Temples, palaces and other buildings make use of columns and entablatures as decoration and minimalist structure.Columns are vertical, cylindrical structures that help support the entablature.An entablature is a horizontal beam, consisting of several segments, that attaches to the pediment surrounding the gable of a temple.The combination of a column and entablature is known as an order. Different orders have certain characteristics and follow specific decoration specifications.Ancient Greeks developed three orders:the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian.The Ionic order evolved and elaborated on characteristics of the Doric order and paved way for the intricacies of the Corinthian order.Ionic design was found on islands in the Aegean Sea and along the coast of Asia Minor.Temples utilizing the Ionic order were commonly built on low wetlands.
Details of the Ionic order design are elegant and more effeminate than the solid, plainer look of the Doric order.Ionian columns are taller and more slender.Deep grooves decorate the surface of the column shaft.These grooves are known as flutes (24 flutes being a standard on Ionic columns), and they are connected by thin, flat sections known as fillets.This element of design creates a smoother, subtle look as opposed to the sharp edges formed by the connection of flutes on a Doric column.The width of an Ionic column was one-eighth of its height.Its base is wider and molded with simple curves that add to the graceful aesthetics of the column.
The most identifiable features are found on the capital, located at the top of the column above the shaft.The bottom of the capital is perhaps the most ornamented part of an Ionian column.One may sometimes find simple depictions of plants and above the decorated band, or neck molding, lays the echinus.Most echini on Ionic columns use an egg-and-dart pattern.The pattern is modest but adds more elegance t