Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sculpture and Corinthian Capitals (History)

From the book on Vitruvius by Thomas Smith. Thanks to Steve Shriver of art+works
Wikipedia: Roman writer Vitruvius  (c. 75 BCE — c. 15 BCE) related that the Corinthian order had been invented by Callimachus.

Callimachus was a Greek architect and sculptor who was inspired by the sight of a votive basket that had been left on the grave of a young girl. A few of her toys were in it, and a square tile had been placed over the basket, to protect them from the weather. An acanthus plant had grown through the woven basket, mixing its spiny, deeply cut leaves with the weave of the basket.

The rest is history... oddly the Corinthian capital was rarely used on Greek buildings. The Romans loved it.


Jennifer Tetlow said...

This is a lovely image, and story. The Acanthus is so deeply woven into so much architectural and sculptural design (stone anyway)the leaf shapes are real friends. One of my first carvings was for supports for a fireplace mantle, with beautiful flowing acanthus scrolls and leaves.

Patrick Gracewood said...

I love acanthus leaves, just noticed them on an antique dolphin. They're everywhere. Have you posted images of your fireplace mantle on your blog?

Practicing the acanthus leaf patterns for a sculptor is like a cellist practicing Bach. It's so easy to get the rhythm wrong, suddenly the whole thing turns inside out!