Introduction to Greek ColumnsGreek columns have long been an integral part of architectural design, with their distinctive forms shaping buildings from ancient Greece to modern-day structures. Three main orders of Greek Columns have been identified: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. Each order comes with unique characteristics that differentiate it from the others. Of all the Greek orders, the Corinthian columns are the most ornate. Their intricate designs and elaborate capitals have been the subject of awe and inspiration among architects, designers, and enthusiasts worldwide.
Origins and Characteristics of the Corinthian ColumnThe Corinthian order of columns originated in ancient Greece and is believed to have been first used in the Temple of Apollo at Bassae, which was constructed in the mid-5th century BCE. The Corinthian order is characterized by its slim, fluted columns that have an elegant, feminine quality. Corinthian columns are also known for their highly decorative capital. The intricately carved designs typically include acanthus leaves, scrolls, and flowers. The capital’s design was inspired by a basket of acanthus leaves, which were believed to have grown around a young girl’s basket that was placed over her grave. Interestingly, the Corinthian column was not initially popular in ancient Greece. Their complex designs were seen as too florid and feminine and not masculine enough for Greek tastes. However, they gained popularity during the Hellenistic period, when Greek culture became more decorative and theatrical.
Intricacies of Corinthian CapitalsThe Corinthian capital is undoubtedly the most ornate feature of the Corinthian column. Some of the distinct features of the Corinthian capital include:
- Acanthus leaves
- Volute scrolls
- Flowers (such as lilies and roses)
- Small animals (such as birds and snakes)
- Human and mythical figures