Pediment of Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Pediment of Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Sir Charles Lock Eastlake (1793-1865). 1837 onwards. Photograph and text Jacqueline Banerjee. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL.]

Nikolaus Pevsner describes the Fitzwilliam Museum as "one of the most telling examples in the country of the turn away from the purity of neo-Greek towards a Victorian Baroque which took place in the thirties and forties." He feels that the bold projection of the portico produces "an element of restlessness," and that the "coffering inside the portico" is "even richer and further removed from classical sobriety" (210-11). This judgment is echoed by that of Richard John, who describes the "whole composition" as being "decked out in a fully elaborated Corinthian order of unparalleled richness." John substitutes for the idea of "restlessness" his own expression "sculptural dynamism." Obviously, the ornate capitals, pediment and frieze designed by Charles Lock Eastlake contribute enormously to this "dynamism." Eastlake's design for the pediment is listed in the catalogue of drawings preserved at the Sir John Soane Museum in London.

Other Views


Pevsner, Nikolaus. The Buildings of England: Cambridgeshire. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2nd ed. 1970.

John, Richard. "Basevi, George, 1794-1845." The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Online ed. Viewed 13 July 2008.

Victorian Web Victorian Architecture Cambridge

Last modified 24 July 2008