The Classical Composite Order was developed in Rome. It is called ‘composite’ because it combines the volutes of the Ionic order with the acanthus leaves of the Corinthian.
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The Roman orders comprised the Greek orders revisited (Doric, Ionic and Corinthian) plus their own additions (Tuscan and Composite). The orders were rediscovered during the Renaissance. They based their definitions on the writings of Roman architect Vitruvius and on first-hand observations of the buildings the latter described in De Architectura (Ten Books of Architecture).
Composite order- Characteristics
- Columns are tall and slender; it is 10 diameters high.
- Capitals have acanthus leaves with big scrolls and its entablature sports an ostentatiously sculpted frieze and cornice.
- The volutes of the Ionic capital were adapted from Phoenician and Egyptian capital designs. The volutes are larger and there is generally some ornament placed centrally between the volutes.
- The order determines the shape, proportion and decoration of the basic architectural elements: the vertical, supporting column (with its base, shaft and capital) and the horizontal, supported entablature.
- Entablatures are the tallest of all the orders at a height of 2 diameters; it is divided into three registers, from bottom to top: the architrave, frieze and cornice.
- Composite order displays decoration that reflects a sense of triumph; it was utilized to represent victory, prestige, opulence and success.
Arch of Titus (AD 82) in Forum in Rome, constructed by the emperor Domitian after the death of his brother Titus to commemorate him.
Composite Order Today
Palazzo Madama, Turin– It was the first Senate of the Italian Kingdom, and takes its traditional name from the embellishments it received under two queens (madama) of the House of Savoy.
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