By Philip Wilkinson
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Extra info for BUILDING (DK Eyewitness Books)
Today, speculatively built houses are often constructed quickly, and much of the decoration is left to the future owners. But in the 18th century, speculative houses were as highly decorated as those built to order, with features such as this carved wooden bracket from a door case. Gilt (gold-leaf) flower Green man BEAUTIFULLY SMALL Sometimes a small decoration can be as effective as a mass of carving. This “green man” and the gilt flower above it are typical motifs in English design of the late 15th and 16th centuries.
Sometimes the leaf was carved to fit into a rectangle or horizontal band, as with this raspberry leaf from a French chimney surround. EARLY RENAISSANCE PANEL (above) HEAD IN THE CLOUDS Renaissance artists experimented with a vast range of different ornamental styles. This carved stone panel includes beasts such as unicorns and monkeys, as well as stylized flowers in the roundels. The baroque ceilings of the 17th century were often painted to represent the artist’s idea of heaven. This was usually a bright blue sky with fluffy clouds, populated by cheerful winged cherubs.
Sometimes the window had a flat top, sometimes a pointed head, called a lancet. THREE IN A ROW By about 1230, lancets were often arranged together in groups to form a window. Each lancet is called a “light,” so this is a “three-light” window. Rain is diverted by the dripstone above. Diamondshaped pieces of glass, called quarrels, were common when glass was made in small pieces Strips of lead, called cames, held the quarrels in place SCREENING OUT THE SUN In hot areas, particularly in India and the Middle East, a pierced screen called a jali is sometimes used in place of glass in traditional buildings.