CANOPY (through Fr. canapé, from Med. Lat. canapeum, classical conopeum, a mosquito curtain, Gr., a gnat), the upper part or cover of a niche, or the projecting ornament over an altar or scat or tomb. Early English canopies are generally simple, with trefoiled or cinquefoiled heads; but in the later styles they are very rich, and divided into compartments with pendants, knots, pinnacles, etc. The triangular arrangement over an Early English and Decorated doorway is often called a canopy. The triangular canopies in the north of Italy are peculiar. Those in England are generally part of the arrangement of the arch mouldings of the door, and form, as it were, the hood-moulds to them, as at York. The former are above and independent of the door mouldings, and frequently support an arch with a tympanum, above which is a triangular canopy, as in the Duomo at Florence. Sometimes the canopy and arch project from the wall, and are carried on small jamb shafts, as at San Pietro Martire, at Verona. There is an extremely curious canopy, being a sort of horseshoe arch, surmounting and breaking into a circular arch, at Tournai. Similar canopies are often over windows, as at York, over the great west window, and lower tiers in the towers. These are triangular, while the upper windows in the towers have ogee canopies.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)