ornament, in architecture, decorative detail enhancing structures. Structural ornament, an integral part of the framework, includes the shaping and placement of the buttress, cornice, molding, ceiling, and roof and the capital and other elements of the column, as well as the use of building materials of contrasting color or texture. Applied ornament embraces the adornment of structural members with statuary, carving, molding, paint, inlay, mosaic, and facings. The design of ornament has followed the artistic development of various eras, reaching the height of exuberance during the baroque. See decorative arts and articles on the architecture of individual countries and periods, e.g., Egyptian architecture and Gothic architecture and art.
See O. Jones The Grammar of Ornament (1869, repr. 1972); A. D. F. Hamlin, A History of Ornament (2 vol., 1916–23); J. Evans, Style in Ornament (1950).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.