pedestal

pedestal

[ped-uh-stl]

In Classical architecture, a support or base for a column, statue, vase, or obelisk. It may be square, octagonal, or circular. A single pedestal may also support a group of columns, or colonnade (see podium). The pedestal, which was first employed by Roman architects, consists (from bottom to top) of three parts: the plinth, the dado (or die), and the cornice (or cap).

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Pedestal (from French piedestal, Italian piedistallo, foot of a stall) is a term generally applied to the support of a statue or a vase.

Although in Syria, Asia Minor and Tunisia the Romans occasionally raised the columns of their temples or propylaea on square pedestals, in Rome itself they were employed only to give greater importance to isolated columns, such as those of Trajan and Antoninus, or as a podium to the columns employed decoratively in the Roman triumphal arches.

The architects of the Italian revival, however, conceived the idea that no order was complete without a pedestal, and as the orders were by them employed to divide up and decorate a building in several stories, the cornice of the pedestal was carried through and formed the sills of their windows, or, in open arcades, round a court, the balustrade of the arcade. They also would seem to have considered that the height of the pedestal should correspond in its proportion with that of the column or pilaster it supported; thus in the church of Saint John Lateran, where the applied order is of considerable dimensions, the pedestal is high instead of the ordinary height of 3 to .

Types of pedestals

An elevated pedestal or plinth which bears a statue and which is raised from the substructure supporting it (typically roofs or corniches) is sometimes called an acropodium. The term is from the Greek akros or topmost + podos or foot.

References

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