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  • image SM drawer 69/1/12

Reference number

SM drawer 69/1/12


Reconstruction drawing of the portico of the Pantheon in Rome


Perspective in elevational view


none given


In pen and dark brown ink, at bottom left (beneath pasted cut-out of drawing in centre of main sheet), C. Wren.

Signed and dated

  • Later 17th century

Medium and dimensions

Pen and black ink with grey, brown and yellow washes; on cut-out sheet of cream-coloured laid paper, pasted on to larger backing sheet of lighter paper, where is it framed by a border in an incised line, marked lightly with graphite; 200 x 300 (cut-out), on 247 x 355 (main sheet)




On cut-out, a tall, narrow pot surmounted by a five-point star on a spike; on main sheet, Strasbourg Lily / WR


The drawing is an inaccurate reconstruction of the portico of the Pantheon in Rome. The pediment is too low, the columns are too slender, and the niches in the outer bays have been given rusticated arches and impost mouldings. The treatment of these niches (set back from the wall face, and with the impost mouldings running around them) suggests a date in the later seventeenth century. The general naivity of the drawing points to an English draughtsman, unfamiliar with the published sources for the Pantheon and unskilled in perspective drawing.



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

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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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