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Corinthian Capital, Portion of Original Organ Screen

1670/1699

St. Paul's Cathedral

St. Paul's Cathedral

The Corinthian is the richest of the three ancient Greek orders; the central bell of the capital is enriched with stylized - or often quite naturalistic - carving of the leaves and shoots of the spiny acanthus, a perennial plant that grows like a weed around the Mediterranean and is not difficult to raise in Britain. In the Greek Cross and Great Model designs Wren used the Corinthian throughout; in the final building he restricted it to the main pilasters of the interior and the lower order of the exterior, using elsewhere the Composite, a late Roman invention in which the acanthus leaves are combined with the volutes or scrolls of the Ionic order.

By the late 16th century many authentic patterns of the classical orders were widely available in engraved form, and this capital is of a standard pattern. It is one of a collection of discarded fragments found at St Paul's, and may have come from the old organ screen.

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Details

  • Title: Corinthian Capital, Portion of Original Organ Screen
  • Date Created: 1670/1699
  • Subject Keywords: 347

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