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  • image SM 45/3/39

Reference number

SM 45/3/39


Copy of measured drawing


Elevation with the attic storey and details of the roundels drawn only in outline


bar scale of Roman palmi

Medium and dimensions

Pen, warm sepia and raw umber washes, shaded, pencil within a single ruled border on laid paper (637 x 957)




J Whatman


There were easily obtained graphic sources for the Triumphal Arch of Constantine such as standard workshop sheets (there is one, drawn to a smaller scale (of Roman palmi) in Soane's collection, SM 44/8/4) or prints including those by Piranesi. The point of this copy of a measured drawing was probably to produce a striking record that (had time allowed) would have included the details of the roundels, so important to Soane in his later work. The brushed-in shadows give emphasis to the Corinthian order, suggesting its profile and adding drama. The scale is shown to be in Roman palmi when compared with other drawings.
The Arcus Constantini was erected in 315/6 A.D. on the triumphal route between the Circus Maximus and the Forum Romanum (L.Richardson jr, A New topographical dictionary of ancient Rome, Baltimore, 1992)



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

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

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.

Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).