Ionic, Doric and Corinthian

Most people who take any art history at all learn about the Ionic, Doric a Corinthian styles—the Classical orders of architecture. In my experience, this iconography sticks easily in the minds of students. In fact, it seems to be the one iconographic trope people remember, if they remember anything at all.

This thought led me to wonder about how we teach people to see, and about the history of visual literacy and art history itself. Obviously the subject matter—ancient Greek architecture— emerged in tandem with the field of art history. But why do these architectural tropes get taught over and over? Maybe it is because they are ‘sticky’?

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