In architecture the frieze is the wide central section part of an entablature and may be plain or – in the Ionic or Corinthian order – decorated with bas-reliefs. In an astylar wall it lies upon the architrave ('main beam') and is capped by the moldings of the cornice.
In interiors, the frieze of a room is the section of wall above the picture rail and under the crown moldings or cornice. By extension, a frieze is a long stretch of painted, sculpted or even calligraphic decoration in such a position, normally above eye-level. Frieze decorations may depict scenes in a sequence of discrete panels. The material of which the frieze is made of may be plasterwork, carved wood or other decorative medium.
A pulvinated frieze (or pulvino) is convex in section. Such friezes were featues of 17th-century Northern Mannerism, especially in subsidiary friezes, and much employed in interior architecture and in furniture.
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