| Alberti, Leone Battista Architecture 1755, tr. Leoni, James |
not have their Minds any Ways diverted by fo
That Horror with which a
solemn Gloom is apt to sill the Mind naturally
raises our Veneration, and there is always some
what of an Austerity in Majesty: Besides that
those Lights which should be always burning
in Temples, and than which nothing is more
awful for the Honour and Ornament of Re
ligion, look faint and languish, unless favoured
by some Obscurity.
For this Reason the Ancients
were very often contented without any other
Aperture besides the Gate.
For my own Part,
I am for having the Entrance into the Temple
thoroughly well lighted, and those Parts with
in, where People are to walk, not melan
choly; but the Place where the Altar is to be
seated, I think should have more of Majesty
But to return to the Apertures
Let us here remember what has
formerly been said, namely, that Apertures
consist of three Parts, the Void, the Jambs
and the Lintel, which two last we may call
the Frame of the Door or Window.
cients never used to make either Doors or Win
dows otherwise than square.
We shall treat
first of Doors.
All the best Architects, whe
ther Dorians, Ionians or Corinthians, always
made their Doors narrower at the Top than
at the Bottom by one fourteenth Part.
the Lintel they gave the same Thickness as
they found at the Top of the Jamb, making
the Lines of their Ornaments answer exactly
to one another, and meet together in just
Angles: And they raised the Cornice over the
Door equal in Height to the Capital of the
Columns in the Portico.
Thus far they all
agreed, but in other Particulars they differed
And first the Dorians divided this
whole Height, that is to say, from the Level of
the Pavement up to the Roof, into sixteen
Parts, whereof they gave ten to the Height of
the Void, which the Ancients used to call the
Light; five to its Breadth, and one to the
Breadth of the Frame.
This was the Doric
Division; but the Ionians divided the whole
Height to the Top of the Columns, as afore
mentioned, into nineteen Parts, whereof they
gave twelve to the Height of the Light, six to
its Breadth, and one to the Frame.
rinthians divided it into one-and-twenty Parts,
assigning seven to the Breadth of the Light,
and doubling that Breadth for its Length, and
allowing for the Breadth of the Frame one
seventh Part of the Breadth of the Light.
all these Doors the Frame was an Architrave.
And, unless I am much mistaken, the Ionians
made use of their own Architrave, adorned
with three Fascias, as did the Dorians too of
theirs, only leaving out the Reglets and
Drops; and all adorned their Lintels with
most of the Delicacies of their Cornice; only
the Dorians left out their Triglyphs, and in
stead of them made use of a Freze as broad as
the Jamb or Frame of the Door.
Freze they added an upright Cymatium; and
over that a plain Dentil, and next an Ovolo;
above that ran the Mutules with their Cymaise,
and over them an inverted Cymatium; ob
serving in all these Members the same Pro
portions as we have already set down for the
The Ionians, on the con
trary, did not make use of a plain Freze, as
in their common Entablature; but instead of
it made a swelling Freze, one third Part of
the Breadth of the Architrave, adorned with
Leaves bound about with a Kind of Swathes.
Over this they made their Cymase, Dentil,
Ovolo, Mutules, with their Cymaise, and above
all the Drip and inverted Cymatium.
this, at each End of the Entablature, on the
Outside of the Jamb, under the Drip, they
made a Sort of Ears, as we may call them,
from their Resemblance to the handsome Ears
of a fine Spaniel, by Architects called, Consoles.
These Consoles were turned like a great S.
The Ends winding round in this Manner, <29>,
and the Thickness of the Console at the Top
was equal to the Breadth of the swelling Freze,
and one fourth Part less at Bottom.
Length reached down to the Top of the Void
The Corinthians applied to their
Doors all the Embellishments of a Collonade.
And to avoid further Repetitions, we adorn a
Door, especially when it is to stand under the
open Air with a Sort of little Portico, attached
against the Wall, in this Manner.
the Frame of the Door, we place on each Side
an entire Column, or if you will only an half
Column, with their Bases at such a Distance
from each other, as to leave the Jambs, or
whole Antipagment clear.
The Length of
the whole Columns with their Capitals, must
be equal to the Distance between the outward
Edge of the left Base to the outward Edge of
Over these Columns you make a
regular Architrave, Freze, Cornice and Pedi
ment, according to all the same Proportions as
as we have above laid down for a Portico.
Some on each Side of the Door, instead of a
plain Jamb, made use of all the Ornaments of a