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Acanthus   Listen
noun
Acanthus  n.  (pl. E. acanthuses, L. acanthi)  
1.
(Bot.) A genus of herbaceous prickly plants, found in the south of Europe, Asia Minor, and India; bear's-breech.
2.
(Arch.) An ornament resembling the foliage or leaves of the acanthus (Acanthus spinosus); used in the capitals of the Corinthian and Composite orders.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Acanthus" Quotes from Famous Books



... stage or story, or order. Here the coupled pilasters have that slight difference in base and more particularly in capital which constitutes the Composite order. The capitals have the larger scrolls or volutes of the Ionic above the acanthus leaves of the Corinthian proper. In reality the difference is, here, but slight; and the best authorities maintain that there is less difference between the Corinthian and the Composite than between different examples of the Corinthian itself. The reason for the dressed niches, with ...
— Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of St. Paul - An Account of the Old and New Buildings with a Short Historical Sketch • Arthur Dimock

... we know we can describe; and hence those most of all which, having been described very often, have grown to be conventionally treated in the practice of our art. These we choose, as the mason chooses the acanthus to adorn his capital, because they come naturally to the accustomed hand. The old stock incidents and accessories, tricks of workmanship and schemes of composition (all being admirably good, or they would long have been forgotten) haunt and tempt our fancy; offer us ready-made but not ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 16 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... could reach, nothing was visible but one stretch of prairie, enameled with flower, in all the freshness and abundance of spring. The blue flowers of the slender-leaved flax, combined with the bright hues of the scarlet acanthus, a flower peculiar to ...
— In Search of the Castaways • Jules Verne

... this little picture of a fire on the hearth so many centuries ago helps to make real and interesting to me that somewhat misty past. No doubt the lotus and the acanthus from the Nile grew in that winter-house, and perhaps Jehoiakim attempted—the most difficult thing in the world the cultivation of the wild flowers from Lebanon. Perhaps Jehoiakim was interested also, as I am through this ancient fireplace,—which ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... darkness to twilight, and the twilight to a grey daylight, the first impression is that of two rows of towering pillars. They are of a dark red stone having much of the appearance of a dark red marble; and they are crowned with the acanthus in the manner of the Corinthian school. They were carved and set up at the command of Constantine; and beyond them, at the other end of the church beside the attar, is the dark stairway that descends under the canopies of rock to the stable where ...
— The New Jerusalem • G. K. Chesterton

... which his workmen were cutting two copies in marble. At the same place I saw his Proserpine, an ideal bust of great sweetness and beauty, the fair chest swelling out from a circle of leaves of the acanthus. About this also the workmen were busy, and I learned that seven copies of it had been recently ordered from the hand of the artist. By its side stood the unfinished statue of Eve, with the fatal apple in her hand, an earlier ...
— Letters of a Traveller - Notes of Things Seen in Europe and America • William Cullen Bryant

... for the figures that shine on the ancient brass; the summit of the goblet is rough with gilded acanthus. Nor do the Trojans return gifts of less value than those given; and to the priest they give an incense-box, to keep the frankincense; they give a bowl, {too}, and a crown, brilliant with gold and gems. Then recollecting that the {Trojans}, ...
— The Metamorphoses of Ovid - Literally Translated into English Prose, with Copious Notes - and Explanations • Publius Ovidius Naso

... Latin ballads perished forever. Yet discerning critics have thought that they could still perceive in the early history of Rome numerous fragments of this lost poetry, as the traveller on classic ground sometimes finds, built into the heavy wall of a fort or convent, a pillar rich with acanthus leaves, or a frieze where the Amazons and Bacchanals seem to live. The theatres and temples of the Greek and the Roman were degraded into the quarries of the Turk and the Goth. Even so did the ancient Saturnian poetry become the quarry in which a crowd of orators ...
— Lays of Ancient Rome • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... less worthy of notice are the coffins of the two first sainted abbesses of the convent of Lorvao, near Coimbra, in which elaborate acanthus scrolls in silver are laid ...
— Portuguese Architecture • Walter Crum Watson

... glimpse, as the Vaterland rolled over, of some large buildings burning close below them, a quivering acanthus of flames, and then he saw indistinctly through the driving weather another airship wallowing along like a porpoise, and also working up. Presently the clouds swallowed her again for a time, and then she came back to sight as a dark and whale-like monster, ...
— The War in the Air • Herbert George Wells

... the material out of which it is made, is oftentimes of great importance by comparison with its shape, fashion, or mode. It is of value in your eyes to know whether your family plate is in substance of gold or of silver; but whether such a vessel is round or square, ornamented with a wreath of acanthus or ivy, supported by tigers or by fawns, may be a trivial consideration, or even worse; for the fashion of your plate, after it has once become obsolete, may count against you for so much loss as something that will cost a good deal of money ...
— The Posthumous Works of Thomas De Quincey, Vol. 1 (2 vols) • Thomas De Quincey

