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François Fouquet (1787 - 1870), maker

Model of the Roman Temple of Fortuna Virilis, by the River Tiber in Rome, 'restored', c.1800-1834

Plaster of Paris

Height: 25.6cm
Width: 16.3cm
Depth: 26.7cm

Museum number: MR77

Curatorial note

This small, early-Republican temple dates to c.40BC and in spite of its early date is relatively well-preserved. The Temple’s title dedication to ‘Manly Fortune’ is modern. The Temple is located in the Forum Boarium, or cattle market of ancient Rome, next to the river Tiber. In fact the temple was originally dedicated to the god Portunus who watched over the barges carrying cattle into Rome which would berth next to the Forum Boarium. The deep portico and high podium of the Temple is an echo of the influence of Etruscan architecture on early Republican Temple architecture in Rome. However, the use of an Ionic order shows the influence of Hellenistic architecture.

Fouquet has based this carefully detailed model on plates I-III of chapter IV of Antoine Desgodetz’s book Les edifices antiques de Rome published in 1672. This book was also used extensively by Soane (several copies were owned by him including one in French with his annotations in pencil).

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

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
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