The Soane Museum Study Group is an open forum for scholars – both established and emerging – to present new research into an aspect of architectural history and/or Soane’s collection.
Rory McInnes-Gibbons : Sir John Soane’s Palmyra: An Ancient Syrian City comes to London
Palmyra, the queen of the desert, has for centuries been renowned for its remarkably well preserved Roman ruins situated deep in the Syrian steppe. Today, it is synonymous with cultural catastrophe, iconoclasm and Islamic State. Having occupied the ruins in the summer of 2015, the extremist militants destroyed many iconic monuments of this UNESCO world heritage site including the temples of Bel and Baalshamin which had stood for almost two millennia.
In this talk, I will wind the clock back to the start of this tragic tale and explore the connections which make Palmyra such an important place in western collective imagination and memory. Since its rediscovery in 1678, the ruins have played an important part in European culture, most notably during the neo-classical period. I will present the Palmyra-related archival material within the Soane collection, including Adam’s original sketches for the interior of Osterley Park and the spectacular illustrations produced as backdrops for Soane’s own lectures at the Royal Academy.
Rory McInnes-Gibbons is a PhD Candidate at Durham University working under the supervision of Professor Ted Kaizer and Dr Nora Goldschmidt. He specialises in classical reception and the Roman Near East and is working on a project entitled: ‘The Ruins of Palmyra and their Reception from Rediscovery to Rubble’.
Tuesday 3 September 2019
18:00 drinks for 18:30-19:30 lecture
On arrival please come to No.14 Lincoln’s Inn Fields. The door will open at 6.00 pm.
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