The Tuscan Order

Figure (a) shows how the Tuscan order may be set out. I have adopted a column height of 7 diameters, with an entablature of 1.75 and a plinth of 2.1. 0.5 is given to the base and 0.5 to the capital, which projects to a total of c.625 from the centre line, rather more than advocated by early authorities such as Serlio, who envisaged the extremity of the abacus as aligning with the base diameter. In accordance with the sequence of dimensions I have worked out for the pedestals of the orders, the die of the Tuscan pedestal is fractionally over-square, being 1.4 wide X 1.35 high.

Figure (b) shows the complete order, with the capital and entablature derived from Gibbs; figure (c) also has the simpler alternative form of Palladio which may commend itself particularly in small-scale interpretations of the order. Figure (d) shows the undiminished pilaster of the order, and demonstrates a central difficulty of pilaster design. Consistent throughout the plates is a column diminution of 0.075, and the face of the entablature aligned with the shaft of the column at its (projected) head. Since the pilaster is (unlike the column) normally undiminished, either the projection of the base mouldings must be increased, or the pilaster face must be proud of the entablature, otherwise the plinth of pilaster and corresponding column will not align. The base projection is unchanged in the example in figure (d), and the face of the pilaster is allowed to project beyond that of the entablature. If this solution is thought to be too noticeable, it is perhaps best to compromise by halving this projection and exaggerating the base mouldings by the same amount. Figure (d) also shows Palladio's entablature in section, indicating how the lower cyma sweeps into the soffit of the corona in an uninterrupted curve.

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