Which Style Of Column Is Not Found In Greek Architecture

Definition of Greek Architecture

Greek architecture is a highly decorative form of architecture widespread across ancient Greece. Known for its use of iconic columns and elements of Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian styles, it demonstrates the influence of Hellenic architecture on subsequent generations. Greek architecture is easily recognizable due to its use of symmetrical shapes, elaborate columns, and its iconic temples and monuments. In addition, the highly decorative nature of Greek architecture stands out when compared to modern architecture.

Types of Columns in Ancient Greek Architecture

The columns of Greek architecture are often classified into three distinct types: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian.

The Doric columns are typically found at the lower half of a structure and are the most robust of all columns. This style is characterized by its sturdy and vertical look without any frills or features such as moldings, carvings, or decorations.

The Ionic columns are more ornate than Doric columns and feature a highly decorated capital or capital section on top, which can either be carved into a volute or decorated with floral designs. The Ionic columns are light and slender compared to Doric columns and can usually be found in the upper half of a structure.

Finally, the Corinthian columns are the most elaborate of all and feature a highly detailed capital or capital section with acanthus leaves, calathus, and curly tendrils. The Corinthian columns are generally much taller and slender than the other column types and are also found in the upper half of a structure.

Which Style Of Column Is Not Found In Greek Architecture

One style of column that is not typically found in ancient Greek architecture is the Tuscan column. This style of column is characterized by its plain, unadorned look and is often constructed from brick or unhewn stone. The Tuscan column was, however, embraced by subsequent generations of architects, specifically in the Renaissance period.

The Tuscan column is rooted in the primitive architecture of the Etruscans, an early civilization that lived in central Italy during the first millennium BC. This column is considered to be a less sophisticated version of the Doric and Ionic columns, as it does not feature an elaborate capital section on top.

Role of the Tuscan Column in Later Architects

The Tuscan column was a popular element of architecture in the Renaissance period and especially during the Baroque period. The style of the Tuscan column was embraced by architects due to its unadorned, straightforward look. It was also used as a transitional element between different column styles and as a way to add visual emphasis to certain parts of a structure.

One of the most prominent architects to embrace the Tuscan column was Andrea Palladio, one of the leading figures of the Italian Renaissance. His iconic designs blended the classicism of the ancient Greeks with the simplified style of the Etruscans and the Tuscan column was a vital part of his architectures.

Similar Column Types

Although the Tuscan column is not exactly what you would find in ancient Greek architecture, there are a few column types that share similar characteristics. The Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian columns are the most well-known column types in Greek architecture, however, there is another type of column called the Composite column.

Although it features a similar plain look as the Tuscan column, the Composite column has an ornate capital on top which has been derived from the Ionic and Corinthian columns. This column type is found in the upper half of a structure, much like the Ionic and Corinthian columns.


The Tuscan column is not typically found in ancient Greek architecture, however, it has influenced subsequent generations of architects, with its simple but effective look. This style of column has been embraced by architects as a way to add visual emphasis to structures and as a transitional element. While not a direct part of ancient Greek architecture, the Tuscan column can be seen as a simplified version of the ornate Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian columns.

Anita Johnson is an award-winning author and editor with over 15 years of experience in the fields of architecture, design, and urbanism. She has contributed articles and reviews to a variety of print and online publications on topics related to culture, art, architecture, and design from the late 19th century to the present day. Johnson's deep interest in these topics has informed both her writing and curatorial practice as she seeks to connect readers to the built environment around them.

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