CORK MODEL OF THE TEMPLE OF VESTA, TIVOLI, 1770

Copied across the world, this influential Roman ruin exists as a model in our collections.

Copied across the world, this influential Roman ruin exists as a model in our collections.

The Temple of Vesta at Tivoli was one of the must-see attractions for Grand Tourists in the 18th and 19th centuries. This evocative model, showing the temple (dating from 1st century BCE) in ruins, was made around 1770-90 and is one of the oldest in our collections.

Cork models of classical antiquities were often sold as souvenirs to those visiting the Roman Campagna. This model may be one of a number that were exhibited in London by the modelmaker Richard Du Bourg (Dubourg) from 1799, some of which ended up in the collection of the South Kensington Museum.

The model is currently on long-term loan to the British Galleries at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Image: Cork model of the Temple of Vesta, Tivoli, Italy, made between 1770 and 1790
Model maker: Unknown, possibly Richard Du Bourg Credit: RIBA Library Drawings and Archives Collections
— Article by Catriona Cornelius British Architectural Library, RIBA 21 May 2015

The Timothy Richards Workshop made a restored replica of this model last year which is exclusively for sale from The Sir John Soane Museum Shop. www.shop.soane.org


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