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François Fouquet (1787 - 1870), maker

Model of the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina in the Forum Romanum, Rome, 'restored', c.1800-1834

Plaster of Paris

Height: 26cm
Width: 21cm
Depth: 36.6cm

Museum number: MR36

Curatorial note

This temple was built in 141 AD by the Emperor Antoninus Pius and originally dedicated to the memory of his deified wife the Empress Faustina. It was rededicated to the memory of both the Emperor and Empress following the death of Antoninus Pius in 161AD. Of this building, the podium, steps, portico of eight Corinthian columns and the cella survive today, having been incorporated into the fabric of the later Church of San Lorenzo in Miranda (this may have been done as early as the 7th century AD but certainly by the 11th century).

Fouquet has largely based his reconstruction on plates I-V, Chapter VIII of Antoine Desgodetz’s book Les edifices antiques de Rome, 1672, although Desgodetz does not show the Temple’s dismantled pediment. This Temple influenced many architects, in particular the distinctive frieze of griffins and candelabra that adorned the Temple. Fouquet has reproduced this feature in minute scale in his model. A life-size plaster cast taken from this frieze can be seen on the south wall of the Dome Area of the Museum. Fouquet gives the roof an unusual treatment in this model by depicting large roof tiles, whereas in other models, such as that of the Temple of Fortunna Virilis, he depicts the roofs as being smooth.

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

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