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Antepagment is an architectural term referring to the vertical face or surface below the capital of a pilaster or anta, a structural element common in classical architecture. The antepagment is typically a flat, rectangular surface that extends from the base of the capital to the top of the pilaster shaft or anta. Its primary function is to provide a visual transition between the capital and the shaft, creating a sense of balance and proportion in the overall architectural composition. Antepagments often feature decorative elements such as moldings, reliefs, or inscriptions, which serve to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the structure while also conveying symbolic or cultural meanings. The specific design and ornamentation of antepagments vary depending on the architectural style and period, with Greek and Roman examples showcasing distinct characteristics. In Greek architecture, antepagments were frequently left plain or adorned with simple, geometric patterns, reflecting the emphasis on clarity and simplicity. In contrast, Roman antepagments often displayed more elaborate and ornate designs, incorporating figurative reliefs, floral motifs, and intricate moldings, demonstrating the Roman penchant for grandeur and opulence. The use of antepagments extended beyond purely decorative purposes, as they also served practical functions such as concealing the joints between the capital and the shaft, providing structural support, and protecting the edges of the pilaster from damage. The presence of antepagments in classical architecture has had a lasting impact on subsequent architectural styles, with their influence evident in various neoclassical and revival movements throughout history.

pilaster, anta, capital, classical architecture, architectural element, decoration, molding, relief, proportion

John Armstrong

CITATION : "John Armstrong. 'Antepagment.' Design+Encyclopedia. (Accessed on June 15, 2024)"

Antepagment Definition
Antepagment on Design+Encyclopedia

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