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Preliminary design and finished drawing for a family tree mural on the wall in the chapel, 1777, some variant of this design was executed (2)

Notes

Instead of reusing the medieval chapel at Alnwick, the eighteenth-century chapel was adjacent to the library. It was fitted up from 1777 as a memorial to the 1st Duchess, who had died suddenly in 1776. This too made use of a Gothic revival style, with a Gothic lectern designed by Adam, but for which there is no surviving drawing; and chairs which are a close variant of those designed by Adam for Croome d’Abitot Church in 1761 (Adam volume 50/21). Adam’s scheme for a family tree motif mural on one wall is known to have been executed, but the exact variant design is unknown. This eighteenth-century chapel interior was demolished by Sir Anthony Salvin in the 1850s, and a new chapel was built as an extension to the keep.

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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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