Describing corbels

A corbel usually is made of stone and it is used on buildings with the purpose to support a structure that is situated on top of it. To understand more easily this old architectural technique that has been use for more than 100 years think about the corbels that support balconies and parapets.

Corbels have been used by every culture on the planet.

Another use for the corbels is for aesthetic purposes and this has the roots in the Mediterranean, Europe and Orient. The ornately carved corbels have been used in very representative buildings like the Lincoln Cathedral that dates since 1092 and is an exquisite example of art. The places that benefited the most from this architectural design that were built during the Renaissance period were France and Italy especially in church cathedrals. Corbels were carved to resemble religious icons, which was normal for the period.

Corbels are in a way brackets because they support shelf structures. There are cases when corbels are used to hide structural gutters by supporting other structures. Although corbels once played a large part in structural integrity, modern use is strictly limited to decorative accents.

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