3. Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola, Canon of the Five Orders, 1572

Having failed to find in the antiquities of Rome the Tuscan ornament on which I could base the formulation of the canon - the way I found it for the other orders, i.e., Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite - I followed the authority of Vitruvius, who says, in Book Four, Chapter seven, that the thickness of the Tuscan column is one-seventh of its height, including the base and the capital. As regards the remaining ornament (i.e., the architrave, frieze and cornice), I think it is appropriate to obey the rule that I have discovered in the other orders, whereby the architrave, frieze and cornice make one-fourth of the height of the column. The latter equals 14 modules, including the base and the capital as numbers indicate; so the architrave, frieze and cornice equal 3,5 modules, i.e., one-fourth of 14. Their individual parts will be carefully indicated later.

Although the Tuscan order rarely is used with pedestals, nevertheless I have included here such a combination. I have noticed that in all five orders the pedestals with their ornaments must be equal one-third of the column height taken together with the base and the capital; the total thickness of the ornament on the top (the architrave, frieze and cornice) should be one-fourth. Understanding this and taking it into account makes work very easy. To apply any of the five orders, one should determine the required height (including the ornaments) ans divide it into 19 parts. The height of the column is determined and divided into modules depending on wether it is going to be Corinthian, Doric or of some other order. Finally, this module, divided into its parts (as will be seen later), serves as a basis for everything else.

  1. Column
  2. Fillet
  3. Torus
  4. Plinth
  5. Fillet
  6. Gola reversa
  7. Die
  8. Fillet
  9. Socle

I Have already described the principal measures of the Tuscan order; since the clarity of the drawing with numbrs next to it is sufficient for understanding without many words, as everyone will realize with little consideration, I have presented the parts of the Tuscan order enlarged here showing the division of even the smallest parts with their projections.

  1. Ovolo
  2. Astragal
  3. Fillet
  4. Corona
  5. Fillet
  6. Cyma reversa
  7. Frieze
  8. Fillet of the architrave
  9. Architrave
  10. Fillet of abacus
  11. Abacus
  12. Echinus
  13. Fillet
  14. Frieze of the capital
  15. Astragal
  16. Fillet
  17. Fillet
  18. Top of the column

Back to Book IV, chapter 7