Why old buildings use the same leaf design


These 22 columns used to sit on the East Portico
of the United States Capitol building, before they were moved … here. And as strange as they are, they’ve got
something in common with every other Corinthian column. Something you have to look closer to see. These are acanthus leaves. Once you start looking for them, you’ll notice
them everywhere. And these leaves? They say something about why we have decorated
columns in the first place. Okay. So there are different types, or orders, of
columns you run into in classical architecture. The most important stuff is at the top part,
on what’s called the “capital.” The three big orders are Doric — think super
basic. Ionic: look for the swirly things, called
volutes. And Corinthian — that’s where you want
to look for the leaves. Composite is similar, but with the volutes
added in. It’s a little much. Corinthian columns probably entered the mix
around 550 BC, but through all these centuries of change, the ornamentation at the top stayed
the same. And those leaves? They tell the columns’ story. There’s a myth behind the acanthus’s appearance
on columns. It comes from the Roman writer Vitruvius. His legend was that a young girl died. In mourning, her nurse put the girl’s favorite
stuff in a basket and set a tile on top of it. But the basket was placed on top of an acanthus
plant, which grew leaves that covered the entire weave. A sculptor named Callimachus saw it, got inspired,
and invented the Corinthian column. Yeah, no … sure, Vitruvius. That’s what happened. But the myth does speak to what made the acanthus
enduring. It could grow from root cuttings. These leaves showed up on Greek columns, though
many are now lost. They popped up in Roman architecture as the
empire grew. Some say the Greek and Roman columns had different
acanthus species, but stylization has erased most of that distinction. All the Corinthian columns’ versions reflected
the strength of the acanthus. Eventually, the design of Corinthian column
became strong enough to support itself through history. The acanthus wasn’t a given. This is the plan for the United States Capitol’s
hall of columns. Along with acanthus, it includes tobacco leaves. Around the world, columns draw on different
ancient references, but in the West, referencing classical ornamentation largely means following
the same template. Often there’s creativity, as in this column
capital at Chartres, but almost always, acanthus is in the mix. These leaves don’t just symbolize the strength
of a plant. They’ve come to represent the endurance
of a culture’s design. The Capitol building’s current columns still feature ornate acanthus leaves. These columns were removed from the Capitol. But acanthus leaves? They may never be replaced. So Vitruvius’s real interest in these columns
was probably more in the proportions than in the leaves. That makes sense when you know that he is
the person who was behind the Vitruvian man. This guy. It feels like I’m dancing now.

100 comments

  • Fossil Bluff

    Nice! Totally relevant to a project I'm working on.

    Reply
  • castroy64

    I’m waiting for some SJW puke to start screaming β€œtear them down” because patriarchy or some other bullshit.

    Reply
  • Sherwood Botsford

    In the illustrations, and in some of the images, the top of the column doesn't line up with the edge of the, horizontal beam above it. Looks odd. Why is this?

    I think that the leaves are mandated by the bird lobby as nesting sites for sparrows, swallows, and on larger capitals, pigeons.

    Reply
  • Sarah W

    liking this video for @3:11

    Reply
  • Gevorg Hovhannisyan

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnMK0ZXnXHE&list=UUOOl1X288y-FQFVRZr2gdWw&index=13

    Reply
  • Gevorg Hovhannisyan

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnMK0ZXnXHE&list=UUOOl1X288y-FQFVRZr2gdWw&index=13

    Reply
  • Gevorg Hovhannisyan

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnMK0ZXnXHE&list=UUOOl1X288y-FQFVRZr2gdWw&index=13

    Reply
  • Ti ti

    Where'd joss go?

    Reply
  • R C

    Also, Vitruvius is the black and blind guy from the lego movie

    Reply
  • Bushido

    do more of architectural stuff. this is awesome

    Reply
  • john palma

    What citizenship, to what flag pledge allegiance you?

