Classic Style (Greek-Roman)

Classic Styles are represented by the main Three Orders of Architecture, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, plus two additional styles which derived from them: Tuscan and Composite Styles.

An illustration of the Five Architectural Orders engraved for the Encyclopédie, vol. 18, showing the Tuscan and Doric orders (top row); two versions of the Ionic order (center row); Corinthian and Composite orders (bottom row).

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Classic Styles- Characteristics

The Doric order is the most easily recognizable as it has simple circular capitals at the top of columns, many of the most important Greek buildings were built using this style. It was the first style of Classical Architecture and was considered a standard of beauty, elegance and strength.  It is connected to the moment when monumental construction started using permanent materials, namely stones. Columns are fluted and are of sturdy, if not stocky, proportions, their shafts stand without a base on the Stygobite, which is the uppermost step of three or more steps of a platform called Crepidula. Capital consists of the Echinus and the quadrangular Abacus and carries the architrave, this latter has frieze that are composed of Triglyphs, square spaces for either painted or sculpted decoration and metopes, marble slabs decorated in bas-relief.

Doric Order- Kensal Green Cemetery in West London

Image source: by It’s No Game

‘Doric-Order, Dossils, Double Fiche’

Image source: by Biblioteca Rector Machado y Nuñez

The Ionic Order is primarily identified by its capital, with its rolled-up cushion-like form on either side creating the distinctive volutes. Vitruvius describes it as a combination of Doric and Corinthian orders.

The Ionic order incorporates a running frieze of continuous sculptural relief without the Doric triglyph and metope but sometimes has ornaments such as carved figures instead. The Ionic column is nine times its lower diameter high, its shaft is eight times its lower diameter high and it’s also marked by an entasis, a curved tapering. A pair of volutes (scroll-shaped ornaments) decorate the capital who is only one-third of the thickness of the column.

Ionic order

Image source: by Arenamontanus

Corinthian order is the most elegant of the five orders. Its main characteristic is the striking capital, which is carved in order to create two st rows of stylized acanthus leaves and four scrolls. The shaft has 24 sharp-edged flutes, while the column is 10 diameters high.

Corinthian order capitol-  The Pantheon (IX)- Pillars and columns holding the roof of the portico of the Pantheon in Rome.

Image source: by isawnyu

The Tuscan order is one of the two classical orders developed by the Romans, it is not an ornate style but it is quite solid. It is influenced by the Doric order, but with un-fluted columns and a simpler entablature with no triglyphs or guttae (literally dashes), the Romans did not consider this style to be a distinct architectural order, for example, Vitruvius did not include it in his  De architectura. Its classification as a formal order can be traced back to the Italian Reinassance.Image source: by Following Hadrian

The Composite order is a mixed order, the capital is a combination of Ionic and Corinthian orders, this order is similar to the former one except for the capital. In many versions there is some ornament between the volutes. The column is ten diameters high, though as with all the orders these details can be changed for particular buildings.

Composite Order- Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae

Image Source: by Léon Davent

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