frieze, in architecture, the member of an entablature between the architrave and the cornice or any horizontal band used for decorative purposes. In the first type the Doric frieze alternates the metope and the triglyph; that of the other orders is plain or sculptured. The 5th-century B.C. treasury of the Cnidians at Delphi shows figures in the frieze. Roman and Renaissance examples, a notable one being on the 1st-century B.C. temple of Vesta at Tivoli, display acanthus leaves and other ornamentation.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.