    Reply
  • Raphael Lualhati

    We studied these on highschool. Doric, Ionic and Corinthian

    Reply
  • Caitlyn Jenner

    It's because of the freemasons…..

    Reply
  • Think Strong

    hi vox, please research outside the mainstream narrative. you will find much more than you would be led to believe… but u may already know this and why u push the mainstream agenda.. why dont u research flat earth next time?? oh the executives wont allow it, ok… god be with you

    Reply
  • One Crypto

    https://www.stolenhistory.org/threads/similar-style-buildings-are-all-over-the-world-were-they-built-by-our-civilization.22/

    Reply
  • Code2Works

    The Vitruvian Man was represented by Leonardo in late 1400. Marcus Vitruvius Pollio has lived long before that.

    Reply
  • Bogus Bozo

    Wish youtube had an option where we could find a comment by keyword. I'm tired of scrolling down and down with troll comments and spam.

    Reply
  • Ronnie Baxter

    The fire fighters in my home town of Las Vegas use their firehouses as brothels, steal donations from the Boot Drive, falsify time records etc….. all with the blessings of Harry Reid. They are also the highest paid govt employees in Nevada. Only requires a GED.

    Reply
  • Kinghercules

    So yall just gonna ignore the fact that the Africans in Egypt built columns 1000yrs before the Greeks and more than likely thats where the Greeks got the idea from? Since they went to school in Egypt, right?
    Thats what yall doing?

    Reply
  • john Cast

    I like Gargoyles, instead of Leafs just saying.

    Reply
  • Andrew Liang

    3:12 for a second there i thought i lost internet

    Reply
  • trainbow26

    How I remember columns is Doric: basic boi, Ionic: fancy boi, Corinthian: mega fancy boi

    Reply
  • Agnes Walsh

    This video pissed me off it was just pointless

    Reply
  • Sydni Robinson

    I'M HAVING FLASHBACKS. OK so idk if this is something that is a DC area thing or not but we literally had field trips as kids to look at columns in DC and architecture around the city and like had to take notes and study them and stuff.

    Reply
  • Floyd Maxwell

    America is collapsing into civil war and fascism…but we'll always have those column toppers. Delicious!

    Reply
  • Morning Star Management and Technical Solutions

    Why do we conform to old beliefs or ideas? Please check out my friend's youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=young+pharaoh he has a challenge going on right now to support single mothers so please help him out by tapping that subscribe button have a great day loves and thank for you being amazing!

    Reply
  • F&K

    Veri najs

    Reply
  • Dark Horse Woodworking

    3:12 ..aaaaaaaand JAZZ HANDS!!

    Reply
  • Shmetaling

    Lol 4 min going through centuries of a focused architecture oddity, explaining origins, unique stories and providing overall a better appreciation for little addition you may come across. 2 days later 3 min BREAKING NEWS Trump is totally going to lie about stuff guys i know it hasn't happened yet but I swear. Vox I really do not get you pacing

    Reply
  • Enciu Darius

    weak sauce

    Reply
  • What

    everybody wants to be greek, that's why

    Reply
  • Assia Carpentier

    circle brick survey horrible bitter advanced process islam monument mode guide

    Reply
  • Alexandros Taderera

    jazz hands

    Reply
  • dimitri jordania

    That jazz hands thing was so whack I stopped watching this

    Reply
  • Voice of Reason

    Acanthus Leaves

    Reply
  • Aryaa

    Honestly, politics can get so stressful, Almanac always makes me feel better, I love your content.

    Reply
  • Morahman7vnNo2

    Jazz hands.

    Reply
  • HunterShows

    The Greeks painted their sculpture. Surprised no caryatids mentioned.

