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atlas


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(pl. atlantes)

A sculpted male figure functioning as a column or other supporting feature in architecture, particularly popular in the Baroque period. In Greek mythology, Atlas was the giant who held up the sky, and atlantes are often depicted so as to suggest the strain of carrying a huge weight on the shoulders. The female equivalent—the caryatid—is, in contrast, usually shown standing serenely upright.

Subjects: Architecture — Art.


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