Interior of the rotunda, Pantheon, 1960s
Photographer: Edwin Smith
© Edwin Smith / RIBA Library Photographs Collections
Edwin Smith's photograph has captured one of the great spectacles of Roman architecture: the unique quality of light coming from the oculus, the open hole in the top of the dome.
As methods of capturing architecture in two dimensions change, so do the lessons learned from the buildings. Smith worked with a tripod and a long exposure on his camera to create this photograph successfullly. This method is a far cry from Visentini's measured drawing, but both Visentini and Smith aimed to teach different lessons from Roman architecture. Instead of classical proportion and scale, Smith captured the way in which Romans manipulated light for dramatic effect.