Riou, Stephen
The Grecian orders of architecture: delineated and explained from the antiquities of Athens ; also the parallels of the orders of Palladio, Scamozzi and Vignola — London, 1768

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aS $fe Grecian Orders
columns of the upper order should always be Iess than the columns (a) they stand upon, and at
the same .time mufi have a suiicient degree of solidity and strength. The necessity of which is
demonstrable, since the inferior ones support the superior columns, and the weight they bear is
greater than what is incumbent upon the superior columns: theresore they mull: be stronger and
less delicate than the superior ones, but as these have also their incumbent weight, they a!so mull:
yield a solid hearing.
And as the appearances of things arc to be observed in the abovesaid distribution, it is usual to
place the Doric order undermost, the Ionic next, and the Corinthian above the Ionic; some-
times a basement, with or without arcades, supplies the place of a lower order.
Whatever may be collected from the writings of Vitruvius, or the remains of antiquity, or
from the edifices of the best moderns;, we can gather but very uncertain rules about the relation
which the lower and upper orders are to bear to each other. Palladio in his designs, sor the con-
vent of la Carita at Venice, has observed the following measures in placing the three orders one
above the other in the cloisters. The firft is Doric, the diameter of whose column is two feet
three inches; the next is Ionic, to whose column he gives one soot Cm inches in diameter; the lair.
and uppermost order is Corinthian, whose column measures one foot six inches in diameter.
The bases of the Ionic and Corinthian columns, stand upon a plinth to raise them above the in-
ferior cornices. The third order is without arcades. In this buildings says Palladio, I have en-
deavoured to imitate the houses of the antients, and have theresore made a Corinthian atrium, or
vesHbie to it; the order of this is equal in height to both the Doric and the Ionic of the cloisters;
and upon the entablature of this great order is a balcony to a terrace which goes round for a com-
munication of tlie apartments of the third story. We have sele<!ted this example on account os
its simple and well chosen dispositions, instead of the three orders in the court of the palace Farnese,
which abounds in many beautiful particularities, though crowded with
But since Vitruvius informs us, that when columns are placed one upon another, their ap-
parent diminution ought to resemble that os the trunks of tall and beautiful trees, we may
draw this conciusion, that the lesser diameter of the inferior columns may be equal to the greater
diameter of the next superior column, and so continued upwards; this method is sound to
answer as well as any other that can be proposed.
The orders, as designed in plate I. might take place one over another, in a building whose height
was divided into three equal parts. The undermost being divided again into eight would pro-
duce the Doric. The next dtvision being for the Ionic, mull consist of ten equal parts, and the
last or highest division, being for the Corinthian, of twelve equal parts; the modulary scale to
each order will serve to determine the several members, as already lias been shewn. By this me-
thod, the diminution of each inferior order, is rather more than the greatest diameter os the next
insistent order as it sliould be.
According to the wise practice of die antients, nothing but a Corinthian order sliould take
place, when a fourth order is required, which being of leller diameter, would stiU become more
delicate than the former.
The placing of the orders one above the other, gave rise, about seventy vears ago, in France,
to a question as vain and ridiculous as it is useless; whether it was not pollible to invent a sixth
order to be added above the Compolitc, and to surpass it in richness and beauty, as much as this was
thought to excell the others? this new prodigy was to be named the French order; it was pro-

{a) Columns superiorcs quarts! parte minorcs, quam inseriores sunt coiistitusudie; projiwrca quod oncri lerendo, |
inseriora. firnuora debem die quam superiora. Non minus quod etiam nascentium oportet imiiari natu'ram, ut '" '■
Kijeiibus, abide, cupressb, pinu, e quibui nulla lion erassior est ab radicibus: deindc crescendo progrcditur in altitudn
turali comradlura pervequata nalcens ad cacumen. Ergo si naiura nascentium, ita pastutat, redhs est conssitutum, i
oinibus & ctassitudinibus inseriorum sieri contradliora. Lib. V. c. i.

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