    Reply
  • Xavier Butler

    reveal elderly quantity ugly parade question win dignity busy

    Reply
  • Beardman29

    The ancient Greeks copied their architecture from the ancient Egyptians. This style of column dates back to the era from 3050 B.C. till 900 B.C. when the great kings of Egypt ruled. Ancient Egyptian columns are diverse and range from 16 sides polygon to circular columns. Imhotep, the ancient Egyptian architect, was known to carve stone columns resembling bundled reeds and other plants like the lotus flower. This is Egyptian architecture remixed. The video could have mentioned it.

    Reply
  • Cush

    So, where is the answer to the original "why" question in the video?

    Reply
  • Andrew Saturn

    The east columns were removed in 1958 and replaced with less complex marble versions to match the other side of the building. Why were the columns on the other side different? Because they accidentally made the building's iron dome too big, and used more "plain" columns to even out the appearance. So the ornate columns on the west side (in this video) had to go.

    Reply
  • Felix Jacobsen

    Recent front trading laugh border stupid Soviet pile fact alter

    Reply
  • sarcasmo57

    I always add these leaves to my columns.

    Reply
  • Eevee

    I wonder why we are so interested in columns in particular when it comes to old architecture

    Reply
  • Ben Hinman

    Congratulations, Vox. You managed to compress some of the key highlights i'd gleaned from an online course from Yale into a 4 minute youtube video.

    Reply
  • FRISHR

    Because the power of Zeus wields it!

    Reply
  • saucy risi

    isn't this taught in schools? what's up with people not knowing this?

    Reply
  • Earl Johnson

    get a new mic. the voiceover sounds bad.

    Reply
  • Rey Anthony Flores

    2:13 name of painting please?

    Reply
  • Moon Moon

    Why african tribes still live in mudhuts?

    Reply
  • Christian Watson

    Da Vinci is the man behind the vitruvian man. I know what you mean but the wording was just confusing.

    Reply
  • Harry Brown

    Song?

    Reply
  • Patrick Lo

    Now you can see there are plenty of fake Greek & Roman columns used in Chinese buildings everywhere.

    Reply
  • Logan Williams

    information exchange tap turn technical recommend break neither convert feed.

    Reply
  • Fatimata

    I remember learning this in school, but never thought it was a real topic

    Reply
  • Raphael Vasconcellos

    wtf americans don't learn about ancient greek architetural orders at the high school???

    Reply
  • Francisco Zahradnik

    It sounds like the corinthian chapitel is American. Corinthian columns – the chapitel is only a part- are more slender than previous columns. A huge improvement from the massive columns in Sumeria and ancient Egypt.

    Reply
  • Johannes Choo

    TL;DR: tradition

    Reply
  • The Trammell

    0:33 Jazz hands!

    Reply
  • Ezekiel Graeme

    Boooo, this video was less good than the average of the rest of your videos. Solid B-grade writing.

    Reply
  • Conciliator

    this is like the Voxiest video ever

    Reply
  • JeckNoTree

    Great Video. Great Editing and Storytelling. I like it really mutch.

    Reply
  • someone

    Phoenician architecture , the Greek adopted it

    Reply
  • Alex T

    Well, that went nowhere.

    Reply
  • Thecrazeecow

    These are the type of pillars I have in my house

    Reply
  • lo zero

    Well the interesting question here would have been : "why old roman and Greek buildings used acanthus leafs as decoration "

    Reply
  • Nicole L. Vaughan

    I enjoy you. πŸ˜‰

    Reply
  • Zachary Kingston

    as a painter who has painted many columms i appreciate this…

    Reply
  • T M

    In the UK, many buildings have the Tudor rose on it, the reason why is so interesting as well

