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Glossary


Arcade
Decorative feature formed by a succession of small arches, particularly on a façade.
Arch, depressed
A flattened arch, less than semi-circular in cross-section.
Atlantids (Atlantes) Male figures serving as pillars or parts of pillars.
Avenida Standard Portuguese for Avenue.
Baluster
A pillar or column for support of a handrail.
Balustrade
A continuous parapet sustained by a row of balusters at regular intervals.
Baroque Dominant European style, of Italian origin, in 17th and 18th centuries, generally rather belated in Brazil. Manifested in grandiose forms with abundant decoration, it is extrovert, exhibitionist, dramatic, theatrical, full of contrast, and above all dynamic.
Bull's eye (also Oculus)
A circular or oval opening or window for the passage of light or air. There may be decorative variations on the basic form, including the Four-lobed bull's eye, made up of four interconnecting broken arches.
Caryatid
Sculpture of human or mythological figure used as structural support.
Classicism
Style developed above all in France in the 17th and 18th centuries, morphologically faithful to the intellectual purity of the Renaissance. According to Wolfflin, the baroque is pictorial ("painterly") and develops in depth, while the classical is linear and plastic, static and closed.
Colonial
For portuguese colonial architecture, see Luso-Brazilian.
Column, Corinthian
Resembling the Doric in base and acanthus leaves.
Column, Doric
Column with base set directly on the ground; the shaft is chanelled and the capital formed of one circular element with a horizontal plaque on top. This is the Doric-Roman version, the commonest in Brazil.
Column, Tuscan
Similar to the Doric, but with a smooth shaft. This is the simplest of the classical orders of architecture.
Cornice
The upper part of the entablature (q.v.), a series of mouldings to crown any work of architecture.
Cornice, modillioned A cornice supported by inverted S-shaped brackets (modillions).
Eclectism European architectural style arising in the second quarter of the 19th century and later becoming widespread; it was seen as a solution for the "battle of the styles", between Neoclassicism and the mediaevalizing styles then becoming fashionable. Charles Garnier's design for the Paris Ópera (1861-1865) is the most famous example of this style as applied to the theatre.
Effigy
A representative image of a real or symbolic person, specially in relief.
Entablature
The set of horizontal elements (architrave, frieze and cornice) between a colonnade and the pediment (q.v.) above.
Foyer
A salon, in a theatre, where spectators could repair during the intervals of a play.
Frontispiece The entire façade of a building.
Gable The triangular part of a wall, enclosed between the angles of a sloping roof. On a façade, the gable forms the pediment.
Largo Standard Portuguese for an elongated Square or very broad Street.
Light (of door or window)
Upper part of opening, incorporated in fixed or moving structure, for illumination or ventilation; often with glass, wrought iron etc.
Lintel Horizontal element spanning a window or door.
Loggia see Portico A gallery behind a colonnade.
Luso-Brazilian
The roots of this type of architecture are lost in time, and are most easily recognized in civil architecture, above all in the ordinary style of Portuguese urban centers. The formal constants are simple to recognize: the compact arrangement of houses along a street, the geometrical purity of the façades, the submission of horizontals to flat wall spaces, the predominance of smooth stone surfaces, the use of projecting roofs etc. Traditional Brazilian houses are modest anonymous constructions, all like each other, wich do little or nothing to attract the attention.
Neoclassicism The style developed in Europe after the mid 18th century. It is characterized by a return to the form and rules of classic architecture. Morphologically, there is a predominance of elementary geometrical volumes, with little decoration, solemn and cold in arrangement. The external expression of theatres from this period is conventional in form; it is possible to recognize the function of the building at once from its external characteristics. Pediments, rows of columns, lyres, statues of Dionysius, Apollo and the Muses are incorporated once and for all into the architectural and decorative symbology of the theatre.
Pediment
Element in architecture, in the shape of an isosceles triangle and corresponding on a façade to the gable formed by the angles of the roof. A pediment is usually finished with mouldings, and the tympanum, or inner surface, is often decorated. Found on façades, porticos, doors, windows and niches for sculptures.
Pediment, curved
A pediment shaped like a segment of a circle rather than a triangle.
Peristyle
A continuous row of columns around a building or courtyard; sometimes a line of columns across a façade.
Pilaster A square pillar integrated into, but projecting slightly from, a wall. The decoration of the capital follows the classical orders.
Pilaster, Corinthian
As above, with acanthus leaves on the capital, a channeled shaft and a base.
Portico A gallery of columns, open or partially closed and covered. It will generally form the entrance and central part of the front of a building.
Praça
Standard Portuguese for Square.
Proscenium Front part of Italian-style stage, between the curtain and the pit (or stalls); separated from stage by proscenium curtain.
Putto (plural putti)
A decorative naked cherub, renaissance in origin and inspired by rendering of Eros.
Rose
Decorative grille to allow warm air to escape from the upper part of the hall; it usually surrounds the suspension point for chandelier.
Rua
Standar Portuguese for Street.
Stylus
Designed based on a jeweller's engraving stylus.
Tympanum
Space (triangular or rounded) enclosed by pediment, often with decoration.
Trophy Painted or sculpted decoration composed of helmets, lances, swords etc., symbolizing the spoils of war; used for decoration of buildings from the Renaissance onwards.
Vault An arched covering of stone or brick over any building or internal part of a building.
Vault, depressed
A flattened vault, less than semi-circular in cross-section.
Vestibule
Area between from entrance of theatre and main staircase.

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