Page images
PDF
EPUB

2594. Fig. 892. (see preceding page) shows the parts of the entablature, base, and pedestal to a larger scale, and fig. 893. gives, similarly, a more intelligible, because larger, represent

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

ation of the mode of setting up the capital, which, as we have already observed, has only eight volutes. In this figure A is the plan, as viewed frontwise; B, that of the capital, viewed diagonally; C, the vase or body of the capital ; D, the first tier of leaves; E, the second tier of the same; F, the volutes; G, the flower ; H, the abacus.

2595. Vitruvius has not given any instructions on this order; we are therefore obliged to begin our parallel, as in the other orders, with

2596. Palladio, whose examples of it are light and much decorated. To the pedestal's height this master assigns 3 diameters and three eighths of the column, adding to it a lower plinth of the height of half a diameter. He makes the base of the column half a diameter in height, and assigns to the shaft 8 diameters and a little more than one fourth, and cuts on it twenty-four Autes. The height of this capital is 1 diameter and a sixth, his volutes being very similar to those he prescribes for his Ionic. The architrave, frieze, and cornice he makes a little less than a fifth part of the height of the column. The whole height of his profile in our measures is 30 modules and 12 parts.

2597. Serlio seems to have founded his profile of this order upon the example in the Coliseum at Rome. He makes the height of the pedestal a little less than 4 diameters of the column. To the shaft of the column he assigns 8 diameters and a half. To the height of the capital he gives 1 diameter, differing therein from his profile of the Corinthian order in the disposition of the volutes and leaves. His entablature, which is a little less in height than one fourth of the column, he divides into three equal parts for the

[graphic]

rchitrava, frieze, and cornice The total height of his profile in our measures is 82 molules and 9 parts, being much higher than that of Palladio.

2598. Scamozzi's profile greatly resembles that of Palladio. His pedestal is s dianeters, and the base of his column half a diameter in height. The shaft of his colump rithout base or capital, is 8 diameters and one twelfth high, and the capital i diameter nd a sixth. The entablature is one fifth part of the column in height, and the whole of the profile in our measures is nearly 29 modules and 7 parts.

Sect. VIII.

PEDESTALS. 2599. We think it necessary to devote a small portion of our labour to the consider. ition of pedestals, on account of the great difference which exists in the examples of the rders, and this we shall place in a tabular form, previous to the general remarks it will be vecessary to make.

TABLE SHOWING THE HEIGHT or PEDESTALS IN ANCIENT AND MODERN Works.

[blocks in formation]

2600. The minutes used in the above table are each equal to one sixtieth of the diameter of the shaft.

2601. Whether the pedestal is to be considered a component part of an order is of little mportance. There are so many cases that arise in designing a building, in which it annot be dispensed with, that we think it useful to connect it with the column and intablature, and have consequently done so in the examples already given of the several orders. Vitruvius, in the Doric, Corinthian, and Tuscan orders, makes no mention of pedestals, and in the Ionic order he seems to consider them rather as a necessary part in be construction of a temple than as belonging to the order itself.

2602. A pedestal consists properly of three parts, the base, the die, and the cornice. · Some authors,” says Chambers, “are very averse to pedestals, and compare a column aised on a pedestal to a man mounted on stilts, imagining they were first introduced nerely through necessity, and for want of columns of a sufficient length. “ It is indeed rue," he continues, “ that the ancients often made use of artifices to lengthen their polumns, as appears by some that are in the baptistery of Constantine at Rome; the shafts of which, being too short for the building, were lengthened and joined to their bases by an undulated sweep, adorned with acanthus leaves; and the same expedient has been made use of in some fragments which were discovered a few years ago at Nismes, contiguous to the temple of Diana. Nevertheless, it dotlı not seem proper to comprehend pedestals in

the nun ber of these artifices, since there are many occasions on which they are evidently necessary, and some in which the order, were it not so raised, would lose much of its beautiful apprarance. Thus, within our churches, if the columns supporting the vault were placed immediately on the ground, the seats would hide their bases and a good part of their shafts; and in the theatres of the ancients, if the columns of the scene had been placed immediately on the stage, the actors would have hid a considerable part of them from the audience; for which reason it was usual to raise them on very high pedestals, as was likewise necessary in their triumphal arches; and in most of their temples the columns were placed on a basement or continued pedestal (stylobata), that so the whole might be exposed to view, notwithstanding the crowds of people with which these places were frequently surrounded. And the same reason will authorise the same practice in our churches, theatres, courts of justice, or other public buildings where crowds frequently assemble. In interior decorations, where, generally speaking, grandeur of style is not to be aimed at, a pedestal diminishes the parts of the order, which otherwise might appear too clumsy; and has the farther advantage of placing the columns in a more favourable view, by raising 'heir base nearer to the level of the spectator's eye. And in a second order of arcades there is no avoiding pedestals, as without them it is impossible to give the arches any tolerable proportion. Sometimes, too, the situation makes it necessary to employ pedestals, an instance of which there is in the Luxembourg at Paris ; where, the body of the building standing on higher ground than the wings, the architect was obliged to raise the first order of the wings on a pedestal, to bring it upon a level with that of the body or corps de logis of the building, which stands immediately on the pavement."

