The classical Greek orders in architecture are the Doric, Ionic, and
Corinthian orders. The Corinthian order was the last of the three
orders. Corinthian columns belong in this category. Corinthian columns
were much more ornate than were Doric and Ionic columns. The most
recognizable motif in Corinthian columns is the capital, or top, of the
column which is decorated with stylized acanthus leaves. The acanthus
plant is noted for its spiky leaves. The shafts of Corinthian columns
were fluted, or grooved, vertically.
Corinthian columns continued to be popular during the Middle Ages and
the Renaissance. While the stylization of the acanthus leaves and other
details changed, the roots of these Corinthian columns remained with
ancient Greece, and later, ancient Rome. Today's Corinthian columns can
still be recognizably traced to ancient times.
The advantage of today's Corinthian columns over those made in the past
lies with the materials that are used in their construction. The ancient
Greeks were limited to constructing their Corinthian columns out of
stone and wood. Today's Corinthian columns are not only available in
wood and stone; they are available made from materials such as synthetic
stone, fiberglass, and pre-cast stone. The advantages of these modern
materials over traditional materials include ease of installation and
relatively low maintenance.
If you install Corinthian columns in your home, you will be carrying on
a tradition of classical elegance that has lasted through the ages.