The acanthus is a plant that is indigineous to middle Europe, and its design has been used throughout the ages for ornamentation on architecture and furniture. So great was the ancient Greek love for the acanthus that it was the principal ornamentation in the ancient capital of Corinth, and features prominently in Corinthian columns.
Some say that the acanthus represents long life. It has certainly captured the imagination of decorative artists throughout the ages, giving it a prominent place in architectural and decorative history.
Acanthus leaves feature prominently on the capital portion of Corinthian columns (do you see the small birds nest in this picture?)
Acanthus leaves feature prominently in these ancient columns, Temple of Zeus, Athens.
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