Sunday, January 17, 2010


The Acanthus, favored flora of the Mediterranean, first used as ornament by the Greeks,  in the Corinthian and Composite orders, and in many subsequent eras, found favor during the Arts & Crafts period when stylized representations of nature 
dominated the decorative arts. 

Not uncommonly portrayed in scrolls, and with its caulicoli exposed, alternately spiky or curly tipped, the Acanthus (aka Bear's breeches) appears often as a frieze, tempering bulk (image top).

Some historians, who have have traced the evolution of vegetal garniture, most notably Alois Riegel, claim the acanthus motif is actually a derivation of the palmette, a ubiquitous form in classical decoration.



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