Opening for an entrance to a building, part of a building, or an enclosure, together with its immediate structure and surroundings, often of considerable architectural magnificence. Classical Antique doorways were mostly rectangular (occasionally battered), surrounded by mouldings, normally the architrave, conforming with the architrave of the entablature in section, and often with ears, lugs, or tabs. Above the architrave there was sometimes a cornice supported on ancones or consoles. A Classical doorway could also be framed by an arrangement of columns, pilasters, and entablature (often with a pediment), in which case the opening would be said to be aediculated. Renaissance doorways were sometimes arched.
A doorway can often be treated architecturally to enhance its importance in a façade, as in a church, where symbolic aspects play a great part in the design. Romanesque doorways, for example, usually have semicircular heads, and may consist of several parallel arched layers, each with its own Order of colonnettes, chevron, beak-head, billet, or other mouldings. Gothic doorways have pointed heads, and grander types have several Orders, lush ornament (e.g. dog-tooth), Purbeck marble colonnettes, and, in the centre of the opening, a vertical post (trumeau) dividing it into two parts, with an elaborate sculptured tympanum above, framed by the pointed arch.
Subjects: Art & Architecture