Pediments: Classical Elements Of Ancient Architecture

Formalized Gables Of Classical Antiquity:  The Embellishment Of Pediments
Formalized Gables Of Classical Antiquity: The Embellishment Of Pediments

The distinction of the pediment adorning doorways is timeless architecture. Distinctive elements of classical architectural designs, for certain. A pediment (ped-uh-muhnt) is termed as a Wide, low-pitched gable surmounting the facade of a building in the Grecian style” or a “Triangular element, similar to or derivative of a Grecian pediment, used widely in architecture and decoration”. The term pediment is often used to reference small gables and triangular decorations over niches, doors and windows. My focus is the distincion of exterior embellishment that endow strength and structure overhead of entry doors. Grand details of distinction. Used in classical architecture, pediments are historically found gracing Greek temples as well as the structures of the Renaissance, Neo-Classical and Baroque architecture. Either a structural element over doors or a non-structural element of embellishment and interest, the importance of the pediment is evident through architectural history. The gabled pediment. Exterior statements, indeed…

Greek Antiquity:  The Parthenon, Athens
Greek Antiquity: The Parthenon, Athens

Historically an architectural element that was developed in ancient Greece, pediments were celebratory embellishments that were both structural (supported by columns) and decorative with sculpture reliefs. A prominent historical example is the Parthenon in Athens, Greece (completed in 438 BC). As with many Greek structures, the pediment is supported by columns and decorated with sculptural reliefs illustrating scenes from a Greek mythology. Of note, the space inside the pediment is referred to as the Tympanum. The Tympanum is typically filled with sculptural reliefs or painted, decorative elements. In fact, historical references state that the pediment monuments were once brightly painted. Celebrational structures in color. Who knew?

Architectural Antiquity:  The Pediment
Architectural Antiquity: The Pediment

Beginning with Roman architecture, the function pediments held was for decoration. Beauty and classical antiquity in exterior architecture. The pediment as ornamentation continued through the Renaissance and into later architectural revival periods. And of the variations of styles that would evolve? Classical variations that have endured through history…

Variations Of Classic Archtitectural Design:  Pediments
Variations Of Classic Archtitectural Design: Pediments

The variations of each earn prominence in appreciation throughout history. Pediments are typically triangular with a horizontal cornice that either surmounts a “colonnade”, a “long sequence of columns joined by an entablature (a “superstructure of moldings and bands which lie horizontally above columns, resting on their capitals”), an end wall or as a facade division. But oh, the embellishment over the entrance to a doorway! Classical pediments include the “Pointed”, “Unbroken” triangle, “Curved” (“Rounded”, “Domed”, “Segmental” or “Arch” pediment) in which the normal angular slopes of the cornice are replaced by a segment of a circle or “Depressed Arch” and the “broken” triangle. “Traditional” and “Segmental” pediments have “Broken” and “Open” forms that are not surround by a continues frame, but hold an opening at either the base or the apex of the triangle, or both the base and the apex. Details! Common with Queen Anne, Neo-Classical, Georgian or Colonial style structures, the “Broken” pediment certainly provides visual interest. The “Unbroken” pediments form a solid frame that encloses a decorative space. The revival of this style also included the Italianate and Beaux Arts, often omitted adding additional decoration. Simplicity in form with classical distinction. Another variation is the “Swan-Necked” pediment, where the cornice of “Broken” pediment that rises, scrolling at both ends with two “S-Shaped” brackets with “Double-Curved” sides. A favored detail over doorways in American Colonial structures, this classic architectural style still endures. Timeless. Classic details of enduring appreciation

Variations In Architectural Design:  Pediments Of Distinction
Variations In Architectural Design: Pediments Of Distinction
Pediments:  Classical Details In Architecture
Pediments: Classical Details In Architecture
Structural & Decorative:  Pediments
Structural & Decorative: Pediments
Ancient Architecture Of Timeless Appeal:  Pediments
Ancient Architecture Of Timeless Appeal: Pediments
Exterior Appeal:  The Timeless Architectural Embellishments Of Pediments
Exterior Appeal: The Timeless Architectural Embellishments Of Pediments

And of the pediments that grace our spaces within the interior? Alas, individuality within one’s space, the embellishment of unique decoration within the interior is striking. Visual interest paired with history. Of course, the adornment of elaborately carved wooden pediments applied upon furniture by 18th century designers, such as Thomas Chippendale, must be mentioned. The wooden pediments that graced interior furniture has remained a timeless and iconic, classic style within the interior. An additional inclusion of classical elements of ancient architecture within the interior. Interior statements. Works of art with stately, distinctive details of yesteryear. Timeless interior design…

Interior Statements:  The Pediment Within The Interior
Interior Statements: The Pediment Within The Interior
Interior Embellishments Of Architectural Delight:  The Pediment
Interior Embellishments Of Architectural Delight: The Pediment

Consider with appreciation the distinction and elegance of the glory in structural or decorative detailing with pediments. Historical embellishments that anoint a doorway with a grand and powerful presence. Classical elements of ancient architecture, indeed….

Kristin

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5 thoughts on “Pediments: Classical Elements Of Ancient Architecture

    1. Thank you for inquiring! Alas, the great and powerful “World Wide Web” holds the information that I have presented here. Thank you for visiting and thank you for inquiring! I hope you found the information valuable and inspiring!
      Kristin

  1. I am currently doing an EPQ on symmetry in the world, focusing on how and why it is used within Palladian and Georgian style architecture; I found your post beyond helpful – thank you!!

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