caryatides


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car·y·at·id

 (kăr′ē-ăt′ĭd)
n. pl. car·y·at·ids or car·y·at·i·des (-ĭ-dēz′) Architecture
A supporting column sculptured in the form of a draped female figure.

[From Latin Caryātides, caryatids, from Greek Karuātides, priestesses of Artemis at Caryae, caryatids, from Karuai, Caryae, a village of Laconia in southern Greece with a famous temple to Artemis.]

car′y·at′i·dal (-ĭ-dəl), car′y·at′i·de′an (-ĭ-dē′ən), car′y·a·tid′ic (-ə-tĭd′ĭk) adj.
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References in classic literature ?
Let me begin with the corner room at the western extremity of the palace, called the Room of the Caryatides, from the statues which support the mantel-piece.
Here, scrambling over the heads of the crowd, he managed to get to the wall; when, seizing a flambeau from one of the Caryatides, he returned, as he went, to the centre of the room-leaping, with the agility of a monkey, upon the kings head, and thence clambered a few feet up the chain; holding down the torch to examine the group of ourang-outangs, and still screaming: "I shall soon find out who they are!"
Vaux-le-Vicomte, when its magnificent gates, supported by caryatides, have been passed through, has the principal front of the main building opening upon a vast, so-called, court of honor, inclosed by deep ditches, bordered by a magnificent stone balustrade.
I hardly ever failed, when I rambled through the village, to see a row of such worthies, either sitting on a ladder sunning themselves, with their bodies inclined forward and their eyes glancing along the line this way and that, from time to time, with a voluptuous expression, or else leaning against a barn with their hands in their pockets, like caryatides, as if to prop it up.
In fact, the Prince of Conde was attentively scrutinizing these two images of desolation, standing like caryatides on either side of the nave of the church.