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Model of the Roman circular Temple of Vesta at Tivoli, near Rome, by Giovanni Altieri (signed and dated 177?), cork

Height: 39.5cm
Width: 52.3cm
Depth: 51.3cm

Museum number: MR2

Curatorial note

This model represents Sir John Soane’s favourite classical building. He sketched the Temple, dramatically located on a cliff by a waterfall, when he was in Italy. The circular Temple was thought to have been dedicated either to the Goddess Vesta or to Hercules (circular temples dedicated to these two exist in Rome) and was founded during the Republican era in the 1st century BC. Soane used the distinctive form of the Corinthian Order of the Temple in his own architecture, most notably on the Tivoli Corner of the Bank of England.

Exhibition history

In Pursuit of Antiquity: Drawings by the Giants of British Neo-Classicism, Sir John Soane's Museum, 1 February - 1 June 2008; Tchoban Foundation Museum für Architekturzeichnung, Berlin, 3 October 2015 - 14 February 2016
Thomas Girtin: The Art of Watercolour, Tate Britain, 4 July - 29 September 2002


If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk