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1v to 4v (SM volume 39) Note on Portico of Octavia, Rome


1v to 4v (SM volume 39) Note on Portico of Octavia, Rome


The Portico built by the Emperor Augustus and dedicated to his sister Octavia was on the site of the earlier Portico of Metelli. The Portico Octavia formed part of a rectangular, double-colonnaded enclosure or peribolus of 300 smaller columns of which only a few remain. Soane spoke of the Portico in his Royal Academy lectures, remarking on its beauty and extent and adding that 'the entablature is of the plainest kind: neither dentils nor modillions nor any other embellishments is to be seen in any part of the entablature' (D.Watkin, Sir John Soane: the Royal Academy lectures, 2000, p.57, p.511; R.A. lecture drawings: SM 20/8/3-6; 23/1/3). Literature. P.du Prey, John Soane's architectural education 1753-80, 1977, pp.123-4



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Sir John Soane's collection includes some 30,000 architectural, design and topographical drawings which is a very important resource for scholars worldwide. His was the first architect’s collection to attempt to preserve the best in design for the architectural profession in the future, and it did so by assembling as exemplars surviving drawings by great Renaissance masters and by the leading architects in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries and his near contemporaries such as Sir William Chambers, Robert Adam and George Dance the Younger. These drawings sit side by side with 9,000 drawings in Soane’s own hand or those of the pupils in his office, covering his early work as a student, his time in Italy and the drawings produced in the course of his architectural practice from 1780 until the 1830s.

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