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  • image Image 1 for SM 45/3/40, 20/9/6
  • image Image 2 for SM 45/3/40, 20/9/6
  • image Image 1 for SM 45/3/40, 20/9/6
  • image Image 2 for SM 45/3/40, 20/9/6

Reference number

SM 45/3/40, 20/9/6


Measured drawings made with Thomas Hardwick (2)


1 Ground floor plan and plan of dome
2 Section, not complete


bar scale of 1/9 in to 1 ft


dimensions given

Medium and dimensions

Pen, sepia washes, pencil, within double ruled border on laid paper; pencil and raw umber washes, pen on laid paper backed with wove paper (617 x 455, 725 x 534)




(1,2) J Honig & Zoonen and fleur-de-lis within crowned cartouche with bell below and JH


There is an almost identical section of the Temple of Minerva by Thomas Hardwick in the RIBA Drawings Collection (SC53/13) dated 1777 as well as plans (SB60/10) dated June 1778. Soane's other drawing of the Temple (on the verso of a drawing of the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, 45/1/8verso, q.v.) is dated 19 June 1778. In any case, a further example of a joint Hardwick-Soane measured drawing exercise.

The plan was re-used by Soane to illustrate his Royal Academy Lecture III (drawing 28). He described the Temple of Minerva Medica as 'uncommonly beautiful, and there is a peculiar lightness and skill in the construction of the dome' ((D.Watkin, Sir John Soane: the Royal Academy lectures, 2000, p.525).

A ten-sided (effectively circular) domical building of concrete faced with brick and with an internal diameter of 82.1 feet. 'Now believed to be the remains of a spectacular nymphaeum of the second half of the third century' (L.Richardson, jr, A New topographical dictionary of ancient Rome, Baltimore, 1992)). A nymphaeum was a pleasure building with plants and running water, ornamented with statues.


P.du Prey, 'Soane and Hardwick in Rome: a Neo-Classical partnership', Architectural History, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, XV, 1972, pp.61-2; P.du Prey, (J.Lever editor), Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects, volume G-K, 1973, p.923; P.du Prey, John Soane's architectural education 1753-80, 1977, pp. 113-4



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).