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Designs for ceiling and walls of library


A report by Purcell Miller Tritton, architects, was prepared for Stowe in 2008, A copy is kept in the Green Box files at the Soane Museum (pages 38-41 including photographs). Useful information given includes, for example (p.38), 'The bookcase doors, of bronzed metal tracery, took their detail from the bronze screen of Henry VII's tomb... The south wall was dressed in the same way as the other walls, but here the bookcases were fictive.' Again, 'The intricate canopies above the central doors, fireplace and 'shrine' were also of metal, in this instance cast lead, painted to appear as plasterwork'. And (p.38) 'The actual construction of a fan-vaulted ceiling was conditioned by a structurally essential iron girder ... the depth of the circular panel could be no more than 6 inches. However, Soane must have taken account of the girder on his first visit as the all but flat ceiling was given ''vertical panelling'' strips each side of the fan vaulting to create a sense of depth and containment of the design. In such a low ceilinged room, the plasterwork could have been oppressive. Soane's skill as a manipulator of space and light ensured that the decorative scheme worked.'



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

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.

Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).  

Contents of Designs for ceiling and walls of library