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Classical Architecture: Understanding the Orders - Corinthian & Composite

The Corinthian and Composite orders are the most ornate and elaborate of the five. They are also the most slender, featuring a height to diameter ratio of 10:1. Along with their intricate detailing, this often leads to their being referred to as delicate. The trademark detail of the Corinthian and Composite orders are their intricately carved capitals adorned with acanthus leaves. The Composite order departs from the Corinthian only in that it features volutes like the Ionic order, in addition to the acanthus leaves. It’s like a greatest hits column! As the details of these orders are particularly fine, and require great skill in carving, they are often associated with opulence and grandeur. The corinthian and composite orders exemplify the height of classical craftsmanship and artistic expression.

Comparison between the Corinthian and Composite Capital
Comparison between the Corinthian capital (left) and the Composite one (right) - in Palladio's drawings


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