... of Rhodopis was as full of sound, and scent and blossom as a night in fairy-land. It was one labyrinth of acanthus shrubs, yellow mimosa, the snowy gelder-rose, jasmine and lilac, red roses and laburnums, overshadowed by tall palm-trees, acacias and balsam trees. Large bats hovered softly on their delicate wings over the whole, and sounds of mirth and ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... others, they stretched toward the right and the left, they climbed toward the height, and they clung to the wall of the Capitol, or some of them clung to others, like greater and smaller, thicker and thinner, white or gold colored tree-trunks, now blooming under architraves, flowers of the acanthus, now surrounded with Ionic corners, now finished with a simple Doric quadrangle. Above that forest gleamed colored triglyphs; from tympans stood forth the sculptured forms of gods; from the summits winged golden quadrigae seemed ready to fly away through space into the blue dome, fixed serenely ...
— Quo Vadis - A Narrative of the Time of Nero • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... chapel was never opened save when, on Easter Sunday, a priest came from the town to say mass. At other times it stood abandoned, cobwebs curtaining the narrow windows, farm tools leaning against the walls, and the dust deep on the sea-gods and acanthus volutes of the altar. The manor of Pontesordo was very old. The country people said that the great warlock Virgil, whose dwelling-place was at Mantua, had once shut himself up for a year in the topmost chamber of the ...
— The Valley of Decision • Edith Wharton

... and longed for her home and her mother. Beautiful, eager, he wooed her, and kissed off her tears as he hovered, Roving at will, as a bee, on the brows of a rock nymph-haunted, Garlanded over with vine, and acanthus, and clambering roses, Cool in the fierce still noon, where streams glance clear in the mossbeds, Hums on from blossom to blossom, and mingles the sweets as he tastes them. Beautiful, eager, he ...
— Andromeda and Other Poems • Charles Kingsley

... various workshops. It is possible thus that he had a hand in much metal and relief work of the Pollaiolos, and perhaps even in the embroidering and tapestries of which they were undertakers; also in certain ornaments, friezes of Cupids and dolphins, and exquisite shell and acanthus carving of the monuments of Santa Croce; and it may be surmised that he occasionally assisted Botticelli in his perspective and anatomy, since that master took him to Rome when commissioned to paint ...
— Renaissance Fancies and Studies - Being a Sequel to Euphorion • Violet Paget (AKA Vernon Lee)

... with stately buildings, as became the capital of the world, showed a succession of glittering spires and orders of architecture, some of them chaste and simple, like those the capitals of which were borrowed from baskets-full of acanthus; some deriving the fluting of their shafts from the props made originally to support the lances of the earlier Greeks—forms simple, yet more graceful in their simplicity, than any which human ingenuity has been able since to invent. With the most splendid specimens ...
— Waverley Volume XII • Sir Walter Scott

... and whole ranges of rooms filled with wonders of art, all in one morning! All this I did on Saturday, and only wanted you. You know so much more and could appreciate so much better. At the Palace of the Cesars, where the very dust is a mlange of exquisite marbles, I saw for the first time an acanthus growing, and picked ...
— The Life of Harriet Beecher Stowe • Charles Edward Stowe

... garment must be constructed without buttons or button-holes, and confined at the waist with cable-like bell-ropes and tassels. This elegant deshabille had its origin (like the Corinthian capital from the Acanthus) in accident. A set of massive window-curtains having been carelessly thrown over a lay figure, or tailor's torso, in Nugee's studio, in St. James's-street, suggested to the luxuriant mind of the Adonisian D'Orsay, this beautiful ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 1, September 5, 1841 • Various

... colored girl in this New York school who was drawing for the pattern she was about to embroider, a carefully elaborated acanthus leaf. Upon my inquiry as to the design, she replied: "It is what the Egyptians used to put on everything, because they saw it so much growing in the Nile; and then the Greeks copied it, and sometimes you can find it now on the buildings downtown." She added, shyly: "Of course, I like it awfully ...
— The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets • Jane Addams

... without capitals. Their style of architecture is much superior to that of the great colonnade hereafter to be mentioned, and seems to belong to the best period of the Corinthian order, their capitals being beautifully ornamented with the acanthus leaves. The shafts are composed of five or six pieces, and are seven spans and a ...
— Travels in Syria and the Holy Land • John Burckhardt

... Grecian towns, which submitted as the Persian monarch marched along, for how could they resist? The mere provisioning this great host for a single day impoverished the country. But there was no help, for to mortal eyes the success of Xerxes was certain. At Acanthus, Xerxes separated from his fleet, which was directed to sail round Mount Athos, while he pursued his march through Paeonia and Crestonia, and rejoin him at Therma, on the Thermaic Gulf, in Macedonia, within sight ...
— Ancient States and Empires • John Lord

... told you about the second indentation of the acanthus," said the elder workman, without looking round; "a light, light hand—no holes ...
— Marzio's Crucifix and Zoroaster • F. Marion Crawford

... ceiling; the sashes are red-cedar, the great staircase mahogany; there are pilasters with delicate Corinthian capitals; there are cherubs' heads and wings that go astray and lose themselves in closets and behind glass doors; there are curling acanthus-leaves that cluster over shelves and ledges, and there are those graceful shell-patterns which one often sees on old furniture, but rarely in houses. The high front door still retains its Ionic cornice; and the western entrance, looking on the bay, is surmounted by carved fruit ...
— Malbone - An Oldport Romance • Thomas Wentworth Higginson



Words linked to "Acanthus" :   Acanthus mollis, bear's breeches, bear's breech, sea holly, genus Acanthus, herbaceous plant, herb



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