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Drawing - Plan and elevation of the Temple of Clitumnus, Spoleto, Italy
  • Plan and elevation of the Temple of Clitumnus, Spoleto, Italy
    Soane, John
  • Enlarge image

Plan and elevation of the Temple of Clitumnus, Spoleto, Italy

  • Object:

    Drawing

  • Place of origin:

    Italy (made)

  • Date:

    ca. August 1779 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Soane, John (Sir), born 1753 - died 1837 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pen and ink with grey and yellow wash

  • Museum number:

    3436:187

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case A, shelf 104

The so-called Temple (actually an early Christian church) was made famous through Andrea Palladio's I Quattro libri dell architettura (Venice, 1570). The small Temple's convenient location between Spoleto and Foligno allowed for it to be included in the circular tour of central Italy and this route was taken up by Soane. The drawing is one of the most charming from Soane's Italian sojourn. It combines archaeological accuracy with a romantic whiff of crumbling ruination in the manner popularised by Piranesi and Clérisseau. During his travels in Italy, Soane wrote to the authoress of the guidebook he was using, Lady Anna Miller, to offer her a drawing of the Clitumnus structure which she had admired. Subsequent correspondence reveals that Soane hoped to execute a facsimile for Lady Miller when he returned to England and highlights his ambitious drive to obtain work as well as complete his neo-classical quest through reproduction of antique prototypes.

Physical description

Plan and elavation of the main façade of the temple of Clitumnus (actually an early Christian church), Spoleto, Italy.

Place of Origin

Italy (made)

Date

ca. August 1779 (made)

Artist/maker

Soane, John (Sir), born 1753 - died 1837 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Pen and ink with grey and yellow wash

Marks and inscriptions

'Il Tempietto di Clitumno' and 'La Pianta del Portico'
Inscribed lower centre

Original Drawing by Sir J. Soane
Inscribed on lower right in another hand

Dimensions

Height: 41.5 cm, Length: 42.4 cm

Object history note

This object was once part of an album of designs by various architects, artists and designers collected by the architect Charles James Richardson, and was bought from him by the Museum in 1863.

Descriptive line

Plan and elevation of the Temple of Clitumnus, Spoleto, Italy by Sir John Soane, ca. August 1779; pen and ink with grey and yellow wash; the Richardson Collection

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Bolton, A.T. The Portrait of Sir John Soane, R.A. (1753-1837) Set Forth in Letters from His Friends (1775-1837), London, 1927, pp. 35-37
du Prey, P. de la Ruffinière. John Soane: The Making of an Architect, Chicago, 1982, pp. 142, 144, 240, fig. 7.11 (cat. 6)
Lambert, Susan. Drawing: Technique & Purpose. London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 1981. p.67.
du Prey, P. de la Ruffinière. Sir John Soane: Catalogues of Archaeological Drawings in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1985, p. 29 (Cat. entry 6)

Subjects depicted

Church; Temple; Religion

Categories

Drawings; Architecture; Grand Tour; Designs

Production Type

Unique

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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