Roaming Rome

Temple of Jupiter - 1796

Entablature of the Temple of Jupiter Tonans

Entablature of the Temple of Jupiter Tonans, 1796
Artist: Joseph Michael Gandy
© RIBA Library Drawings and Archives Collections


Now called the Temple of Vespasian and Titus, in the beginning of the 19th century this ruined building was referred to as the Temple of Jupiter Tonans. Completed in the time of Domitian, who reigned between AD81 and 96, the marble structure was raised to deify the emperor's father, Vespasian, and his brother, Titus. Today its remaining three Corinthian columns and elaborately decorated entablature featuring a frieze of bull skulls and the tools used in ritual sacrifices, stand prominently among the ruins of the Roman Forum.

In this illustration the British architect Joseph Michael Gandy, a draughtsman to Sir John Soane, focuses on the entablature of the temple. This half-completed elevation was an educational drawing, similar to Palladio's rigorous studies of ornament.


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