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Norman Architecture page 2

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A capital from the Chapel in the Tower of London is given as a very good example of the early Norman form of capital. It exhibits the volutes at the angles and the plain block in the centre, in room of the caulicoli, and is surrounded by a peculiar stiff kind of foliage, the whole being an evident but rude imitation of the Corinthian capital. The volutes and the centre block are common features of early Norman capitals, but the foliage is rare. It occurs also in the work of Remigius, at Lincoln Cathedral.

A portion of Doorway, Durham Cathedral, is given as an example of rich Norman, and exhibits the peculiar mouldings and ornaments of the style. The dripstone shows a rude kind of foliage, on which are placed at intervals medallions containing animals, &c. It is not unusual for these to be occupied with the signs of the zodiac. The arch exhibits a rich series of zigzags; the abacus of the capitals is of the usual Nor man form, but has its upright face ornamented with what is an evident imitation of a classical form, generally known as the Grecian honeysuckle. The capitals are of the usual cushion shape, but overlaid with foliage and monstrous animals, The shapes exhibit two varieties of ornamentation, much used in very rich doorways. The first two are fluted spirally in opposite directions, and the third exhibits a kind of diaper work, being a modification of the zigzag, in which the interstices are filled with foliage.

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