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acanthus

A conventionalized representation of the leaf of this plant is used especially as a decoration for Corinthian column capitals. The term in this sense dates from the mid 18th century; the ...

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A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Art & Architecture
Length:
70 words
Illustration(s):
1

... Conventionalized representation of the leaf of the Acanthus spinosus plant, found on the lower parts of Corinthian and Composite capitals , also used as enrichment in Classical architecture. Vitruvius records how a basket with a tile on top, placed over a grave in Corinth, became festooned in acanthus stalks and leaves: Callimachus created the Corinthian capital in stylized form using this as his...

Acanthus

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The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Art & Architecture
Length:
120 words

... . Ornamental motif based on the leaves of the acanthus plant, an evergreen shrub native to the Mediterranean area. In various forms, it was one of the most widely used types of foliage motif from antiquity until the late 19th century. From Classical antiquity throughout the Middle Ages, the acanthus motif was primarily architectural. In the Renaissance it retained its architectural importance, but was also applied to decorative arts such as furniture, woodwork and ceramics, frequently in a hybrid acanthus–palmette form. In his Architectura (Stuttgart,...

Acanthus

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The Oxford Dictionary of the Renaissance

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005

... , A Mediterranean plant for which the English vernacular name is bear's breech. The scalloped leaves of Acanthus spinosus were, according to Callimachus , the model for the distinctive foliage that decorates the capitals in the Corinthian and Composite orders of architecture in antiquity; it was this stylized foliage that was revived in the Renaissance. In French such ornament is (inaccurately) termed chicorée...

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World Encyclopedia

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Encyclopedias
Length:
29 words

... Perennial plant with thistle-like leaves, found in Africa, the Mediterranean region, India and Malaysia. It has lobed, often spiny leaves and white or coloured flower spikes. Family...

Acanthus

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Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (19 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

... (Greek akantha , ‘thorn’, ‘spine’) A herbaceous plant, Acanthus spinosus , with tough prickly leaves that have deeply cut margins. A representation of its leaves is used to decorate the capitals of corinthian and Composite columns. The story is that an acanthus sprang up around a basket of flowers that Callimachus had placed on his daughter’s grave. This so struck the fancy of the architect that he introduced the design into his...

Acanthus

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The Grove Encyclopedia of Classical Art and Architecture

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2007
Subject:
Art & Architecture, Classical studies
Length:
288 words

... . Ornamental motif based on the leaves of the acanthus plant, an evergreen shrub native to the Mediterranean area. Two species have been proposed as likely models for different forms of the decorative leaf motifs: Acanthus mollis , with broad, blunt tips to the leaves, and Acanthus spinosus , with comparatively narrow leaves and pointed lobes terminating in spines. Acanthus leaves added to a lotus and palmette border gave rise to a motif known as Anthemion ; the motif is also related to the Palmette . The earliest, most notable and most enduring...

Acanthus

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The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2006
Subject:
Art & Architecture
Length:
387 words
Illustration(s):
1

... . Ornamental motif based on the leaves of the acanthus plant, an evergreen shrub native to the Mediterranean area. In various forms, it was one of the most widely used types of foliage motif from antiquity until the late 19th century. From classical antiquity throughout the Middle Ages, the acanthus motif was primarily architectural. In the Renaissance it retained its architectural importance, but was also applied to decorative arts, such as furniture, woodwork and ceramics, frequently in a hybrid acanthus/palmette form (e.g. Faienza maiolica dish,...

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The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Art & Architecture
Length:
71 words

... A plant found on the shores of the Mediterranean and particularly admired by the Greeks and Romans for the elegance of its leaves. The acanthus was widely used in classical architecture as a decorative feature, possibly the earliest instances being on the Parthenon and the Erechtheion in Athens. It was often employed to decorate the lower part of the capitals of the Corinthian and Composite Orders...

