

(Part 69)

Roman Corinthian Order (cont.): Pediments, Antae, Plasters, Ceilings

Pediments with the Roman Corinthian order are found to be steeper than they were made by the Greeks, varying in inclination from 18° to 25°; but they are formed by the cornice of the entablature in the same manner. Antefixae do not appear to have been used on flank cornices as in Greek ordinances, in which the cymatium is confined to pediments; but in Roman works it is continued over the horizontal or flank cornice, as we have described; and frequently it is enriched with lions' heads, which were at the first introduced as waterspouts. The planceer or soffit of the corona is, in the Jupiter Stator example, coffered between the modillions, and in every coffer there is a flower. The soffit of the entablature in this order is generally panelled and enriched with foliated or other ornament. The intercolumniation is not the same in any two examples. In the temple of Vesta, in Rome, it hardly exceeds a diameter and a quarter; in the Jupiter Stator example it is a fraction less than one diameter and a half, in that of Antoninus and Faustina, nearly a diameter and three quarters; in the portico at Assisi, rather more than that ratio; in the portico of the Pantheon, almost two diameters; and in the Tivoli example, a fraction more than that proportion.

The antae of the Roman Corinthian order are generally parallel; but pilasters are mostly diminished and fluted as the columns. Of two of the existing examples of antae, in one -- that of the temple of Mars Ultor -- they are plain, to fluted columns; and in the other -- that of the Pantheon portico -- they are fluted to plain columns. The capitals and bases are transcript of those of the columns, fitted to the square forms.

Ceilings of porticoes are formed, as in the Greek style, by the frieze returning in beams from the internal architrave to the wall or front of the structure, supporting coffers more or less enriched with foliage or flowers. This, however, could only have been effected when the projection was not more than one, or at the most two, intercolumniations, if stone was used, and it is only in such that examples exist. Porticoes ordinarily must have had arched ceilings, as that of the Pantheon has, or the beams must have been of wood; in the latter case the compartments of the ceiling would probably be larger. How it was arranged in the former we cannot tell, as the arches only remain, and they may not be of the date of the rest of the portico.

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