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52 Pages

The Orders in Detail

This plate represents my own distillation of the contents of the preceding plates comparing the orders by different authorities. First, an observation may be made about the manner in which it is set out. In preparing a drawing of this kind, two options are available: either the base diameter of each order can be kept constant, giving a stepped overall height, or the overall height of all the orders can be kept the same and a different module chosen for each. Renaissance writers are divided about this. Chambers is adamant in his opposition to making the module dimension constant: ‘To render the comparison between the orders more easy, I have represented them all of the same height; by which means the gradual increase of delicacy and richness is easily perceivable . . . the proportions of the orders were by the ancients formed on those of the human body and consequently it could not be their intention to make a Corinthian column as thick and much taller than a Doric one.’ He goes on to condemn a number of authorities, including Vignola, Scamozzi, Blondel and Perrault, for ascribing an ascending order of height to their orders.