Definitions

festoon

festoon

[fe-stoon]
festoon, sculptured or painted architectural or interior ornament consisting of a garland of leaves, flowers, or fruit, or some combination of these, held by ribbons or folds and draped at the ends. When a festoon hangs down from only one end, it is called a drop, but when it hangs from both ends it is termed a swag. The festoon reproduces the actual garland used on Greek and Roman festal altars and was much used as a decorative feature in Roman and Renaissance art. It was often represented as carried by putti, or infant figures.

Festoon (from French feston, Italian festone, from a Late Latin festo, originally a festal garland, Latin festum, feast), a wreath or garland, and so in architecture a conventional arrangement of flowers, foliage or fruit bound together and suspended by ribbons, either from a decorated knot, or held in the mouths of lions, or suspended across the back of bulls heads as in the Temple of Vesta at Tivoli. The motif is sometimes known as a swag when depicting fabric or linen.

The design was largely employed both by the Ancient Greeks and Romans and formed the principal decoration of altars, friezes and panels. The ends of the ribbons are sometimes formed into bows or twisted curves; when in addition a group of foliage or flowers is suspended, it is called a drop or margent.

Its origin is probably due to the representation in stone of the garlands of natural flowers, etc., which were hung up over an entrance doorway on fête days, or suspended round the altar.

The motif was later used in neo-classical architecture and decorative arts, especially ceramics and the work of silversmiths.

References

  • Lewis, Philippa; G. Darley (1986). Dictionary of Ornament. New York: Pantheon. ISBN 0-394-50931-5.

External Links

Festoon Inc. Company

Festoon Inc. also appears to be a company that publishes codecs and plugins that enable multi-user video chat for Skype and Google Talk (Festoon Unity) and ClipSync that lets users of these services watch the same video at the same time.


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