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Doric kymation
Ionic kymation
Lesbian kymation
Cyma recta and cyma reversa

A kymation ( ancient Greek κυμάτιον , plural Kymatia or Kymatien ) or Kyma ( κῦμα kyma "wave"; Latin n. And f. Cyma ) is a continuous decorative strip with frieze-like ornaments , mostly on facades or columns . It can be worked out in three dimensions or just painted on and has predominantly stylized plant elements.

The following main types are distinguished:

  • the Doric kymation, which is relatively simple and concave, an undercut, but otherwise not profiled bar with abstract leaf formations
  • the ionic kymation with more pronounced, convex decorative elements, for which the egg stick is particularly typical (plastic oval structures, separated by narrow hollow bars)
  • the lesbian kymation, which shows heart leaf motifs ( water leaves or heart leaves ) with vertical bars in between and has a strongly ornamental character. Its profile is concave-convex.

In the case of a concave-convex profile, a distinction is made between cyma recta and cyma reversa , with the cyma reversa , the inverted and therefore hanging kyma, representing the usual shape.

Originally, the individual types of Kymatia were linked with the corresponding individual building codes and the associated ornamental systems and thus clearly separated from one another. In the Hellenistic and Roman times, however, the types were mixed, at the same time there was a further refinement and design with more details ( acanthus , palmettes , medallions ).


Web links

Wiktionary: Kymation  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Article Kymation in: Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon 6th edition 1905–1909