This section is from the book "Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry, And Building", by James C. et al. Also available from Amazon: Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry And Building.
The various divisions of an Order are adorned with mouldings projecting beyond the face of the parts to which they are applied. They vary somewhat in shape, ornamentation, and number, in the different Orders. There is more difference in this particular between the Doric and Ionic Orders, than between the Ionic and Corinthian.
The principal Greek mouldings are illustrated in Fig. 46, and will now be described. The fillet or listel, a narrow flat moulding (A), is seldom used alone, and generally with a larger moulding. When the fillet broadens out, it becomes a fascia, a name more properly applied to the several plain faces comprising the architrave (I).
The astragal (C) is the name of a small moulding whose outline is a half-circle. A large astragal is called a torus(O). In ordinary use the heavy moulding at the base of an Ionic or Corinthian column is a torus, while the light moulding separating the shaft from the necking of the capital is called the astragal.
Echinus (E) is the name of a moulding whose outline is somewhat like the segment of an ellipse. In Roman work the echinus is debased to a quarter-round (K) in section, drawn with an exact quarter-circle.
The cove (D) is a concave moulding whose profile is the arc of a circle or of an ellipse.
The scotia (L) is a concave moulding whose outline is a cove. This moulding is generally used between two toruses at the base of the column.
The cyma (F) has an outline composed of a concave above and a convex below; it may be considered as compounded of a cove and a quarter-round.
The ogee (B) is the reverse of the cyma, convex above and concave below-or, as it were, a quarter-round above a cove.
The corona (G) is the term applied to the upper projecting part of a cornice, between the crowning moulding or cyma and the lower edge or soffit of the projection; its principal purpose is to shed rain water beyond the face of the wall. The underside of a corona is termed the soffit (H).
A characteristic Greek section is that shown at M-the beak= moulding so-called-where the member is deeply undercut for the purpose of forming a drip.
Mutules and triglyphs, distinctive parts of the Doric Order only, will be defined more thoroughly later on when discussing that Order.
All these mouldings may be indefinitely varied to suit their location and purpose. They may have more or less sharpness of outline, more or less projection, and invariably derive their effect solely from the play of light and shade upon their surfaces. Their architectural character is determined even more by the refinement, than by the sharpness or flatness, of their outline. By combination in different groups, we obtain a body of mouldings whose outline will have a character depending on the greater or less projection of the different members used in the composition. Sharp outlines result from market projections; blunt outlines, from slight projections; and "limp" outlines are the result of a composition in which all the mouldings are of equal importance. Accordingly, in architectural design, the study of profile with regard to the action of light and shade across its surface is of the utmost importance; and the use of mouldings is further complicated by their decoration with carving, or, as was done by the Greek artists, even with painting.
PLATE XXXIX. (A reproduction at small size of Portfolio Plate XXXIX).
The use and proportions of these mouldings should also be studied in the plates devoted to the illustration of Greek architecture and the Greek Orders, and in Plate XXXIX, in which some of the most characteristic sections are shown at one-sixth their actual size. In this plate, the mouldings numbered 1, 2, and 3 are sections taken from capitals of the Parthenon, showing the echinus moulding and the channelings beneath it. Mouldings 4 and 5 are from capitals of the Propylrea at Athens; and moulding 6, from the Theseum. Mouldings 7, 8, and 9 indicate the method of determining the flutings on the shafts of the various Doric columns used in the Parthenon. Moulding 10 is a section through a portion of a cornice at the Parthenon. Moulding 11 is from the Propylaea; moulding 12, from the Erechtheum; and moulding 13, from the Theseum-all at Athens. A base moulding from the Theseum is shown at 14, while at 15 the cap of an anta from the same temple is illustrated. Moulding 16 is taken through the base of the column of the Monument of Lysicrates, and extends to the face of the course upon which it sets. Mouldings 17 and 18 are bases from the north porch of the Erechtheum, one taken from the base of the column, and the other from the accompanying anta.
It must be noticed that the sections of Greek mouldings are totally different from those afterward developed by the Romans. The members or mouldings composing the Greek entablatures and used throughout their buildings and Orders, are very strongly characterized; and were designed with a sole regard to their effect in gathering shadow and forming a drip to throw off the water running over them, and so protect the face of the stonework below. These mouldings were cut quite without any regard for the expenditure of time or labor, and for that reason they are very difficult to reproduce under modern conditions.
In any use of Greek motives, or in any place where the Greek effect of purity is desired to be obtained, particular care should be taken to use the characteristic mouldings which the Greeks themselves developed to such a wonderful degree of refinement and perfection; and we should acknowledge, by copying these sections as exactly as possible, the fact that they are indisputably more perfect and distinctive than any variation that we are likely to invent to-day.
These mouldings are of a fineness that requires their execution in the finest materials, in which alone they can be cut with any degree of refinement and truth. This cutting, too, requires a skill and care on the part of the workman that may be attained to-day only under the most exceptional conditions and at great proportional expense. Each bit of detail or moulding should be produced with the utmost exactitude from some careful study of the original Greek form. The least hesitation in touch or carelessness in handling must result in a definite blemish.
Decoration of Mouldings. It will always be noted that certain mouldings bespeak certain definite and characteristic carved or painted ornaments. In Plate XL are shown some Greek mouldings with the proper accompanying ornaments which the Greek sculptors devised to enrich and increase the effect of the different moulding sections. The fitness of the ornament to emphasize in all cases the contour of the moulding section, should be especially noticed. It does not confuse and hide the member as a whole at the expense of the shadow effect which its contour is designed to produce, as is often the case in later Roman work; but in each instance the placing of shadow on the carved member helps to accent and increase, for the spectator, the outline effect of the complete moulding.
At K, L and N are shown various modifications of the well-known Greek fret, or band ornament. This ornament is used in a great variety of forms, and, as employed by the Greeks upon plain surfaces, must be considered the most perfect decoration that has ever been evolved from the use of a geometrical figure composed solely of right-angled lines.
The guilloche, or woven=band moulding, shown at O, as well as the simpler form at M, also embodies a distinctive Greek method of enriching a flat or slightly curved band, while the same design is frequently employed on the torus moulding (C).
The so-called running dog or Vitruvian wave moulding shown over the guilloche at M, is also a typical Greek decorative ornament, and is used in much the same maner as is the fret. At P and Q are shown two portions of the palmette or honeysuckle and akroter ornament, consisting of two alternating plant forms connected by scrolls. These examples are taken from the pilaster and column friezes of the Erechtheum at Athens. This design is frequently used on a crowning cyma moulding of large size (B).
CORNER OF INTERIOR OF AUDITORIUM. CHICAGO, ILL.
Adler & Sullivan, Architects, Chicago, 111. The Decoration is Based on Byzantine Motifs. The Stage Opening is on the Right.
CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY.
Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge, Architects, Chicago, 111.
PLATE XL. (A reproduction at small size of Portfolio Plato XL).
Capital of Anta, from the Erechtheum at Athens. Showing Greek Moulding Cutting, and Carved Ornament.
The egg=and=dart moulding (I) is a succession of repetitions of forms derived from the egg and the arrow, and is a characteristic decoration of the echinus or quarter-round.
Beads, or reels and beads alternating singly or in groups, are the characteristic ornament of the astragal (A, C, D).
The Ieaf=and=dart (G, J,-water plant and arrows) is applied to the ogee.