Skip to main content

cornice

cornice (kôr´nĬs), molded or decorated projection that forms the crowning feature at the top of a building wall or other architectural element; specifically, the uppermost of the three principal members of the classic entablature, hence by extension any similar crowning and projecting element in the decorative arts. The term is also employed for any projection on a wall that is provided to throw rainwater off the face of the building. The cornice undoubtedly had its origin in the primitive eave projection: the Greek Doric and lonic cornices recall early wooden roof forms, and the Egyptian cavetto-and-fillet cornice is a derivation of the overhanging papyrus stalks that formed the eaves of primitive shelters. The cornice early lost its structural significance and became a stylized decorative element; in the Greek and Roman eras it assumed firmly standardized forms in the classical orders that were retained, with variations, through the Renaissance and later periods. As an element in the classical entablature the cornice is composed of the cymatium, or crown molding, above the corona, the projecting flat member, which casts the principal shadow; in this shadow, and supporting the corona, are a group of moldings called the bed molds, which may be elaborated with dentils. The Corinthian and Composite cornices are further embellished with modillions, or brackets, under the corona; the soffit of the Doric corona is decorated with square, flat projections called mutules, having guttae, or small knobs, hanging from their lower surfaces.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"cornice." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"cornice." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cornice

"cornice." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved April 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cornice

cornice

cornice.
1. Uppermost division of a Classical entablature.

2. Crowning projecting moulded horizontal top of a building or some part of a building, such as a pedestal (where it is the cap), or a wall. In the latter case it is called a wall-cornice or cornicione (if very large and crowning the main façade of e.g. a palazzo). It is an eaves-cornice if it occurs where a roof overhangs a wall and forms eaves with a Classical moulding, or a crown-moulding if at the junction of an internal wall and ceiling. A cornice continuing around a corner or in a different direction is a cornice return, and one faced with e.g. terracotta or some other material is an encased cornice. On a pediment the cornices are differentiated as raking if on the sloping sides. A block-cornice is a wall-cornice with very simple blocks instead of modillions projecting from rudimentary bed-mouldings.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"cornice." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"cornice." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cornice

"cornice." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . Retrieved April 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cornice

cornice

cor·nice / ˈkôrnis/ • n. 1. an ornamental molding around the wall of a room just below the ceiling. ∎  a horizontal molded projection crowning a building or structure, esp. the uppermost member of the entablature of an order, surmounting the frieze. 2. an overhanging mass of hardened snow at the edge of a mountain precipice. DERIVATIVES: cor·niced adj. cor·nic·ing n.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"cornice." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"cornice." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cornice-0

"cornice." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved April 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cornice-0

cornice

cornice XVI (cornish). — F. corniche, †-ice, †-isse — It. cornice, perh. — L. cornix, cornic- crow (cf. CORBEL), but with blending of a deriv. of Gr. korōnís coping-stone.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"cornice." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"cornice." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cornice-1

"cornice." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved April 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cornice-1

cornice

corniceanise, Janice •Daphnis • Agnes •harness, Kiwanis •Dennis, Ennis, Glenys, menace, tennis, Venicefeyness, gayness, greyness (US grayness) •finis, penis •Glynis, Innes, pinnace •Widnes • bigness • lychnis • illness •dimness • hipness •fitness, witness •Erinys • iciness •dryness, flyness, shyness, slyness, wryness •cornice •Adonis, Clones, Issigonis •coyness •Eunice, TunisBernice, furnace •Thespis • precipice • coppice • hospice •auspice • Serapis

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"cornice." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"cornice." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cornice

"cornice." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved April 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cornice