For all those interested in the relationship between ideas and the built environment, John Onians provides a lively illustrated account of the range of meanings that Western culture has assigned to the Classical orders. Onians shows that during the 2,000 years from their first appearance in ancient Greece through their codification in Renaissance Italy, the orders--the columns and capitals known as Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, Tuscan, and Composite--were made to serve expressive purposes, engaging the viewer in a continuing visual dialogue.
"There is a great deal of original thought in this book. It covers a vast period of time with an enviable command of scholarship and unfaltering self-possession. It . . . sees the light when the Classical orders are once again . . . spoken of with curiosity and respect and when Classical fundamentals are being sought as a refuge from the disordered philosophies of the recent past."--John Summerson, The Times Literary Supplement
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