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  • image Image 1 for SM 45/3/4, 45/3/2
  • image Image 2 for SM 45/3/4, 45/3/2
  • image Image 1 for SM 45/3/4, 45/3/2
  • image Image 2 for SM 45/3/4, 45/3/2

Reference number

SM 45/3/4, 45/3/2


Copies or part-copies of measured drawings by Thomas Hardwick (2)


1 Plan of Temple complex and Elevation of the Temple of Isis in Pompeia
2 Front (the right hand side less finished) and side elevations of sanctuary, titled PART.OF.THE.TEMPLE.OF.ISIS.AT.POMPEIA


(1) bar scale of English feet - 2/9 in to 1 ft (2) to a scale larger than (1) and without a bar scale or dimensions


as above, (1) N.Popidi Ampliati / N.Popidi Celsini / Corelia Celsa and dimensions given

Signed and dated

  • (1) Done from measuremts Janry 5th 1779 and Novr 4 1779
    (2) J.SOANE(the 'E' added later) F [ecit]

Medium and dimensions

Pen, warm sepia, burnt umber and pale blue washes, shaded, pencil, pricked for transfer within ruled and wash border; pen, warm sepia and burnt umber washes, shaded, pencil within ruled and wash border; on laid paper backed with wove paper (745 x 484, 670 x 447)




fleur-de-lis within crowned cartouche with GR below (obscured)


Measured on 5 January, the plan was fully drawn out on 4 November 1779. The rough incomplete preliminary plans in Soane's sketchbook (see 'Italian Sketches, 1779', SM volume 39, 13v - dated 5 January 1779 - and additional 3v) REFERENCE NEEDED would not have sufficed for the finished plan (drawing 1) and further information must have come from another source. The sketchbook plans have dimensions and many of these appear on the finished plan.
du Prey notes (J.Lever, editor, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architect, G-K , 1973, p.903) that Thomas Hardwick had an introduction to Francisco La Vega, the Spanish military engineer in charge of operations at Pompeii, whom he visited on 11 May 1778 and there saw some well-drawn plans of Pompeii.
The drawing of the sanctuary is more painterly than Soane's usual productions and may be a copy (there are pin holes) of a nearly identical Thomas Hardwick watercolour. Hardwick's measured drawings of the Temple of Isis, 1778, inscribed (drawing 3) 'from Observations on the spot in 1778 TH' are in the RIBA Drawings Collection, SB55/2 (1-3).
Described as 'diminutive, axial in its main lines but with important additions that obscure the axiality, hybrid in its architectural forms, a curious mixture of Greco-Roman koines and Egyptianizing motifs in its decoration' (L.Richardson jnr, A New topographical dictionary of ancient Rome, Baltimore, 1992), the temple was built in A.D. 62-79 of cheap materials, relying on stucco and paint for effect.


P.du Prey, John Soane's architectural education 1753-80, 1977, pp.266-7; P.du Prey, John Soane: the making of an architect, 1982, p.137; L.Richardson jr, Pompeii: an architectural history, 1988, pp.281-5



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Sir John Soane's collection includes some 30,000 architectural, design and topographical drawings which is a very important resource for scholars worldwide. His was the first architect’s collection to attempt to preserve the best in design for the architectural profession in the future, and it did so by assembling as exemplars surviving drawings by great Renaissance masters and by the leading architects in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries and his near contemporaries such as Sir William Chambers, Robert Adam and George Dance the Younger. These drawings sit side by side with 9,000 drawings in Soane’s own hand or those of the pupils in his office, covering his early work as a student, his time in Italy and the drawings produced in the course of his architectural practice from 1780 until the 1830s.

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