Greek Doric Order 080044

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

The Greek Doric Capital. The capital of the Doric order consists of two principal parts, a plain Abacus and a moulding of refined outline termed an Echi= nus, with generally three Listels or Annulets below it. The abacus, or upper member of the cap, is a plain block, rectangular in elevation, and is the only member of this column that is square in plan. The echinus, or lower member of the capital, is in vertical section always a freehand curve. This curve approaches an ellipse or hyperbola, the lower part of which ends in a series of fillets varying from two to five in number. These fillets carry around below the echinus moulding, and separate the capital from the channeled neck or shaft of the column. A necking is sometimes suggested by separating a certain portion of the column from the remainder of the shaft by a deeply sunk channel. This square channel or sinkage takes the place of an astragal; and the necking of the column cap is always either plain or fluted, being treated to agree with the column shaft. The total height of the Doric capital is one module, or one-half the column diameter at the base.

General Rule for Height of Shaft. The proportion of the necking to the base of the column, as shown in the order, Plate XXXVIII, is as 48 parts or minutes compared to 60; while the height of the shaft, including the capital, varies in ancient examples, but, for our present purpose, may be taken as being seven diameters of the column, as shown in Fig. 50. The column used on the Parthenon will, by reference to the example in Plate XXXVII, be found to be only five and one-half diameters in height, instead of the seven diameters which has just been recommended. But this apparent contradiction is explained by two facts. In the first place, the column of the Parthenon is undoubtedly the most perfect that could be devised for use as it is there employed-in very large size and under a wide, flat, spreading pediment with a long colonnade on each returning side of the building. But for modern purposes, where no such grandeur of scale is possible, some considerable change is advisable; as the column would not be nearly so large, it requires rather a slender and graceful than a sturdy shaft. The fact that the columns would be placed farther apart than in the example of the Parthenon, also necessitates the acceptance of a quite different principle to govern their composition, although we should adhere directly to the general Greek lines, and as for most purposes the Order would be reproduced to-day in wood, this consideration would also tend to lighten the proportions and effect of the shaft.

Fig. 55. Method of Fluting Greek Doric Columns.

Fig. 55. Method of Fluting Greek Doric Columns.

The Stylobate. The steps forming the stylobate on which the column rests should be a certain proportion of its diameter, and each step should not be less in height than fifteen parts, or one-quarter of the column diameter. In Plate XXXVIII is shown one of these steps at the correct proportion as regards the Order as a whole; while another instance of their correct use is shown in the plate illustrating the small temple of Diana Propylaea at Eleusis (Plate XXXV).

The Entablature. Architrave. Above the column is placed the entablature, with the architrave resting directly on the abacus of the capital Its lower division, or architrave, shown in Plate XXX-VIII, is merely a plain stone lintel laid across and upon the supporting columns and carrying in its turn the frieze. This lintel equals in thickness the width of the column at its neck, and between the capitals forms a soffit which, in this Order, is left perfectly plain. This architrave is so arranged that the joints always correspond with the axes of the columns, except at the column on the angle where there is no joint on the principal facade.

Fragments of Greek Doric Entablatures from Selinunte, Sicily, now In the Museum at Palermo. Showing triglyph, metope, and mutule treatment and disposition

Fragments of Greek Doric Entablatures from Selinunte, Sicily, now In the Museum at Palermo. Showing triglyph, metope, and mutule treatment and disposition.

The only mouldings on the architrave are the listel and the taenia which crown it, and which serve to separate it from the frieze. The listel or regula is quite small, and is used in short sections occurring directly beneath the triglyphs in the frieze above, being always of a length to correspond to the width of the face of the triglyph. Six conical drops or guttae are placed at regular intervals beneath, and hanging from, the listel.

