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Tuscan order

Tuscan order

Tuscan order: see Doric order.
Among the classical orders of architecture, the Tuscan order's place in the architectural canon is disputed. The order was only defined in the canon of classical architecture by Italian architectural theorists of the 16th century. The five orders including a "Tuscan order" were meticulously described by the Italian Sebastiano Serlio in his treatise on architecture (1537 – 51). It was also carefully delineated by Andrea Palladio. From the perspective of these writers, the Tuscan order was an older primitive Italic architectural form, predating the Greek Doric and Ionic. They made a valid argument for this claim by reference to several historic examples still available to them at the time. However, there is a difference of opinion on the relative age of the Tuscan to this day.

In the Tuscan order, the column had a simpler base and was unfluted, while both capital and entablature were without adornments. A plain astragal ringed the column beneath its plain cap. In its simplicity, it is seen as similar to the Doric order, and yet in its overall proportions and intercolumniation, it follows the ratios of the Ionic order. This strong order was considered most appropriate in military architecture and in docks and warehouses when they were dignified by architectural treatment.

Because the Tuscan mode is easily worked up by a carpenter with a few planing tools, it became part of the vernacular Georgian style that has lingered in places like New England and Ohio deep into the 19th century. In gardening, "carpenter's Doric" which is Tuscan, provides simple elegance to gate posts and fences in many traditional garden contexts.

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