This is week two of my whistle-stop guide to some basic architectural features. Last week was about simple, fat and plain Doric columns – this week it’s the turn of the Ionic; tall, graceful, slim and a little more fancy. The British Museum has a whole colonnade of them wrapped around its front.
The basic rules which apply to the Ionic is that it should be slimmer, more graceful looking, always fluted with curls at the top (the capital), known as volutes, and a little extra pad at the bottom between it and the base plate (stylobate or platform). And that’s it – easy. It can have a slightly fancier top and bottom but let’s not complicate matters – this is what the usual ionic capital looks like close up.
Actually, you will notice the three oval shapes between the curls, this is a little fancy footwork in the form of what is known as the egg and dart pattern – for quite obvious reasons.
Lastly, here’s a diagram for real swots, which explains it all clearly. See you next week for the flamboyant, Corinthian column.