By Liane Lefaivre
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E'tto' ...... . .. . cinctures ovolo plinth GENERA 45 b location of acroterion ~==============;;~================= .. sirna'" .... ....... . geison modillion dentils .. 'loDic' CymaiioD ............. . eo av~o 1 H Lesbian cymation fascia astragal ••• ~ba~s" " " """" " "':": l! ; 1. ) \ I. 0 46 RULES OF COMPOSITION continued c modillions or consoles Ionian cymation .. •. •• . •. •. . • . Lesbian cymation ovolo fillet abacus volute caulicolus acanthus astragal ..... . . .. .............
In a more empirical vein, Freart de Chambray, 38 RULES OF COMPOSITION pressing these differences through symbolic spatial architectural relations. Hence the proportions of the members of the temple must resemble those of a "hominis bene figurati membrorum" (De Architectura, bk. III, ch. I, para. I), the members of a well-formed human body. Vitruvius here is certainly prerational. He goes so far as to claim that the sections of the column-the capital, the shaft, and the base-are derived from the main divisions of the human body-the head, the body, and the feet (De Architectura, bk.
Of course, the relation among architectural good manners, decorum, and social felicity were infinitely more complex, especially given the active public life of the elegant society, with its continuous acting out of the structure of power in order to hammer home· dependencies and obligations. The genera also became the object of rigorous mathematical theorizing. In the Renaissance it was widely taken for granted that there existed invariant ways of calculating the proportions of the genera. Much effort went into working out theoretical support for the universality of architectural proportions on the grounds that they corresponded to the laws of nature.