noun \ˌker-ē-ˈa-təd, ˌka-rē-; ˈker-ē-ə-ˌtid, ˈka-rē-\
plural cary·at·ids or cary·at·ides\ˌker-ē-ˈa-tə-ˌdēz, ˌka-rē-\

Definition of CARYATID

:  a draped female figure supporting an entablature

Illustration of CARYATID

Origin of CARYATID

Latin caryatides, plural, from Greek karyatides priestesses of Artemis at Caryae, caryatids, from Karyai Caryae in Laconia
First Known Use: 1563


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Supporting column sculpted in the form of a draped female figure. Caryatids first appeared in three small buildings (treasuries) at Delphi (550–530 BC). The most celebrated example is the caryatid porch of the Erechtheum (421–406 BC), with six figures, on the Acropolis (see acropolis) of Athens. Caryatids are sometimes called korai (“maidens”). Their male counterpart is the atlas.


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