Further observations on the light in the Pantheon in Rome

Oscar Linares de la Torre


Adriano’s Pantheon is one of the most celebrated works in the history of architecture. Many questions have captivated its visitors, but it is the light that has captured most of the attention: after stripping the building of its symbolic load, the manifestation of its interior light seems to be the only purpose of this immense “space-light” that has fascinated architects, art historians, painters and photographers throughout time. It seems difficult to add anything new, but being fully aware of this, the author of this article hopes to point out some of the different aspects of light in the Pantheon that he considers haven’t been developed enough: the reason behind the solar and urban orientation of the temple regarding the north-south axis; the reconstruction of the light and shadow sequence that must have occurred in the original access to the interior of the temple; the interpretation of the ocular beam of light as an immaterial reminiscence of the false central support of the Etruscan domes, turned into a subtle column that without ever reaching the vertical position, falls in different ways on the surfaces that create the interior.


Pantheon; light; orientation; access; interior space

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Universitat Politècnica de València

e-ISSN: 2341-2747    ISSN: 2341-3050   https://doi.org/10.4995/vlc