Assigned Topic: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian Orders
Your Name: dlux
Abstract: Understanding the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian Orders is the key to beginning to “read” and understand Western architecture.
Who/What?: The three Orders originated in the temple architecture of Classical Greece, beginning with the simplest, Doric, in about 600 BCE. The slightly more complex Ionic appeared at about the same time, or a bit later. These two styles for columns established the tone for all classical Greek architecture. The later introduction of the Corinthian order came in the very late classical period of Greek history, c. 400 BCE.
The Romans adopted the Classical Orders of Greece for their public buildings and developed two additional Orders that became particularly important in the Italian Renaissance: The Tuscan Order and the Composite Order. Architects of Rome and the later Renaissance developed detailed and minute specifications for proportions for each of the Orders.
Context: The Renaissance versions of the Orders have come to be universally accepted in Western Civilization and often adopted (and adapted) in other world architectural formats.
Why? Connections to other topics: The Roman culture, particularly the culture of the Empire, placed very high value adopting fashions and styles of the Greeks, but also sought to make improvements.
The Romans developed the practice of “stacking” the three orders, as is seen with the Colosseum in Rome.
The Roman author Vitruvius (late first century BCE) formalized the Roman understanding of the Classical orders. His work – De Architectura — proved the only architectural work to be recovered in the Renaissance, and it became the starting point for modern Western architecture, particularly as developed for public buildings and ceremonial structures.
References? Just the Encyclopedia Britannica. This is general reference information. Anyone interested will find leads for scholarly works in the Britannica articles. Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Vitruvius.” Encyclopædia Britannica. January 20, 2017. Accessed March 28, 2018. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Vitruvius.
Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Composite Order.” Encyclopædia Britannica. July 22, 2008. Accessed March 28, 2018. https://www.britannica.com/technology/Composite-order.
Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Order.” Encyclopædia Britannica. April 16, 2014. Accessed March 28, 2018. https://www.britannica.com/technology/order-architecture.