pilaster

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pilaster. Roman version of the anta, except that generally it conforms to the Order used elsewhere, with column, shaft, and base, and supports an entablature. It is attached to a wall from which it projects only slightly, and is rectangular on plan, so does not conform to the circular plans of columns, and should not be confused with an engaged column. In most cases, and correctly, unlike antae, pilaster-shafts have entasis. Unlike a pier, a pilaster has no structural purpose, and is used to respond to columns or the design of the soffit of a ceiling for purely architectural and decorative reasons.

Bibliography

C. Normand (1852)

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pilaster (pĬlăs´tər), in architecture, upright supporting member, attached to and projecting slightly from the face of a wall and equipped with a base and capital like a column; also, a similar form used decoratively. The pilaster in general follows the rules and proportions of the classic orders; it may be fluted or not, but usually has no entasis or taper. It was used by the Romans. The Greek antae (projections of the wall at the corners only), although similar in function, differ in base and capital from the columns that stand between them. In the Renaissance, the pilaster, used as a purely decorative device, was often paneled and ornamented.

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pi·las·ter / pəˈlastər/ • n. a rectangular column, esp. one projecting from a wall. DERIVATIVES: pi·las·tered adj.

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pilaster XVI. — F. pilastre — It. pilastro, medL. pīlastrum, f. L. pīla pillar, PILE2; see -ASTER.