    Reply
  • SeanTerisu

    >2018
    >Vox uses BC instead of BCE

    Reply
  • matt t

    learnt this in 7th grade voc you arjeuwocksjsmhz nnnβ†˜οΈβ†˜οΈπŸ§‘πŸ˜πŸ’šπŸ˜ƒπŸ•’πŸ•”πŸ•¦πŸ•šπŸ˜–πŸ€―πŸ€―πŸ§πŸ˜’πŸ€¬πŸ§πŸ€¨πŸ˜©πŸ€¨πŸ˜©πŸ€¨πŸ˜«πŸ€¨πŸ˜ πŸ˜ πŸ€¨πŸ˜ πŸ€¨πŸ€¨πŸ€¨πŸ€¨πŸ€¨πŸ€¨πŸ€¨πŸ€¨πŸ€¨πŸ€¨πŸ˜ πŸ˜ πŸ˜±πŸ˜¨πŸ˜¨πŸ˜¨πŸ˜›πŸ€­πŸ˜πŸ€­πŸŒ΄πŸˆπŸ€πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸ•πŸ¦”πŸπŸ¦”πŸ–πŸ•πŸ–πŸ²πŸ²πŸˆ

    Reply
  • ApexIXMR

    And why would we deny the original story of it’s origin? Why consider it a myth. We are so arrogant as a society.

    Reply
  • Cyrus Francisco

    these leaves are more interesting than the Boar Vessel, 600-500 BC, Etruscan, ceramic.

    Reply
  • Global vision

    This video does NOT explain HOW columns were manufactured and WHY Christainic americans repeat Pagan architecture)))

    Reply
  • Gabrielismo

    They are vegans tbh

    Reply
  • Nicole White

    It’s called AP Art History look it up sweety

    Reply
  • Matthew r

    The Greeks mainly built the Doric and Ionic columns because they thought the Corinthians were a bit to much, but there is much more to the Doric and ionic columns then just the capitals for instance the Doric order doesn't have a Base at the bottom and is larger at the bottom and goes thinner to the top, and the Ionic order does have a Base at the bottom and is more thicker in the center,

    Reply
  • Daniel Cafaniel

    Disliked cuz why tf he jump out like that and do that with his hands wtf

    Reply
  • Jay H

    Not quite right

    Reply
  • Libertards Beware

    Old?

    Reply
  • Dylan 1999

    To this day there is zero evidence for domesticated man being the creators and builders of classical architecture let alone being capable.. We only inherited western civilization, not build it.

    "History is a set of lies agreed upon" – Napoleon

    Reply
  • Mikhail Filatov

    Is it possible to share your video on my website?

    Reply
  • Maria Kotter

    I learned how to draw 1 type of acanthus leaf designs for a manuscript project and I'm so proud of myself. It's not perfect, but I love it.

    Reply
  • Saransh Gothi

    Adding it to my architecture playlist

    Reply
  • Shifter

    1. FLEX

    Reply
  • Grzegorz Rutkowski

    It's super oversimplified

    Reply
  • Christian O. Holz

    I lived in the DC area and never knew about those columns. Why were they moved ?

    Reply
  • Arnie Calang

    I’m not sure if the video answered the question or not

    Reply
  • Vicare

    the added "comedy" in the video just makes it look stupid

    Reply
  • Simon Sozzi

    But why were the originals replaced at all?

    Reply
  • Gotchabitch

    Nobody asked for this video,
    yet it's fascinating

    Reply
  • D. O'Brien

    The acanthus plant was used as a metaphor for the Roman empire. Look at the ara pacis for one of the best examples.

    Reply
  • Omar Sosa GΓ³ngora

    Architect Christian Norberg-Schulz in his book "Meaning in Western Architecture" mencioned that the Corinthian column represents the juvenile physique , although the romans just used it as a homage to the great greeks. We can find greek use of this column in the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

    Reply
  • Andrew Crockett

    Any Fellows of the Craft in the house?

    Reply
  • Joshua Graham

    Fashion darling.
    There saved you 4 mins

    Reply
  • Rachel Humphrey

    JAZZ HANDS

    Reply
  • saru nadi

    i love that column

    Reply
  • Dick iller

    Not old, classical. Don’t even dare to name this great architecture β€œold”

    Reply
  • International Harvester

    Egg & Dart, ostrich feathers, florets……….

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *