Reference Entry

Ogee

Francis Woodman

in Oxford Art Online


Published online January 2003 | e-ISBN: 9781884446054 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gao/9781884446054.article.T063286

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Sinuous, pointed motif composed of two S-shaped arcs, convex above and concave below, struck on four centres, two outside and above the arch (see Arch, fig. (left)). The ogee has a long history as a decorative device, but, being inherently unstable, it is not often found in structural arches.

The ogee arch was a common form in early Indian architecture (see Indian subcontinent, §III, 3): rock-cut temples at Bhaja, Karle and other sites (1st century bc–1st century ad) have large ogee arches above their openings that are derived from wooden prototypes. From India the motif passed into Chinese and Western art, probably through small, portable decorated objects such as stone votive stupas (e.g. Berlin, Mus. Ind. Kst.; ?5th century ad). It was employed freely in Islamic art, decoratively on funerary stelae and moulded transennae, and on a monumental scale on the façade of the ...

Reference Entry.  460 words. 

Subjects: Architecture ; Art Techniques and Principles

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