2603. The dies of pedestals are occasionally decorated with tablets or with sunk panels whose margins are moulded; but, generally speaking, such practices are to be avoided. In very large pedestals the surface may be thus broken, as in single monumental columns, which, at best, are but paltry substitutes for originality. Habit has reconciled us to view with pleasure the Trajan and Antonine columns, the monument of London, and the column of Napoleon in the Place Vendôme at Paris, in each of which the pedestals are ornamented in some way or other, so as to tell in some measure the story of the person in whose honour they were erected, or, as in the basso-relievo of the London column, the event which it records. But care must be taken when inscriptions are used to preserve a rigid adherence to truth, and not to perpetuate a lie, as was the case in the monument just named, against a most worthy portion of the people of the British empire.

2604. As respects the employment of pedestals, we should advise the student, except under very extraordinary circumstances, to avoid the use of them under columns which are placed at a distance from the main walls of an edifice, as, for example, in porches peristyles, or porticoes, - a vice most prevalent in the Elizabethan architecture, or rather the cinque-cento period, which the people of this day are attempting with all its ab. surdities to revive. Here we must again quote our author, Sir William Chambers, whose excellent work we have used above, and on which we shall continue to draw largely. * With regard,” he says, “to the application of pedestals, it must be observed, that when columns are entirely detached, and at a considerable distance from the wall, as when they are employed to form porches, peristyles, or porticoes, they should never be piaced on detached pedestals, as they are in some of Scamozzi's designs, in the temple of Scisi ( Assisi) mentioned by Palladio, and at Lord Archer's house, now Lowe's hotel, in Covent Garden ; for then they indeed may be compared to men mounted on stilts, as they have a very weak and tottering appearance. In compositions of this kind, it is generally best to place the columns immediately on the pavement, which may be either raised on a continued solid basement, or be ascended to by a flight of fronting steps, as at St. Paul's, and at St. George's Bloomsbury; but if it be absolutely necessary to have a fence in the intercolumniations, as in the case of bridges or other buildings on the water, or in a second order, the columns may then, in very large buildings, be raised on a continued plinth, as in the upper order of the western porch of St. Paul's, which in such case will be sufficiently high : and in smaller buildings, wherever it may not be convenient or proper to place the balustrade between the shafts, the columns may be placed on a continued pedestal, as they are in Palladio's designs for Signor Cornaro's house at Piombino, and at the villa Arsieri, near Vicenza, another beautiful building of the same master.” The same author continues: “ The base and cornice of these pedestals must run in a straight line on the outside throughout, but the dies are made no broader than the plinths of the columns, the intervals between them being filled with balusters, which is both really and apparently lighter than if the whole pedestal were a continued solid." The author quoted then proceeds to caution the student against the employment of triangular, circular, and polygonal pedestals, and sueb as are swelled and have their die in the form of a baluster, or are surrounded by cinctures.

These extravagances were rife in the age of Louis XV., but notwithstanding the zeal of the jobbing upholsterers and decorators of the present day, who are the curse of all architectural art, we hope they will never be permanently revived in this country, though their introduction has already proceeded to a considerable extent

Sect. IX.

INTERCOLUMNIATIONS. 2605. An intercolumniation is the clear distance between two columns measured at the lower diameter of their shafts. This distance must depend principally on the order em. ployed: in the Tuscan, for example, the nature of its composition allows a greater width between columns than would be admissible in the Corinthian order, independent of what has already been stated in Sect. II. (2524, et seq.) in respect of supports and loading; and this because of the enrichments of the several orders requiring that they should take their departures (to use a phrase borrowed from another science) from the axes of their respective columns. The ancient names (which are still preserved) of the different intercolumniations are described by Vitruvius in his second and fourth books. They are - the pycnostyle, wherein the space between the columns is 1 diameter and a half, as its etymology from rukvos and otulos imports (thick in columns), an intercolumniation used only in the Ionic and Corinthian orders; the systyle (ovotvos, with columns a little more apart), wherein the interval between the columns is a little greater ; the eustyle (EVOTV os, or well. contrived interval), wherein the intercolumniation is of 2 diameters and a quarter ; the diastyle (8.20 Tulos, with a more extended interval between the columns), having an inter columniation of 3 diameters; and the aræostyle (apalootulos, with few columns), wherein the interval is 4 diameters. In the Doric order the triglyphs necessarily regulate the intercolumniations, inasmuch as the triglyph should fall over the axis of the column; hence the intercolumniations in this order are either systyle monotriglyph(that is, with a single triglyph in the intercolumniation), or 14 diameter; diastyle, or of 2 diameters; or aræostyle, which will make the interval 4 diameters, as will be immediately understood on reference to fig. 894.; wherein A is the sysytle monotriglyph intercolumniation of 3 modules ; B, that of the diastyle, or 6 modules; and C, the aræostyle, or of 8 modules. The intercolumniation marked Dserves for the application of coupled columns, wherein the rule seems necessarily to be that the space between the columns may be increased, so that the requisite number of supports accord. ing to the order and intercolumniation is preserved.

