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Reference number

SM P269


[13] Design for a sepulchral chapel, Tyringham Hall, 1801


Perspective from the west and north of a Sepulchral Chapel set within a landscape with moonlight, and the exterior is staffed by visitors, including a dog. Steps flanked by tall plinths with processing figures around the bottom lead to a four-fluted-Doric-columned porch with a door between the central intercolumniations on the west side. This is repeated on the north side. The exterior wall is rounded with niches containing statues. Between the niches is a round-topped latticed window with a female statue in front. Above the porches is a base with an inscription tablet, and placed on the base is a strigilated and inscribed sarcophagus. Around the roofline are memorial tablets. Above is a stepped base with cinerary urns around the top. Above is the tower consisting of arch-topped latticed windows with engaged Ionic columns between. The stepped dome has an ourobouros around the drum and surmounting the dome are figures clasping hands with an urn placed between.


to a scale

Signed and dated

  • 1801

Medium and dimensions

Pen, wash, washes of blue, Cerulean blue, green, olive green, orange, stone and yellow ( x )


Probably Gandy, Joseph Michael (1771--1843), draughtsman


The watercolour can be seen as a final view of the Sepulchral Chapel. It is similar in most regards to SM13/5/6 including the insulated park setting and the visitors, who indicate scale, but also many are discussing and pointing to the monument, as if they have just come across it, and so it was to have a visual as well as practical function. Ornamentally, inscribed stone memorial tablets have now been added to the roofline, and the ourobouros has returned. Being a night scene, it also assists us in the interior lighting, which presumably would have been executed with candles and lamps. In 1801, Soane did exhibit at the Royal Academy Exhibition ‘A Sepulchral Church’ (RA No. 956) which can only be this watercolour.


Graves, 1906, vol. IV (1970 edition), p. 200
Lukacher, 2006, p. 38
Rossi, 2019, p. 11



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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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