I like working with constructed spaces, whether through projected perspective or through constructing models or maquettes which then become in themselves the subject matter for the painting. In fact I am forever constructing little objects to include in paintings - I have always been driven to make things. Here I want to illustrate two paintings for which I made models of buildings, THE GYPSOTHEQUE and THE PANTHEON.


I wanted to paint The Pantheon in Rome and I was particularly inspired by the many architectural studies that exist of this most famous of buildings, particularly those by Palladio and Piranesi but many others too. I like the way architectural drawings are quite inventive in their  pictorial methods for showing the interior spaces of buildings. I wanted the painting to be quite lighthearted and retain a playful quality which I discovered while making the maquette of The Pantheon out of cardboard - after all, all making is just sophisticated play at heart and all play is intelligent invention! Unfortunately I did not photograph the model I made and  eventually destroyed it because of lack of space in my studio. But here are some sketches which show the evolution of ideas. The finished painting shows the model very faithfully.

initial idea sketch
Miriam Escofet, drawing pantheon

working out the proportions and construction
Miriam Escofet, Pantheon
The Pantheon, oil on canvas 96 x 107 cm

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The idea for this painting was inspired by plaster cast galleries and my love of architectural models. It is not representative of any existing building but follows fairly classical proportions. I love the quality of plaster, both to work with and in look. I constructed the coffered ceiling out of individually cast pieces and most of the figures are plaster too, some of them cast from pieces I have.

initial idea sketch

working out the geometry of the ceiling.

Miriam Escofet, plaster model
the finished model
Miriam Escofet, gypsotheque
The Gypsotheque, oil on canvas 107 x 97 cm

see this painting in the gallery pages

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