If you look at a Greek temple, you will notice that the element that comes above the columns (the ‘architrave’) appears to be one very long horizontal piece of stone. But of course no blocks of stone are that long: the architrave is made up of lots of smaller pieces of stone that have been carved so that they appear to be a long continuous beam. We have become so accustomed to stone classical buildings that we often fail to notice this, but what we are actually seeing here is stone emulating the forms of wood. And sure enough, architectural historians generally accept a ‘petrification theory’ of classical architecture, according to which it developed from wooden structures and intentionally recalled their forms

In praise of pastiche
from Samuel Hughes favicon