In architecture, an atlas (pl. atlantes) is a support sculpted in the form of a man, replacing a column, pier or pilaster. The name refers to the Titan Atlas in Greek mythology, who was forced to carry the sky on his shoulders.  See also: caryatid.


Alexander Terebenev. Atlantes. Granite. New Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia. 1849. Photo: Yair Haklai.