Classic Roman Corinthian Transition From Greek To  0800175

PLATE LIII. (A reproduction at small size of Portfolio Plate LIII).

CHICAGO ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, LINCOLN PARK, CHICAGO, ILL.

CHICAGO ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, LINCOLN PARK, CHICAGO, ILL.

Patton & Fisher, Architects, Chicago, 111. Built ln 1891.

There is much knowledge of Greek precedent displayed in this remarkable example; but the treatment is yet novel, original, and, all in all, one of the most interesting capitals of the Roman Corinthian form. There is a vigor in the placing, cutting, and distribution of the members that displays great strength, virility, and feeling on the part of its designer.

Comparison of Three Exam= ples. The height and proportions of the columns of three of the best-known examples of the Corinthian Order may be interest-ingly compared. The column used in the Portico of the Pantheon is 45 feet 3 inches high; in the Temple of Castor, 48 feet 3 inches; and in the Temple of Mars Ultor, 57 feet 9 inches. The proportions of their diameters to their heights are respectively 1 to 9 1/4, 1 to 10 1/2, and 1 to 10, including the square plinth; the inter-columniations are 2 1/7, 1 1/2, 1 1/3, respectively. The sturdier or heavier the column, the greater the intercolumniation.

Temple of Minerva, Assisi. There is an example of the Augustan era that is comparatively little known-that of the Temple of Minerva at Assisi. The capitals resemble those of the Temple of Castor and Pollux at Cora. The steps of this example are carried back between the columns, which therefore have the appearance of being placed on pedestals. This is the only Italian example of this custom, although it is occasionally found used in Syrian buildings, where pedestals are frequently used with the Corinthian as well as with the other Roman Orders.

Classic Roman Corinthian Transition From Greek To  0800177

Fig. 130.

Fig. 131. Maison Carree. Nimes.

Fig. 131. Maison Carree. Nimes.

Interior of Grand Temple at Paestum. Showing present condition of remaining columns of upper colonnade.

Interior of Grand Temple at Paestum. Showing present condition of remaining columns of upper colonnade.

Interior of a Greek Doric Temple (Restored).

Interior of a Greek Doric Temple (Restored).

Showing Greek superposition of Orders in temple cella, to take care of extra roof height.

Classic Roman Corinthian Transition From Greek To  0800181

PLATE LIV. (A reproduction at small size of Portfolio Plate LIV).

Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, Rome. The Temple of Antoninus and Faustina is an exceptionally pure example, although of late date. Possibly a Greek artist may have been employed on this work, in which case its beauty and refinement may be explained by that fact. This temple is shown in Plate LIV, and is of special interest owing to the unusual judgment displayed in the ornamentation of the entablature. The carved members are here alternated and contrasted with the plain mouldings, with a reserve and discretion that is seldom attained in Roman workmanship. The capital suggests a study of the better and earlier Greek and Roman forms.

Temple of Nimes, France. The Maison Carrie or Temple of Nimes in France (Fig. 131), to which the approximate date of 122 A. D. has been given, may certainly be included within the dates marking the beginning and the end of Hadrian's reign (117-138 A. D.). This temple is rectangular in shape, and is raised on a podium and approached by a flight of steps. The columns of this temple are 30 feet high, with a diameter of 6 feet 9 inches, and the intercolumniation is two diameters. This building is to-day in an exceptionally good state of preservation.

Temple of the Sun, Rome. On the same plate with the Order from the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina (Plate LIV), is shown the Order from the Temple of the Sun on the Quirinal Hill. This building, otherwise called the Frontispiece or Portico of Nero, was built by Aurelian on his return from Palmyra in 273 A. D., and the work is exceptionally refined in character for so late a date. The carving and ornamentation are here arranged with a discretion worthy of work of a better period. The form of the entablature itself is unusual, with the brackets that were afterwards relegated to be used with the Composite Order; and the modillion course forms the principal member of the bed-mould; but the proportions to one another of the separate parts of this cornice are remarkably successful, and the foliated scroll carving of the frieze is done with such strength and vigor of composition that its use is here amply justified. A fault which is more apparent in the plate than in the actual building, is that the entire entablature is somewhat heavy and over-large in scale for the diameter and thickness of the column and capital which support it. The column is 58 feet high, and the entablature is nearly 1(5 feet high.

Comparison of Early and Late Examples. It should be noticed that each of these Orders increases in elaborateness of carving and of design over its predecessors. In certain of them, this has resulted in a mere complexity of moulding and carved detail, often without sufficient meaning or apparent reason, and without due relation to its place or to the moulding which it is intended to ornament. The capitals themselves display this same retrogression; and in place of the crisp leafage and cutting, the firm upright lines, the decision of composition, and the boldness of massing of the Greek and early Roman examples, they run to mere profusion of ornament. The outline appears flabby, and the capital of insufficient strength to resist the superimposed weight. The bell of the capital is so entirely covered with foliage that it is merely restless and monotonously uninteresting in mass.