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Solomonic column

A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture

James Stevens Curl

Solomonic column. 

Barley-sugar, Salomonic, Salomónica, spiral, torso or twisted column, with a contorted or twisted shaft, unlike the Antonine, triumphal, or Trajanic column with its spiral band of sculpture wound around it. The form was based on the Antique precedents from the Herodian Temple in Jerusalem in the first century ad, thought to be from the Temple of Solomon. These and others were set up over the tomb of the Apostle in the Constantinian basilica of San Pietro, Rome, and so copies or columns inspired by them became familiar throughout Europe, being often used on altarpieces, shrines, and the like, because they were associated with the gates of Paradise. The earliest English examples are the columns (half-way between the Solomonic and Trajanic type) supporting the vaults in the crypt of St Wystan's Church, Repton, Derbys. (C9), but the spiral column was often used in Romanesque cloisters, and in Baroque funerary monuments. The form became widely known in C17 through engravings of the tapestry cartoons by Raphael showing Christ at the Temple which were brought to England in the reign of King Charles I (1625–49).


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