Mouldings Part II

In Classic work generally the cavetto is only employed for the apophyge under the capital and over the base, but in Roman work, as in the theatre of Marcellus, it sometimes took the place of the cymatium of the cornice. Although extremely simple in its form, the finest Greek moulding, and the one to which the Greeks apparently attached the greatest value, was the echinus under the abacus of the Doric capital.

The earliest archaic example exists in the capital of the shafts flanking the tomb of Agamemnon at Mycenae (a, fig. 10), where it consisted of a large torus decorated with the chevron (see CAPITALS), and an apophyge carved with the petals of a flower; a similar decoration of the apophyge is found in two or three early Doric capitals, as at Paestum and Metapontum, but this is the only example known in which the echinus of the Doric capital was carved, though traces of painting and gilding have been found on them. Other examples showing the gradual development of the echinus are shown in fig. 10; being from the temple at Corinth, from the Parthenon at Athens, from the portico at Delos, e an early Roman example (c. 60 b.c.) of the temple at Cori, and from the theatre of Marcellus, where it nearly approaches the quarter round always employed in late Roman work and in the Renaissance.

There is one other important decorative feature which forms the most characteristic feature of the bedmould of the Ionic cornice, viz. the dentil cornice (fig. 11), derived originally from the ends of the squared timbers which carried the cornice of the primitive Ionic temple, and in the earlier stone examples copied more or less literally; it subsequently in the 4th century was introduced as a part of the bedmould of the cornice of the Ionic Order, the temple of Minerva Polias at Priene in Asia Minor being one of the best examples. It consists of a series of projecting blocks with intervals between them equal to half the width of the block. In the Greek Corinthian Order it was first introduced into the Choragic monument of Lysicrates. It was constantly employed by the Romans in their temples of the Ionic and Corinthian Orders, the finest example being in the bedmould of the temple of Castor in Rome, where it is twice the height of the other mouldings.

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