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  • image SM 47/5/32

Reference number

SM 47/5/32


[45] Design for an altarpiece for St John’s, Bethnal Green, London, September-October 1827


Elevation and plan of an altarpiece for the church with a base with the communion table in front covered by a pink cloth; above are three panels divided by four columns, and above is a pediment, with acroteria and a winged dove with irradiation in the tympanum. Behind are the windows of the rear wall of the church. Beneath is a plan of the altarpiece with the position of the engaged columns and the communion table in front. Beneath the plan is a partially completed pencil sketch for a three-pediment altarpiece, following SM 47/5/31


bar scale of 23/4 inches to 5 feet


OUR FA / I / II / III / I BELIE and some measurements and calculations

Signed and dated

  • September-October 1827

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, pen wash, coloured washes of brown, pink and yellow, on laid paper (491 x 301)


Probably Stephen Burchell (1806 - c.1843), draughtsman
The Soane Office Day Book records for 24-25 and 29 September and 2, 8-10 October, Burchell as working on the altarpiece for Bethnal Green Chapel


A Bend watermark


When compared with SM 45/7/31 and the legible letters it can be seen the panels start on the left side with the Lord’s Prayer, the numbers in the middle panel are for the Ten Commandments, and the right-hand side panel has the start of the Apostles' Creed.



If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

Sir John Soane's collection includes some 30,000 architectural, design and topographical drawings which is a very important resource for scholars worldwide. His was the first architect’s collection to attempt to preserve the best in design for the architectural profession in the future, and it did so by assembling as exemplars surviving drawings by great Renaissance masters and by the leading architects in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries and his near contemporaries such as Sir William Chambers, Robert Adam and George Dance the Younger. These drawings sit side by side with 9,000 drawings in Soane’s own hand or those of the pupils in his office, covering his early work as a student, his time in Italy and the drawings produced in the course of his architectural practice from 1780 until the 1830s.

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