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roof'. Horace contrasts the simplicity of his cottage on the Sabine farm with the splendour of other villas that abounded in the neighbourhood of Rome :
Nor here an ivory cornice shines,
The Egyptian Hall derived its name from the ornaments employed in its decoration, and, like the Corinthian Ecus, was surrounded by columns; but with this difference, that the entablature was surmounted by an attic* having pilasters at intervals and pierced with windows. The embellishments, conformable to the Egyptian style, included the celestial sphere accord
i Statius, lib. i. Sylvæ 5.
Francis's Translation of the 18th Ode, book ü. 3 Vitruvius, book vi. chap. 5.
4 Vitruvius uses the words “ornamenta columnarum to signify the entablature, and sometimes he includes the three several parts, architrave, frieze, and cornice, in the term “epistylia.” The attic comprised everything placed above the entablature.
ing to the astronomical system of that people;
"Cycle and epicycle, orb in orb;” or like the zodiac of Tentyris', which was carved on a ceiling of that Temple.
In the mosaic pavement would be traced views of the banks of the Nile, the period of inundation, buildings and animals peculiar to Egypt, with hunting scenes of the crocodile and hippopotamus, as in the celebrated mosaic of Palestrina, now in the Barberini Palace at Rome. The capitals and bases of the columns of this room would be of gilded bronze; and the marbles which covered the walls, the richest that the Numidian quarries could furnish'.
1 Engraved in the great Work on Egypt published by order of the French Government.
2 The floors of the modern palaces of Rome are frequently composed of inlaid marbles of different colours. Some are of stucco, or plaster elegantly painted, and others of fine brick only.
3 Pliny's Natural History, book xxxiv, chap. 3. The employment of marble is one of the most tasteful features of internal embellishment; and a modern architectural critic with great justice observes, that the application of coloured
The EXHEDRA. The Exhedra was a large and spacious hall, of great height ; its extremities terminating in hemicycles having a semicircular seat. These seats are particularly represented in Mazois' splendid work on Pompeii'; but he does not give the name of Exhedra to a mere semicircular seat ; as it is so well understood to imply hall, or room for conversation, that Vitruvius confounds it with the Ecus, and gives it the
marbles admits of endless variety, and of every degree of character, from the most simple to the richest. It is here that the architect may be said to come into competition with the painter, and may, like him, please the eye by a masterly combination of tints. In external architecture it must be granted that colours are totally inadmissible, but assuredly not in interiors. Gilding and bronze may also be reckoned as two of the colours peculiar to the architect's palette. The first may be objected to; but surely there is sufficient authority for its use by the ancients to satisfy the most rigorous critic amongst the admirers of attic purity.” See Mr. Leeds' ample dissertation on the interior decoration of houses, written for Britton's Account of Sir John Soane's Museum, p. 14.
| Ruines de Pompeii, vol. i. plates 33 and 34,
same proportions'. The word is composed of the Greek preposition Ex, and HEDRA seat, and may be rendered Hall of Seats, or, still better, Hall of Assembly
Separate benches were ranged on the sides, of similar form, it may be supposed, to the two seats found in the principal room of the Baths in the Suburban Villa at Pompeii. The centre of the Exhedra was left clear, for the company to walk in : the pavement was of white marble; the walls also werelined with marble breast high, the remaining part being covered with representations of columns, and their entablature highly relieved, so as to give the architecture
· Vitruvius, book vi. chap. 5. The portico of the Grecian Palæstra, or Gymnastic School, was called Exhedra from its containing a number of seats. In private houses the Exhedræ were generally open like the Pastas, or Vestibule, of a Greek house.-Wilkins.
% The modern ‘parlour' is a monastic term, and originally implied a room in a convent where the religious met and conversed; it is derived from the French parloir.
Roof and sides were like a parlour made,
a prominent effect; also with pedestals bearing statues, and with every variety of enrichment of which architectural scenes are susceptible'.
The Exhedræ were ornamented with pictures, on account of the ample breadth of the walls, which in these large rooms afforded a wide scope for the exercise of the painter's genius®. Tragic scenes, subjects drawn from mythology,
1 In the history of the revival of art, Stefano, the pupil of Giotto, who lived about the year 1320, has the merit of restoring the true principles of perspective; he painted in fresco, and a Scriptural subject is mentioned by Pilkington as a proof of his vast superiority to any other artist of his time. The scene of this picture represented a magnificent building, in which the grandeur of the edifice, the elegant form and just proportion of the columns and other parts of the architecture, the perfect deception to the eye, and the grand effect of the whole, showed such taste, skill, and invention as well as judgment, that it was considered an inimitable performance. Life of Stefano called Florentino.
To Corregio, who flourished 200 years later, is attributed the invention of successfully foreshortening the figures, which he effected by the power of his extensive genius; and by that means he painted the domes and the ceilings of palaces in a style that surprised every one, as well by its novelty and beauty as by its astonishing effect. --Pilkington.
o Vitruvius's Architecture, book vii. chap. 7.