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capital

capital. Chapiter, head, or topmost member of a colonnette, column, pilaster, pier, etc., defined by distinct architectural treatment, and often ornamented. Types of capital include:Aeolic: primitive type of Ionic (see aeolic);basket: Byzantine bell-type (a), ornamented with carving resembling wicker-work or basket-weave;bell: inverted bell-like form, found in Ancient Egyptian architecture (e) and First Pointed Gothic (b) and providing the essential shape of the basket-capital and core of the Corinthian capital;block: see cushion;bud: Ancient Egyptian type (f ) in the form of a lotus-bud;Composite: see composite order;Corinthian: see corinthian order;crocket: Gothic capital (c) with stylized rolled leaves resembling small volutes;cube: see cushion;cushion, also block or cube capital: Byzantine and Romanesque (d) form, essentially a cube with its lower corners shaved off and rounded in order to accommodate the transition from square abacus to circular shaft, its four faces are reduced to semicircular lunettes;Doric: see doric order;Hathor-headed: Ancient Egyptian (e) type carved on each face with an image of the goddess Hathor and having a large block-like abacus, also carved with a variety of images;Ionic: see ionic order;lotus: Ancient Egyptian type in the form of a lotus-bud (f ) or decorated with lotus-flowers; moulded: any capital shaped with horizontal mouldings, e.g. in the Perp. style of Gothic (i); palm: Ancient Egyptian type (g) like the top of a palm-tree (palmiform), surrounded by closely arranged vertical palm-fronds and leaves, the column-shaft frequently having vertical bands or large convex reed-like forms. A variant is the Greek Corinthian capital from the Tower of the Winds, Athens (c.50 bc), with one row of acanthus-leaves and an upper row of palm-leaves under a square abacus (h);protomai: with the upper part of figures, mostly animals, projecting from the angles, usually in Romanesque work;scallop: Romanesque type (j), like the cushion, with the curved lower part further shaped with conical forms resembling trumpets (k);stiff-leaf: late-C12 and early C13 Gothic or Transitional type with stylized leaves, usually with large projections (l );Tuscan: see tuscan order; volute: usually associated with the Ionic Order, variants can also be found in Egyptian (m) and medieval work; water-leaf: late-C12 Transitional or early Gothic type with a big, wide, unribbed leaf growing outwards above the convex moulding on top of the shaft, turning upwards and inwards at the corners to the abacus(n).

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"capital." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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capital (in architecture)

capital, in architecture, the crowning member of a column, pilaster, or pier. It acts as the bearing member beneath the lintel or arch supported by the shaft and has a spreading contour appropriate to its function. The most primitive type, of which examples were found in the Beni Hassan tombs, Egypt, consisted of a square block. In later forms the capital had three well-defined parts: the neck, or necking, where it joins the shaft; the echinus, or spreading member above it; and the abacus, or block at the top. In Egypt such types were developed as early as 1500 BC; papyrus buds, the lotus, and the palm leaf were used as motifs of ornamentation. The Greeks perfected three types belonging to three separate orders of architecture—the Doric order, the Ionic order, and the Corinthian order—which were also used in slightly modified forms by the Romans in the form of the composite order. The classic forms of capitals continued in use after the fall of Rome, but the Romanesque and Gothic designers introduced new forms rich in variety: grotesque heads, birds, and animals. In the 15th cent., with the Renaissance, came a return to the classical orders that continued in use until the late 19th and early 20th cent. when the modernists cast out classical decoration.

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capital

capital In architecture, the block of masonry at the top of a column, often elaborately carved. The design of the capital is characteristic of the orders of architecture.

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capital

capital 2 head of a column. XIV. — OF. capitel (mod. chapiteau) — L. capitellum, secondary dim. of caput HEAD.

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