I was in Sicily recently and saw great sweeps of Acanthus Mollis growing wild all over the place.
Now, in Britain this is a valued garden plant – and the other place we see it is on top of certain columns called Corinthian.
This is the third of the classic order of architecture – we looked at Doric and then Ionic and now Corinthian.
The Corinthian is much like the Ionic in that it has a slender, fluted trunk but is easily distinguished by its much more decorative capital – or frilly top if you like. So, for instance, if you were wandering near St Paul’s and were asked ‘what style of column is that?’ – what would you say?
Slim, flutes and with a busy top – has to be Corinthian – easy. Later the guys of the Renaissance added a couple more to the 3 classical orders – we can look at them next week.