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Variant preliminary design and design for a chimney board for the Etruscan room, 1777 (2)


The Etruscan dressing room chimney board was executed in accordance with Adam volume 17/137, but without figures on the large central urn, and it survives in situ.

Edward Croft Murray has suggested that the painter of the ceiling, walls and chimney board in the Etruscan dressing room was Pietro Maria Borgnis (1743-1810). This is based on a travel account written by Mrs Lybee-Powys, who recounts that the housekeeper at Osterley had said that the walls were painted by 'Berners'. The decoration was painted on to sheets of paper which were pasted on to canvas and affixed to wooden board, with a brass handle at the top.



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

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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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