Baroque coffered ceiling of the cupola of S. Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, Rome, designed by elipsis
In architecture, a square or polygonal ornamental sunken panel used in a series as decoration for a ceiling or vault
. Coffers were probably originally formed by wooden beams crossing one another to produce a grid. The earliest surviving examples were made of stone by the ancient Greeks and Romans. Coffering was revived in the Renaissance and was common in Baroque and Neoclassical architecture.
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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.