caryatid

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caryatid(e) (pl. caryatid(e)s). Carved, draped, straight, standing female figure (cora), supporting on its head an astragal (enriched with bead-and-reel), ovolo (enriched with egg-and-dart), and square abacus, used as a substitute for a column, and supporting an entablature. The best-known example of the use of caryatids in Greek Antiquity was the south porch of the Erechtheion, Athens (c.421–407 bc), where six figures supported the roof. A similar draped female figure with a basket-like form over the head instead of the astragal-ovolo-abacus capital arrangement is a canephora (pl. canephorae). See atlas, herm, persian, telamon, term.

Bibliography

Dinsmoor (1950)

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caryatid (kăr´ēăt´Ĭd, kăr´ēətĬd´), a sculptured female figure serving as an ornamental support in place of a column or pilaster. It was a frequently used motif in architecture, furniture, and garden sculpture during the Renaissance, the 18th cent., and notably, the classic revival of the 19th cent., when caryatids were popular as mantelpiece supports. The motif appeared in Egyptian and Greek architecture; the most celebrated example extant is the Porch of the Caryatids, forming part of the Erechtheum. Here six beautifully sculptured figures, acting as columns, support an entablature on their heads; the original figures are now in the Acropolis Museum. Caryatids were used also in two small treasuries (6th cent. BC) at Delphi. Male supporting figures are called atlantes.

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car·y·at·id / ˌkarēˈatid; ˈkarēəˌtid/ • n. (pl. car·y·at·ids or car·y·at·i·des / ˌkarēˈatəˌdēz/ ) Archit. a stone carving of a draped female figure, used as a pillar to support the entablature of a Greek or Greek-style building.

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caryatid a stone carving of a draped female figure, used as a pillar to support the entablature of a Greek or Greek-style building. The name comes (in the mid 16th century) via French and Italian from Latin caryatides from Greek karuatides, plural of karuatis ‘priestess of Artemis at Caryae’, from Karuai (Caryae) in Laconia.

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caryatid (archit.; orig. and usu. pl.) female figure used as a column. XVI. — F. cariatide — It. cariatide, or their source, L. caryatides — Gr. karuátides (pl.) priestesses of Artemis at Karuai (Caryae) in Laconia.