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triumphal column

triumphal column. Very large free-standing column, usually of the Tuscan Order (called Gigantic Order), on a pedestal, intended as a monument commemorating an individual and events. An example is Trajan's Column, Rome (c. ad 112–13), with a continuous spiral frieze wrapped around the shaft narrating the Emperor's Dacian wars (ad 101–2, 105–6), and formerly with a statue of Trajan (Emperor AD 98–117) on top: the pedestal was Trajan's tomb-chamber. Very similar is the column of Marcus Aurelius (Emperor ad 161–80), formerly called the Antonine column. The form was used by Fischer von Erlach for the twin columns of the Karlskirche, Vienna (1715–25), the spirals recording events in the life of St Charles Borromeo (1538–84), and the columns themselves suggesting the entry to Paradise, the Temple of Solomon, and the emblems of the Habsburgs. C19 examples include the Vendôme Column, Paris, by Gondoin and Lepère (1806–10, destroyed 1831, and re-erected 1874). Many commemorative columns, however, have plain or fluted shafts, omitting the spiral (e.g. The Monument (1671–7), and the Nelson Column (1839–42), both in London).

Bibliography

Becatti (1960);
H&S (1996)

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