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Language of the Classical Architect: Understanding the Orders - Ionic Order

In contrast to the Tuscan and Doric, the Ionic order is marked by an increasing lightness, even gracefulness in proportion and refinement in the detailing of the capitals. The Ionic was first a Greek order as well - from ancient Ionia. Ionic columns are distinguished by the spiraling scrolls that adorn their capitals, called volutes. The base profile on an Ionic column is also typically more complex than that of the Doric and Tuscan, and the entablature is typically treated with at least one course of denticulation. The source of the shift to lightness and slenderness in proportion is of course the 9:1 height to diameter ratio. The Ionic order symbolizes elegance and sophistication, representing a departure from the columnar austerity of the Doric and Tuscan.


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