Frieze. The frieze, resting directly on the taenia or architrave, is decorated by ornaments termed Triglyphs, that are used only on the face of the Doric entablature and remain its most distinctive feature. These triglyphs are blocks, rectangular in shape, and of a height in proportion to the width of the column, spaced evenly along the face of the frieze, and having their faces carved with two perpendicular, incised channels or sinkages, V-shaped in section; and two half-channels on the corner edges running from the top of the taenia to just below the lowest member of the cornice, where they are stopped, or again worked out to the surface of the triglyph. These channels imitate the cutting of the ends of wooden beams resting upon the transverse architrave or lintel. Generally the width of the triglyphs is very nearly equal to one-half the column diameter at the base, and they extend in height from the top of the taenia to the bottom of the lowest member of the cornice, which is broken around to receive them. The regula and dependent guttae hang on the face of the architrave below, and in line with the triglyph in every case. These guttae are pyramidal or conical-shaped blocks or drops representing either portions of the early wooden construction, or they may have been suggested by dependent drops of water.

Disposition of the Triglyphs in the Frieze. It is interesting to take some account of the manner in which these triglyphs are placed in the frieze. Generally they occur above each column and in the middle of the space between the columns (see Fig. 58 and Plate XXX-V); but in all Greek architecture there is an exception in their placing on the angle of the building, where they are brought out to the extreme edge, so that the respective corner triglyphs on the two sides come together or miter, on the angle, showing one complete triglyph on each side of the building, but both possessing the corner half-channel in common. Except on the corner of the building, as shown in Plate XXXVIII, the triglyphs occur directly over the center line of the collimns or over the spaces beneath, as will be shown more exactly in taking up the intercolumniation of the Greek Orders. As a result of placing the corner triglyph, not over the middle of the column but on the extreme angle of the frieze, the next triglyph does not occur over the center of the space between these two columns, but is placed equally distant between the two neighboring triglyphs. This disposition, if the spacing of the columns below remains the same, necessarily gives the two last metopes a dimension different from the others. But, by slightly altering the intercolumniation of the columns that occur on the angle of the building, and making them a little nearer together than those on the rest of the colonnade, the inequality can be so distributed that it will not be observed. The column at the angle is sometimes heavier and more strongly inclined toward the interior of the building in order to assist in rendering these irregularities less apparent, and also in part to conform with the laws of ocular stability and so make a better effect upon the eye. The space between the triglyphs, always square, is called the Metope, and in many of the Greek temples was decorated with sculpture in relief, whose extreme face was nearly in plane with the face of the frieze.

The placing of the triglyphs directly on the corner, and the recessing of the metope faces in order to have the triglyph face in plane with the architrave face, are two distinctive customs of Greek usage that are at variance with the later Roman examples of the Doric Order; although there is no parallel case, so far as the corner treatment is concerned, in real Roman work.

Cornice. Above these triglyphs and metopes, and breaking around them, runs a small band and a fillet, above which occurs the rest of the Doric entablature, composed of two parts, a bed-mould and corona, the principal one being the corona, serving, as we have already said, to throw the water that falls upon the roof to a certain distance from the foot of the edifice. This corona-which, because of its use, is the most essential member of the cornice-is a strongly projecting part, and is accompanied on its under side by a series of inclined mutules of the same width as the triglyphs. These mutules are placed directly over each triglyph, and have in turn guttae-generally eighteen in number arranged in three rows of six guttaeeach-depending from their soffits, the guttae being invariably round in plan and comparatively shallow in depth. Occasionally the space between these mutules and over the metope is left plain, or it is sometimes paneled, while in other cases another mutule is inserted directly over the center of the metope below. Occasionally, though more rarely, there are instances where the guttae and regula below the taenia are also placed beneath this interpolated mutule and below the plain space of the metope. In the example of the Order shown in Plate XXXVIII, these mutules are shown with eighteen guttae, as may be seen in the small plan of the soffit drawn at the right of the column. The mutules themselves in Greek work are generally sloping. The plan of this cornice soffit also shows the treatment on the corner angle, where the square space left between the two mutules is carved, generally after the fashion shown in this example.

Fragment of Cyma. From the Tholos, Epidauros.

Fragment of Cyma. From the Tholos, Epidauros.

The corona is surmounted by a separating moulding that is found again across the pediment; while crowning all is the gutter, the face of which generally forms the cyma of the cornice; and this exterior face is oftentimes decorated with the heads of lions, from whose open mouths spouts the water escaping from the roof. The cyma is repeated on the sloping cornices of the pediment, but the lions' heads, having no utility, are here omitted.

The mouldings of the Doric Order are never given sculptured ornaments.