Did you know that the aesthetic inspiration for Corinthian columns came from the acanthus plant, specifically the leaves? They find themselves in other artistic expressions as well, including this relief that's on display at the Michael C. Carlos Museum.
I've had a life-long love of columns (exaggerated by living in Greece for a while), but more so their capitals...in all their marvelous forms. But the Corinthian has been a consistent favorite. It was only in the past year that I learned of the Acanthus as inspiration.
Carved from Carrara marble, this particular piece comes from a monument in Rome from approximately the first quarter of the first century A.D.
|Acanthus Relief at the Carlos|
Michael C. Carlos Museum
It surprised me at first that their inspiration is derived from a plant whose literal translation is "thorny". It's not that I'm not surprised that the capital's inspiration is from a 'plant'—so much in our lives is inspired by nature—but that 'thorny plants' carry a negative connotation. Then again, I suppose in this case it could also represent strength, protection, and beauty.
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