Mouldings

In the preceding plates describing the individual orders, I have endeavoured to show that there is a logical progression running through their sequence so far as the leading proportions are concerned. Within this progression, however, there is a considerable variety in the manner in which the minor elements are proportioned, and it is this variety which gives each order its individual character and prevents an undesirable uniformity from pervading the whole sequence. This is borne out by this plate, which represents an assembly of the comparable elements of each of the five orders.

Setting aside the capital, I have established four datum lines, one at the junction of architrave and frieze, one between frieze and cornice, the third at the foot of the column and the fourth on top of the plinth of the pedestal. The 'family likeness' of adjoining orders is immediately apparent. In terms of their entablatures, two groups may be distinguished. The Doric and Tuscan are very similar, sharing the same frieze height and simple corona profile, but the Doric is easily distinguished by its mutular form and the correspondingly greater overhang of its corona. Ionic, Corinthian and Composite share a more elaborate profile in the corona, and all have a dentil course. Again their multiple architraves with crowning cyma reversa are closely allied.

The Tuscan base is the odd man out, all the remainder being variations of the Attic base of two tori and a central scotia, with a sequence of additional astragal mouldings - though an Ionic base could be used as an alternative form in the 'major' orders. The mouldings of the pedestal form a similar steady progression. It is important that these should not be allowed too much delicacy - since the whole order rests on the pedestal it must display a degree of visual strength - so unlike the column bases, each successive pedestal is given a little additional space for its mouldings, so far as this can be afforded without jeopardising the stepped elongation of the die.

33. COMPARISON OF MOULDINGS

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