Canopy (2)


in Gothic architecture an ornamented projection over doors, windows, etc.; a covering over niches, tombs, etc. Canopies are chiefly used in the Decorated and Perpendicular styles, although they are not uncommon in the Early English, and are occasionally found over the heads of figures, etc., in late Norman work. Early English canopies over niches and figures are generally simple in their forms, often only trefoil or cinquefoil arches. bowing forwards, and surmounted by a plain pediment, as on the west front of the cathedral at Wells; the canopies over tombs are sometimes of great beauty and delicacy, and highly enriched, as that over the tomb of archbishop Gray in York Minster. In the Decorated style, the canopies are often extremely elaborate, and are so various in their forms that it is impossible to particularize them; some of the more simple of those over figures, niches, etc., consist of cinquefoiled or trefoiled arches, frequently ogees, bowing forwards, and surmounted with crockets and finials; some are like very steep pediments with crockets and finials on them; others are formed of a series of small feathered arches, projecting from the wall on a polygonal ' plan, with pinnacles between and subordinate canopies over them, supporting a superstructure somewhat resembling a small turret or a small crocketed spire; of this description of canopy good specimens are to be seen at the sides and over the head of the effigy of queen Philippa in Westminster Abbey. The canopies. over tombs in this style. are often of great beauty; some consist of bold and wellproportioned arches with fine pediments over them, which are frequently crocketed, with buttresses and pinnacles at the angles; many tombs of this style, when made in a wall, have an ogee arch over them, forming a kind of canopy with hanging tracery. In the Perpendicular style, the canopies are more varied than in the Decorated, but in general character many of them are nearly alike in both styles; the high, pointed form is not to be met with in. Perpendicular work; a very usual kind of canopy over niches, etc., is a projection on a polygonal plan, often three sides of an octagon, with a series of feathered arches at the bottom, and terminating at the top either with a battlement, a row of Tudor flowers, or a series of open carved work.

The canopies of tombs are frequently of the most gorgeous description, enriched with a profusion of the most minute ornament, which is sometimes so crowded together as to create an appearance of great confusion. Most of our cathedrals and large churches will furnish examples of canopies of this style. They are sometimes called Testers (q.v.).

Definition of can

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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