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François Fouquet (1787 - 1870), maker

Model of 'a monument' at Palmyra, Syria, 'restored', c.1800-1834, plaster of Paris.

Height: 38cm
Width: 18.5cm
Depth: 18.5cm

Museum number: MR72

Curatorial note

This model in fact represents only one section of a larger monument called the Tetrapylon which stood at a crossing point of the great Colonnaded Street in the ancient city of Palmyra, Syria. The Tetrapylon stood in an oval public space and was formed of a stepped podium upon which stood four plinths. These supported four sets of columns each of which supported an entablature and roof that shaded a statue on a plinth. Fouquet has replicated one of these groupings. Of this original structure not much remained in Fouquet’s day (only one of the original columns survives today). The Tetrapylon was extensively reconstructed in 1963.

It appears that Fouquet based his reconstruction upon plates XXXII and XXXIII in Robert Wood’s The Ruins of Palmyra, otherwise Tedmor, in the Desart [sic], published in English and French editions in 1753. Interestingly, as with Fouquet’s model, Wood shows only one of the four groupings on columns from the Tetrapylon.

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.


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