March 15, 2013

Architecture Columns: Atlas Figures

Vitruvius, the Roman writer, architect and engineer of the 1st century BC, explained the Doric column to be based on the proportions of a well-formed man and associated with male gods such as Mars. These columns were considered to be architecturalized human beings.

The load bearing and symbolic human proportion of a Doric column is shown literally as an Atlas figure - a man carrying the weight of the building.

Atlas was the Titan that supported the celestial sphere, or heaven, on his back.

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