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The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
193 words

... (ἄκανθος), classical Greek term for a perennial plant, common to the Mediterranean, whose leaf form inspired decorative motifs in architectural sculpture, particularly the Corinthian Capital . In the 5th and 6th C., the traditional, naturalistic form of the acanthus was modified by flattening the leaves against a deeply undercut ground and creating a lacy texture of light and dark, solid and void, punctuated by deeply drilled points ( Grabar , Sculptures I, pls. XIX–XX). The organic Roman form thus became an abstract motif used as an element of...

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A Dictionary of Plant Sciences (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2019
Subject:
Science and technology, Life Sciences
Length:
81 words

... (family Acanthaceae ) A genus of shrubs and perennial herbs , most of which are xeromorphic and have spiny leaves. Some species are cultivated as ornamentals. The upper lip of the corolla is lacking. The pattern for the decoration on Corinthian column capitals is supposedly based on the leaves of A. spinosus . There are 30 known species, found in southern Europe ( A. mollis is bear’s breech), Asia, and Africa ( A. illicifolius grows in mangrove...

Acanthus

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Simon Hornblower

The Oxford Classical Dictionary (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2012
Subject:
Classical studies, History
Length:
322 words

...were concerned for their grape-vintage which Brasidas had threatened to destroy. Thuc. 4. 124. 1 (separate mention of Acanthians and Chalcidians in Brasidas' army) implies that like Torone , Acanthus was not at this time a member of the Chalcidic League ( see chalcidice ). In the Peace of Nicias ( 1 ) Acanthus was ‘autonomous but tribute-paying’. In the 380s Acanthus appears in outright opposition to the Chalcidic League (Xen. Hell. 5. 2. 11 ff., cf. RO no. 12 for Acanthian independence in the 390s). It was evidently spared by Philip (1) II of Macedon...

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The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
Language reference, History of English
Length:
8 words

... XVII. — L. — Gr. ákanthos , f. ákantha ...

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New Oxford Rhyming Dictionary (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Language reference
Length:
38 words

... • Malthus • acanthus , agapanthus, clianthus, dianthus, helianthus, polyanthus • Hyacinthus • Aegisthus • traverse • canvas , canvass • Selvas • grievous • mischievous • redivivus • fulvous • nervous • Peleus , rebellious • Kansas •...

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The Oxford Essential Dictionary of Foreign Terms in English

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2002
Subject:
Language reference
Length:
71 words

... noun M16 Latin (from Greek akanthos , from akantha thorn, perhaps from akē sharp point). 1 M16 Any of several erect herbaceous plants belonging to the genus Acanthus (family Acanthaceae), having decorative spiny leaves; especially Acanthus spinosus , native to the Mediterranean region. 2 M18 Architecture A conventionalized form of the leaf of Acanthus spinosus , used to decorate Corinthian and Composite capitals; hence, a similar decorative motif used on furniture and...

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The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2006

... a conventionalized representation of the leaf of this plant is used especially as a decoration for Corinthian column capitals. The term in this sense dates from the mid 18th century; the name of the plant comes via Latin from Greek akanthos , from akantha ‘thorn’, from akē ‘sharp...

acanthus,

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Pocket Oxford Latin Dictionary: Latin-English (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Bilingual Dictionary
Current Version:
2012
Subject:
Bilingual dictionaries, Classical studies
Length:
9 words
acanthus

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Australian Oxford Dictionary (2 ed.)

Reference type:
English Dictionary
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
English Dictionaries and Thesauri
Length:
50 words
acanthus

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The Canadian Oxford Dictionary (2 ed.)

Reference type:
English Dictionary
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
English Dictionaries and Thesauri
Length:
57 words
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The New Zealand Oxford Dictionary

Reference type:
English Dictionary
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
English Dictionaries and Thesauri
Length:
50 words
acanthus

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New Oxford American Dictionary (3 ed.)

Reference type:
English Dictionary
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
English Dictionaries and Thesauri
Length:
100 words

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