[graphic]

Fig. 891.

[blocks in formation]

Fig. 895. 2606. The intervals of the Tuscan order are indicated in fig. 895., wherein A shows the intercolumniation called eustyle of 44 modules; B, the diastyle of 6 modules ; and C, the aræostyle of 8. D, of 1 module, is the space of coupled columns.

The intercolumniations in this order are scarcely susceptible of rules other than those we have indicated in our previous discussion on the orders generally in Sect. II. (2523, et seq.), wherein we have entered on the subject at such length that we refrain from saying more in this place. We may, however, observe, that the application of the principles there mentioned are so intimately connected with this section, that the separation of one from the other would destroy all our scheme for keeping the student in the right path. Hereafter the principles in question will be applied to and tested on arcades.

B

C

[ocr errors]

Fig. 897.

2007. In fig. 896., of Ionic intercolumniations, A is the eustyle arrangement; B, that of the diastyle ; C, that of the aræostyle; and D, that of coupled columns.

2608. Fig. 897. is a similar application of the intercolumniations to The Corinthian order, wherein also A exhibits the eustyle; B, the diastyle ; and C, the aræostyle intervals : D also showing the space used of 1 module for coupled columns.

2609. Sir William Chambers, for whose observations we have much respect, — and, indeed, to whose valuable labours we acknowledge ourselves much indebted,- seems to have had a distant glimpse of the doctrine of equal weights and supports, but knew not exactly how to justify his notions on the subject. He therefore avoids the main question by attributing the pycnostyle intercolumniation rather to necessity than choice ; observing, that “as the architraves were composed of single stones or blocks of marble, extending from the axis of one column to that of another, it would have been diffi. cult to find blocks of a sufficient length for diastyle intervals in large buildings." But this is a reason altogether unsatisfactory, inasmuch as we know that they were sufficiently masters of masonry to have conquered any such difficulty. We are much more inclined to agree with him when he says (always, however, reverting to the principle of equal supports and weights), “ With regard to the aræostyle and Tuscan intercolumniations, they are by much too wide either for beauty or strength, and can only be used in structures where the architraves are of wood, and where convenience and economy take place of all other considerations: nor is the diastyle sufficiently solid in large compositions. These considerations, however, may be always safely referred to the doctrines laid down in Section II. of this Chapter, already alluded to; and, indeed, that reference is justified by the instructions of Vitruvius in the second chapter of his third book, wherein he directs that the thickness of the column should be augmented in an enlarged intercolumniation : as for example, supposing the diameter of a column in the pycnostyle species to be taken one tenth of the height, it should in an aræostyle be one eighth; arguing, that if in an aræostyle the thickness of the columns exceed not a ninth or tenth part of their height, they appear too slender, and in the pycnostyle species the column at one eighth of its height is clumsy and unpleasant in appearance. Upon this passage Chambers observes, " that the intention of Vitruvius was good, but the means by which he attempts to compass it insufficient. His design was to strengthen the supports in proportion as the intervals between them were enlarged; yet according to the method proposed by him this cannot be effected, since one necessary consequence of augmenting the diameter of the column is enlarging the intercolumniation proportionably. Palladio and Scamozzi have however admitted this precept as literally just, and by their manner of applying it have been guilty of very con siderable absurdity." We are not at all inclined to admit the truth of the opinion of Chambers; for, again reverting to the doctrine of the supports and loading, which was unknown to him, it is to be remembered that increase in the space of the intercolumniation immediately involves increase of weight in the load or entablature, and therefore seems to demand increase of diameter to the supports. Palladio and Scamozzi were not therefore guilty of the absurdity laid to their charge.

2610. Among the other reasons for our adopting the practice of Vignola is that he has observed so much uniformity in his intercolumniations, except of the Doric order, wherein the triglyphs prevent it, aware as we are that the practice has by many able writers beca much condemned. Chambers even says that his practice in this respect is preferable to any other, as it answers perfectly the intention of Vitruvius, preserves the character of each order, and maintains in all of them an equal degree of real solidity."

[graphic]
« PreviousContinue »