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Subject: Terminology


From: Lynne Rutter <lynnerutter>
Date: Thursday, September 16, 2004
Arturs Lapins <artvrs [at] parks__lv> writes

>I am looking for a reasonable definition of the term "spandrel" or
>"spandril" to be able to translate it in Latvian. So far I have
>found German translation "pendentif", which does not explain too
>much, and also Russian "pazuha arki", which would be "arm-pit of an
>What was original Latin and/or Greek name for it?

I am a decorative painter with a hobby in linguistics. My definition
of "spandrel":  refers to the roughly triangular surface between two
adjacent arches; or, the portion of wall between the top of one
window and the window sill above it. I believe the word comes from
the Middle English or Anglo-Norman word "spandre" meaning  'space
between supporting timbers', derived from the Latin "expandere"
meaning "to spread out." You may find the rest of my glossary of art
and architectural terms at
<URL:> Although, I do like
"arm-pit of an arch" as an apt definition!

Lynne Rutter
Murals and Decorative Painting

                  Conservation DistList Instance 18:16
                Distributed: Tuesday, September 28, 2004
                       Message Id: cdl-18-16-006
Received on Thursday, 16 September, 2004

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