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Model of the Temple of Athena (the so-called Temple of Ceres), Paestum, attributed to Domenico Padiglione c.1820
Museum number: MR12
The Temple of Athena, built around 500 BC, is slightly later in date than the other two temples at Paestum and shows some characteristics of the later, Classical style. The young Sir John Soane visited the site of Paestum twice in 1779 and a sketch in his hand shows the elevation of this temple. Soane’s initial impressions of the architecture were not favourable. On his second visit, he wrote in the sketchbook that: ‘The architecture of the three Temples is Doric but exceeding rude (crude).’ Despite Sir John Soane’s initial, negative reaction to the temples at Paestum, he began to incorporate the early Greek Doric order that he saw there into his designs as early as 1779. Later, in his lectures given at the Royal Academy he cited this temple on numerous occasions.
John Soane Architect: Master of Space and Light, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 11 September - 3 December 1999; Centro Palladio, Vicenza, April - August 2000; Hôtel de Rohan, Paris, January - April 2001; Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, 16 May - 3 September 2001; Real Academia des Bellas Artes, Madrid, October - December 2001
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