caryatid


caryatid
caryatidal, adj.
/kar'ee at"id/, n., pl. caryatids, caryatides /-i deez'/. Archit.
a sculptured female figure used as a column. Cf. atlas (def. 5).
[1555-65; < L Caryatides (sing. Caryatis) < Gk Karyátides columns shaped like women, lit., women of Karýai, Laconia]

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Supporting column sculpted in the form of a draped female figure.

Caryatids first appeared in three small buildings (treasuries) at Delphi (550–530 BC). The most celebrated example is the caryatid porch of the Erechtheum (421–406 BC), with six figures, on the Acropolis (see acropolis) of Athens. Caryatids are sometimes called korai ("maidens"). Their male counterpart is the atlas.

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      in classical architecture, draped female figure used instead of a column as a support. In marble architecture they first appeared in pairs in three small buildings (treasuries) at Delphi (550–530 BC), and their origin can be traced back to mirror handles of nude figures carved from ivory in Phoenicia and draped figures cast from bronze in archaic Greece. According to a story related by the 1st-century-BC Roman architectural writer Vitruvius, caryatids represented the women of Caryae, who were doomed to hard labour because the town sided with the Persians in 480 BC during their second invasion of Greece.

      The most celebrated example is the caryatid porch of the Erechtheum with six figures (420–415 BC), on the Acropolis of Athens. They were later directly copied, in alternation with columns, in the Roman emperor Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli. Other examples include the figure at the Villa Albani at Rome and two colossal figures in the smaller propylon at Eleusis. They also appeared in the upper stories of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa's Pantheon and in the colonnade surrounding the Forum of Augustus at Rome, as well as in the Incantada Salonika (Thessaloníki, Greece).

      Caryatids are sometimes called korai (“maidens”). Similar figures, bearing baskets on their heads, are called canephores (from kanēphoroi, “basket carriers”); they represent the maidens who carried sacred objects used at feasts of the gods. The male counterparts of caryatids are referred to as atlantes (see atlas).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Caryatid — Car y*at id, n.; pl. {Caryatids}. [See {Caryatides}.] (Arch.) A draped female figure supporting an entablature, in the place of a column or pilaster. [1913 Webster] || …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • caryatid — 1560s, carved female figure used as a column, from M.Fr. cariatide, from L. caryatides, from Gk. Karyatides (singular Karyatis) priestesses of Artemis at Caryae (Gk. Karyai), a town in Laconia where dance festivals were held in Artemis temple …   Etymology dictionary

  • caryatid — [kar΄ē at′id, kə rī′ə tid΄] n. pl. caryatids [kar΄ē at′əidz] or caryatides [kar΄ēat′ə dēz΄] [< L pl. caryatides < Gr karyatides, priestesses of the temple of Diana at Karyai, Macedonia] a supporting column that has the form of a draped… …   English World dictionary

  • Caryatid — A caryatid ( el. Καρυάτις, plural: Καρυάτιδες) is a sculpted female figure serving as an architectural support taking the place of a column or a pillar supporting an entablature on her head. The Greek term karyatides literally means maidens of… …   Wikipedia

  • Caryatid — Caryatic Car y*at ic, Caryatid Car y*at id, a. Of or pertaining to a caryatid. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • caryatid —    A carved female figure used as a column. Dressed in long robes, she supports an architectural element on her head. Her male counterpart is an atlant, atlantid, or atlas. The word caryatid is Greek, and originally referred to maidens of Caryae… …   Glossary of Art Terms

  • caryatid — noun (plural ids or caryatides) Etymology: Latin caryatides, plural, from Greek karyatides priestesses of Artemis at Caryae, caryatids, from Karyai Caryae in Laconia Date: 1563 a draped female figure supporting an entablature …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • caryatid — noun A sculpted female figure serving as an architectural element, used as a support for entablature …   Wiktionary

  • caryatid — car|y|at|id [ˌkæriˈætıd] n [Date: 1500 1600; : Latin; Origin: caryatides (plural), from Greek, female priests of the goddess Artemis at Caryae, a town in ancient Greece ] technical a ↑pillar in the shape of a female figure …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • caryatid —  In architecture, a female form used as a supporting pillar …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors


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