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DORIC CYMA, or HAWK'S-BEAK MOLDING, the characteristic molding of the Doric style (Fig. 55), used also to crown the horizontal cornice and in other situations (Fig. 51 and frontispiece). Below the capital the anta is treated precisely like the wall of which it forms a part; that is to say, its surfaces are plain, except for the simple base-molding, which extends also along the foot of the wall. The method of ceiling the peristyle and vestibules by means of ceiling-beams on which rest slabs decorated with square, recessed panels or COFFERS may be indistinctly seen in Fig. 56. Within the cella, when columns were used to help support the wooden ceiling, there seem to have been regularly two ranges, one above the other. This is the only case, so far as we know, in which Greek architecture of the best period put one range of columns above another. There were probably no windows of any kind, so that the cella received no daylight, except such as entered by the great front doorway, when the doors were open. [Footnote: This whole matter, however, is in dispute. Some authorities believe that large temples were HYPOETHRAL, i. e., open, or partly open, to the sky, or in some way lighted from above. In Fig. 56 an open grating has been inserted above the doors, but for such an arrangement in a Greek temple there is no evidence, so far as I am aware.] The roof-beams were of wood. The roof was covered with terra-cotta or marble tiles.
Such are the main features of a Doric temple (those last mentioned not being peculiar to the Doric style). Little has been said thus far of variation in these features. Yet variation there was. Not to dwell on local differences, as between Greece proper and the Greek colonies in Sicily, there was a development constantly going on, changing the forms of details and the relative proportions of parts and even introducing new features originally foreign to the style. Thus the column grows slenderer from century to century. In early examples it is from four to five lower diameters in height in the best period (fifth and fourth centuries) about five and one half, in the post classical period, six to seven. The difference in this respect between early and late examples may be seen by comparing the sixth century Temple of Posidon (?) at Paestum in southern Italy (Fig. 57) with the third (?) century Temple of Zeus at Nemea (Fig. 58). Again, the echinus of the capital is in the early period widely flaring, making in some very early examples an angle at the start of not more than fifteen or twenty degrees with the horizontal (Fig. 59); in the best period it rises more steeply, starting at an angle of about fifty degrees with the horizontal and having a profile which closely approaches a straight line, until it curves inward under the abacus (Fig. 51); in the post-classical period it is low and sometimes quite conical (Fig. 60). In general, the degeneracy of post-classical Greek architecture is in nothing more marked than in the loss of those subtle curves which characterize the best Greek work. Other differences must be learned from more extended treatises.
The Ionic order was of a much more luxuriant character than the Doric. Our typical example (Fig. 61) is taken from the Temple of Priene in Asia Minor--a temple erected about 340-30 B. C. The column has a base consisting of a plain square PLINTH, two TROCHILI with moldings, and a TORUS fluted horizontally. The Ionic shaft is much slenderer than the Doric, the height of the column (including base and capital) being in different examples from eight to ten times the lower diameter of the shaft. The diminution of the shaft is naturally less than in the Doric, and the entasis, where any has been detected, is exceedingly slight. The flutes, twenty-four in number, are deeper than in the Doric shaft, being in fact nearly or quite semicircular, and they are separated from one another by flat bands or fillets. For the form of the capital it will be better to refer to Fig. 62, taken from an Attic building of the latter half of the fifth century. The principal parts are an OVOLO and a SPIRAL ROLL (the latter name not in general use). The ovolo has a convex profile, and is sometimes called a quarter-round; it is enriched with an EGG-AND-DART ornament The spiral roll may be conceived as a long cushion, whose ends are rolled under to form the VOLUTES. The part connecting the volutes is slightly hollowed, and the channel thus formed is continued into the volutes. As seen from the side (Fig. 63), the end of the spiral roll is called a BOLSTER; it has the appearance of being drawn together by a number of encircling bands. On the front, the angles formed by the spiral roll are filled by a conventionalized floral ornament (the so-called PALMETTE). Above the spiral roll is a low abacus, oblong or square in plan. In Fig. 62 the profile of the abacus is an ovolo on which the egg-and-dart ornament was painted (cf. Fig. 66, where the ornament is sculptured). In Fig. 61, as in Fig. 71, the profile is a complex curve called a CYMA REVERSA, convex above and concave below, enriched with a sculptured LEAF-AND-DART ornament. [Footnote: The egg-and-dart is found only on the ovolo, the leaf-and-dart only on the cyma reversa or the cyma recta (concave above and convex below) Both ornaments are in origin leaf-patterns one row of leaves showing their points behind another row.] Finally, attention may be called to the ASTRAGAL or PEARL-BEADING just under the ovolo in Figs. 61, 71. This might be described as a string of beads and buttons, two buttons alternating with a single bead.
