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  • image SM 45/2/20

Reference number

SM 45/2/20


Copy of measured drawing of La Pianta del Palazzo Massimi / Creduto' d'oper fabricato da Vignola


Plan of ground floor loggia-corridor-courtyard


bar scale inscribed English feet of 1/5 in to 1 ft (approximately) but probably to a scale of Roman palmi


as above, Cortile and dimensions given

Signed and dated

  • Sabato Novr 20 1779

Medium and dimensions

Pen, sepia wash, pencil within single ruled border on laid paper (709 x 492)




J Whatman, fleur-de-lis within crowned cartouche with GR below


Measured were the most readily accessible parts of the Palazzo: the entrance vestibule on a segmental plan, the long entrance corridor and the courtyard with two Doric porticos. The marked dimensions tally with the scale of 'English feet'. The scale also relates to Roman piedi if compared, for example, with the bar scale of the measured drawing for the theatre at Herculaneum (q.v.). P. du Prey commented (in a note, 14 January 2009) that 'I measured out the accessible parts of the loggia in feet and inches and Soane's measurements agreed with mine so someone clearly measured the accessible parts in feet and inches which no Italian would have done. Maybe Soane copied the plan, left in the scale bar, but supplied measurements of his own making. The Pietro Massimi palace was designed by Baldassare Peruzzi ,1532-6. Built after the sack of Rome in 1527 for the brothers Pietro, Luca and Angelo Massimo 'the palace takes its name from the great antique columns which were the distinguishing feature of its predecessor .... It was probably as a reminder of these that Peruzzi created the exquisite columned portico which is the principal feature of the façade'. (G. Masson, Companion guide to Rome, 1980, p.154)


P.du Prey, John Soane's architectural education 1753-80, 1977, pp.269-70



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