Explore Collections Explore The Collections
You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  Model of the Temple of ‘Neptune’ at Paestum, Italy, 'restored', c.1800-1834
top left corner
top right corner
bottom left corner
bottom right corner
image Image 1 for MR27
image Image 2 for MR27
image Image 3 for MR27
  • image Image 1 for MR27
  • image Image 2 for MR27
  • image Image 3 for MR27

François Fouquet (1787 - 1870), maker

Model of the Temple of ‘Neptune’ at Paestum, Italy, 'restored', c.1800-1834

Plaster of Paris

Height: 17.5cm
Width: 16.6cm
Depth: 33.8cm

Museum number: MR27

Curatorial note

Built c.460 BC, this building is an early and very well-preserved example of a Greek temple. Its archaic qualities can be seen in the rather heavy Doric order used by the unknown architect. Sir John Soane visited Paestum, a former ancient Greek colony that also contained two other well-preserved Doric temples, including the so-called Temple of Demeter c.510 BC and the so-called Basilica c.530 BC, when he was a student in 1779.

Although the models by Fouquet entered Soane’s collection at a late stage in his life and so could not have influenced his practice, the buildings that they represent did. In particular, the examples of the Greek Doric order that Soane encountered in Paestum (exemplified by the temple of Neptune) had a profound effect upon his architecture. Paestum had recently been discovered and few European architects were familiar with the Greek Doric order as opposed to its Roman variant. Soane would use the Greek 'Paestum' Doric later in the Doric Vestibule of the Bank of England (1803-08) – his most important commission - and in his Barn à la Paestum at Solihull.

Provenance help-art-provenance

Sir John Soane purchased the twenty models by François Fouquet in 1834 from the architect Edward Cresy (1792-1858) who, from 1829 to 1835, worked in Paris. Soane paid Cresy the substantial sum of £100 (£10,136.78 in today’s money). It is likely that Cresy purchased the models directly from Fouquet et Fils.

Exhibition history

Order: Myth, Meaning and Beauty in Architecture, Sir John Soane's Museum, London, 16 October 2009 - 30 January 2010; Reading Museum, 22 January - 27 March 2011
Permanently Magical: Restoration and Renewal of Sir John Soane's Museum, Sir John Soane's Museum, London, 2 July - 4 September 2010
Wonders of the Ancient World: François Fouquet's Model Masterpieces, Sir John Soane's Museum, London, 15 July - 22 November 2011

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