In the normal Ionic capital the opposite faces are of identical appearance. If this were the case with the capital at the corner of a building, the result would be that on the side of the building all the capitals would present their bolsters instead of their volutes to the spectator. The only way to prevent this was to distort the corner capital into the form shown by Fig. 64; cf. also Figs. 61 and 70.
The Ionic architrave is divided horizontally into three (or sometimes two) bands, each of the upper ones projecting slightly over the one below it. It is crowned by a sort of cornice enriched with moldings. The frieze is not divided like the Doric frieze, but presents an uninterrupted surface. It may be either plain or covered with relief-sculpture. It is finished off with moldings along the upper edge. The cornice (cf. Fig. 65) consists of two principal parts. First comes a projecting block, into whose face rectangular cuttings have been made at short intervals, thus leaving a succession of cogs or DENTELS; above these are moldings. Secondly there is a much more widely projecting block, the CORONA, whose under surface is hollowed to lighten the weight and whose face is capped with moldings. The raking cornice is like the horizontal cornice except that it has no dentels. The sima or gutter-facing, whose profile is here a cyma recta (concave above and convex below), is enriched with sculptured floral ornament.
In the Ionic buildings of Attica the base of the column consists of two tori separated by a trochilus. The proportions of these parts vary considerably. The base in Fig. 66 (from a building finished about 408 B.C.) is worthy of attentive examination by reason of its harmonious proportions. In the Roman form of this base, too often imitated nowadays, the trochilus has too small a diameter. The Attic-Ionic cornice never has dentels, unless the cornice of the Caryatid portico of the Erechtheum ought to be reckoned as an instance (Fig. 67).
The capital shown in Fig. 66 is a special variety of the Ionic capital, of rather rare occurrence. Its distinguishing features are the insertion between ovolo and spiral roll of a torus ornamented with a braided pattern, called a GUILLOCHE; the absence of the palmettes from the corners formed by the spiral roll; and the fact that the channel of the roll is double instead of single, which gives a more elaborate character to that member. Finally, in the Erechtheum the upper part or necking of the shaft is enriched with an exquisitely wrought band of floral ornament, the so-called honeysuckle pattern. This feature is met with in some other examples.
As in the Doric style, so in the Ionic, the anta-capital is quite unlike the column-capital. Fig. 68 shows an anta-capital from the Erechtheum, with an adjacent portion of the wall-band; cf. also Fig. 69. Perhaps it is inaccurate in this case to speak of an anta-capital at all, seeing that the anta simply shares the moldings which crown the wall. The floral frieze under the moldings is, however, somewhat more elaborate on the anta than on the adjacent wall. The Ionic method of ceiling a peristyle or portico may be partly seen in Fig 69. The principal ceiling-beams here rest upon the architrave, instead of upon the frieze, as in a Doric building (cf. Fig. 56). Above were the usual coffered slabs. The same illustration shows a well-preserved and finely proportioned doorway, but unfortunately leaves the details of its ornamentation indistinct.
The Ionic order was much used in the Greek cities of Asia Minor for peripteral temples. The most considerable remains of such buildings, at Ephesus, Priene, etc., belong to the fourth century or later. In Greece proper there is no known instance of a peripteral Ionic temple, but the order was sometimes used for small prostyle and amphiprostyle buildings, such as the Temple of Wingless Victory in Athens (Fig. 70). Furthermore, Ionic columns were sometimes employed in the interior of Doric temples, as at Bassae in Arcadia and (probably) in the temple built by Scopas at Tegea. In the Propylaea or gateway of the Athenian Acropolis we even find the Doric and Ionic orders juxtaposed, the exterior architecture being Doric and the interior Ionic, with no wall to separate them. One more interesting occurrence of the Ionic order in Greece proper may be mentioned, viz., in the Philippeum at Olympia (about 336 B.C.). This is a circular building, surrounded by an Ionic colonnade. Still other types of building afforded opportunity enough for the employment of this style.
After what has been said of the gradual changes in the Doric order, it will be understood that the Ionic order was not the same in the sixth century as in the fifth, nor in the fifth the same as in the third. The most striking change concerns the spiral roll of the capital. In the good period the portion of this member which connects the volutes is bounded below by a depressed curve, graceful and vigorous. With the gradual degradation of taste this curve tended to become a straight line, the result being the unlovely, mechanical form shown in Fig. 71 (from a building of Ptolemy Philadelphus, who reigned from 283 to 246 B.C.). Better formed capitals than this continued for some time to be made in Greek lands; but the type just shown, or rather something resembling it in the disagreeable feature noted, became canonical with Roman architects.
The Corinthian order, as it is commonly called, hardly deserves to be called a distinct order. Its only peculiar feature is the capital; otherwise it agrees with the Ionic order. The Corinthian capital is said to have been invented in the fifth century; and a solitary specimen, of a meager and rudimentary type, found in 1812 in the Temple of Apollo at Bassae, but since lost, was perhaps an original part of that building (about 430 B. C). At present the earliest extant specimens are from the interior of a round building of the fourth century near Epidaurus in Argolis (Fig.
Some allusion has been made in the foregoing to other types of columnar buildings besides the temple. The principal ones of which remains exist are PROPYLAEA and STOAS. Propylaea is the Greek name for a form of gateway, consisting essentially of a cross wall between side walls, with a portico on each front. Such gateways occur in many places as entrances to sacred precincts. The finest example, and one of the noblest monuments of Greek architecture, is that at the west end of the Athenian Acropolis. The stoa may be defined as a building having an open range of columns on at least one side. Usually its length was much greater than its depth. Stoas were often built in sacred precincts, as at Olympia, and also for secular purposes along public streets, as in Athens. These and other buildings into which the column entered as an integral feature involved no new architectural elements or principles.
One highly important fact about Greek architecture has thus far been only touched upon; that is, the liberal use it made of color. The ruins of Greek temples are to-day monochromatic, either glittering white, as is the temple at Sunium, or of a golden brown, as are the Parthenon and other buildings of Pentelic marble, or of a still warmer brown, as are the limestone temples of Paestum and Girgenti (Acragas). But this uniformity of tint is due only to time. A "White City," such as made the pride of Chicago in 1893, would have been unimaginable to an ancient Greek. Even to-day the attentive observer may sometimes see upon old Greek buildings, as, for example, upon ceiling-beams of the Parthenon, traces left by patterns from which the color has vanished. In other instances remains of actual color exist. So specks of blue paint may still be seen, or might a few years ago, on blocks belonging to the Athenian Propylaea. But our most abundant evidence for the original use of color comes from architectural fragments recently unearthed. During the excavation of Olympia (1875-81) this matter of the coloring of architecture was constantly in mind and a large body of facts relating to it was accumulated. Every new and important excavation adds to the store. At present our information is much fuller in regard to the polychromy of Doric than of Ionic buildings. It appears that, just as the forms and proportions of a building and of all its details were determined by precedent, yet not so absolutely as to leave no scope for the exercise of individual genius, so there was an established system in the coloring of a building, yet a system which varied somewhat according to time and place and the taste of the