Artist: Cuthbert Brodrick
© RIBA Library Drawings and Archives Collections
Groundbreaking technologically and spatially, the Pantheon has served as inspiration for countless architects on how to mould monumental public space. Here, Victorian architect Cuthbert Brodrick captures the exterior in full colour. Rendering intact friezes and additional statuary, this drawing reflects his idea of what the Pantheon first looked like when it was built during the reign of Emperor Hadrian. He has added figures into the foreground to give the huge bulk of the building a sense of scale.
Brodrick specialised in designing grand classical public buildings, and his concentration here on the decorative force of the Pantheon mitigates his interest in the building's structure and proportions. To Brodrick, this temple dedicated to all the gods embodied gravitas and daring in architecture, and this drawing helped him to study how to achieve this in his own work.