Architecture. The art of proportionally erecting buildings according to plans and models supplied by rules of science, uniting outward ornaments with interior conveniences. It embraces erections for civil, military, and naval purposes. Civil architecture has various modes of decoration, derived from the practice of various nations and different ages, called styles of architecture. Of these the Roman or Italian has been reduced to a system of decoration by columns, called orders.
1. The Tuscan, (from Tuscany,) or most simple.
2. The Doric, (from Dorians, Greece,) durable and noble.
3. The Ionic, (from Ionia,) a mean between the plainness of the Doric and the elegance of the Corinthian.
4. The Corinthian, (from Corinth,) most noble, rich, and delicate.
5. The Composite, (compounded of parts of the other,) is much like the Corinthian.
The style called Gothic was most extensively used after the decline of the Romans, and first adopted in the erection of churches about the tenth or twelfth century, and distinguished by its pointed arch.