architect. The frontispiece attempts to suggest what the coloring of the Parthenon was like, and thus to illustrate the general scheme of Doric polychromy. The colors used were chiefly dark blue, sometimes almost black, and red; green and yellow also occur, and some details were gilded. The coloration of the building was far from total. Plain surfaces, as walls, were unpainted. So too were the columns, including, probably, their capitals, except between the annulets. Thus color was confined to the upper members--the triglyphs, the under surface (soffit) of the cornice, the sima, the anta-capitals (cf. Fig. 54), the ornamental details generally, the coffers of the ceiling, and the backgrounds of sculpture. [Footnote: Our frontispiece gives the backgrounds of the metopes as plain, but this is probably an error] The triglyphs, regulae, and mutules were blue; the taenia of the architrave and the soffit of the cornice between the mutules with the adjacent narrow bands were red; the backgrounds of sculpture, either blue or red; the hawk's-beak molding, alternating blue and red; and so on. The principal uncertainty regards the treatment of the unpainted members. Were these left of a glittering white, or were they toned down, in the case of marble buildings, by some application or other, so as to contrast less glaringly with the painted portions? The latter supposition receives some confirmation from Vitruvius, a Roman writer on architecture of the age of Augustus, and seems to some modern writers to be demanded by aesthetic considerations. On the other hand, the evidence of the Olympia buildings points the other way. Perhaps the actual practice varied. As for the coloring of Ionic architecture, we know that the capital of the column was painted, but otherwise our information is very scanty.
If it be asked what led the Greeks to a use of color so strange to us and, on first acquaintance, so little to our taste, it may be answered that possibly the example of their neighbors had something to do with it. The architecture of Egypt, of Mesopotamia, of Persia, was polychromatic. But probably the practice of the Greeks was in the main an inheritance from the early days of their own civilization. According to a well- supported theory, the Doric temple of the historical period is a translation into stone or marble of a primitive edifice whose walls were of sun-dried bricks and whose columns and entablature were of wood. Now it is natural and appropriate to paint wood; and we may suppose that the taste for a partially colored architecture was thus formed. This theory does not indeed explain everything. It does not, for example, explain why the columns or the architrave should be uncolored. In short, the Greek system of polychromy presents itself to us as a largely arbitrary system.
More interesting than the question of origin is the question of aesthetic effect. Was the Greek use of color in good taste? It is not easy to answer with a simple yes or no. Many of the attempts to represent the facts by restorations on paper have been crude and vulgar enough. On the other hand, some experiments in decorating modern buildings with color, in a fashion, to be sure, much less liberal than that of ancient Greece, have produced pleasing results. At present the question is rather one of faith than of sight; and most students of the subject have faith to believe that the appearance of a Greek temple in all its pomp of color was not only sumptuous, but harmonious and appropriate.
When we compare the architecture of Greece with that of other countries, we must be struck with the remarkable degree in which the former adhered to established usage, both in the general plan of a building and in the forms and proportions of each feature. Some measure of adherence to precedent is indeed implied in the very existence of an architectural style. What is meant is that the Greek measure was unusual, perhaps unparalleled. Yet the following of established canons was not pushed to a slavish extreme. A fine Greek temple could not be built according to a hard and fast rule. While the architect refrained from bold and lawless innovations, he yet had scope to exercise his genius. The differences between the Parthenon and any other contemporary Doric temple would seem slight, when regarded singly; but the preeminent perfection of the Parthenon lay in just those skilfully calculated differences
A Greek columnar building is extremely simple in form.[Footnote: The substance of this paragraph and the following is borrowed from Boutmy, "Philosophie de l'Architecture en Grece" (Paris, 1870)] The outlines of an ordinary temple are those of an oblong rectangular block surmounted by a triangular roof. With a qualification to be explained presently, all the lines of the building, except those of the roof, are either horizontal or perpendicular. The most complicated Greek columnar buildings known, the Erechtheum and the Propylaea of the Athenian Acropolis, are simplicity itself when compared to a Gothic cathedral, with its irregular plan, its towers, its wheel windows, its multitudinous diagonal lines.
