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Acanthus

Encyclopedy Index

The acanthus is one of the most common ornaments used to depict folliage. Architectural ornaments are carved in stone or wood in the appearance of leaves from the Mediterranean acanthus spinosus plant, with some resemblance to thistle, poppy and parsley leaves.

 

 

 

 

Acanthus ornaments appear extensively in the capitals of the Corinthian and Composite orders, and applied to the frieze. Ancient Greek culture was the first to use the ornament, elaborated by the Romans with the ends of the leaves curled. The design continued in popularity in the Byzantine, Romanesque and Gothic architecture, again during the Renaissance, and still favored in the

present. The design is also used in Medieval and Renaissance artwork, particularly in sculpture and wood carving and in friezes

 

 

 

 


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