The extreme simplicity which characterizes the general form of a Greek building extends also to its sculptured and painted ornaments. In the Doric style these are very sparingly used; and even the Ionic style, though more luxuriant, seems reserved in comparison with the wealth of ornamental detail in a Gothic cathedral. Moreover, the Greek ornaments are simple in character. Examine again the hawk's-beak, the egg-and-dart, the leaf-and- dart, the astragal, the guilloche, the honeysuckle, the meander or fret. These are almost the only continuous patterns in use in Greek architecture. Each consists of a small number of elements recurring in unvarying order; a short section is enough to give the entire pattern. Contrast this with the string-course in the nave of the Cathedral of Amiens, where the motive of the design undergoes constant variation, no piece exactly duplicating its neighbor, or with the intricate interlacing patterns of Arabic decoration, and you will have a striking illustration of the Greek love for the finite and comprehensible.
When it was said just now that the main lines of a Greek temple are either horizontal or perpendicular, the statement called for qualification. The elevations of the most perfect of Doric buildings, the Parthenon, could not be drawn with a ruler. Some of the apparently straight lines are really curved. The stylobate is not level, but convex, the rise of the curve amounting to 1/450 of the length of the building; the architrave has also a rising curve, but slighter than that of the stylobate. Then again, many of the lines that would commonly be taken for vertical are in reality slightly inclined. The columns slope inward and so do the principal surfaces of the building, while the anta-capitals slope forward. These refinements, or some of them, have been observed in several other buildings. They are commonly regarded as designed to obviate certain optical illusions supposed to arise in their absence. But perhaps, as one writer has suggested, their principal office was to save the building from an appearance of mathematical rigidity, to give it something of the semblance of a living thing.
Be that as it may, these manifold subtle curves and sloping lines testify to the extraordinary nicety of Greek workmanship. A column of the Parthenon, with its inclination, its tapering, its entasis, and its fluting, could not have been constructed without the most conscientious skill. In fact, the capabilities of the workmen kept pace with the demands of the architects. No matter how delicate the adjustment to be made, the task was perfectly achieved. And when it came to the execution of ornamental details, these were wrought with a free hand and, in the best period, with fine artistic feeling. The wall-band of the Erechtheum is one of the most exquisite things which Greece has left us.
Simplicity in general form, harmony of proportion, refinement of line--these are the great features of Greek columnar architecture.
One other type of Greek building, into which the column does not enter, or enters only in a very subordinate way, remains to be mentioned--the theater. Theaters abounded in Greece. Every considerable city and many a smaller place had at least one, and the ruins of these structures rank with temples and walls of fortification among the commonest classes of ruins in Greek lands. But in a sketch of Greek art they may be rapidly dismissed. That part of the theater which was occupied by spectators--the auditorium, as we may call it--was commonly built into a natural slope, helped out by means of artificial embankments and supporting walls. There was no roof. The building, therefore, had no exterior, or none to speak of. Such beauty as it possessed was due mainly to its proportions. The theater at the sanctuary of Asclepius near Epidaurus, the work of the same architect who built the round building with the Corinthian columns referred to on page 103, was distinguished in ancient times for "harmony and beauty," as the Greek traveler, Pausamas (about 165 A. D.), puts it. It is fortunately one of the best preserved. Fig. 74, a view taken from a considerable distance will give some idea of that quality which Pausanias justly admired. Fronting the auditorium was the stage building, of which little but foundations remains anywhere. So far as can be ascertained, this stage building had but small architectural pretensions until the post classical period (i.e., after Alexander) But there was opportunity for elegance as well as convenience in the form given to the stone or marble seats with which the auditorium was provided.
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