151. Henry Stone (English, 1616-1653)
Sketchbook of landscape and figure studies, and drawings after Italian masters and the Antique made during his Italian sojourn, 1638-42.
Paper bound in marble boards with leather spine; 17 x 12 ¼ in. (43.2 x 31.1 cm), open
By courtesy of the Trustees of Sir John Soane’s Museum, London, Soane sketchbook, vol. 92
Prov: Henry Stone (d.1653), possibly by descent to his brother John Stone, last surviving relative of the Stones; later acquired by George Virtue (1684-1756), who inscribed it; acquired by the sculptor James Paine Junior (1745-1829), c.1755; acquired by Sir John Soane (1753-1837).
This sketchbook, contains twenty-two leaves, was compiled between 1638 and 1642, when Henry Stone was aged twenty-two to twenty-six. The earliest drawings were made while Stone and his brother Nicholas stone the Younger (1618-1647) were serving as William Paston’s guides in Florence. Others were made in Rome, where Paston re-joined the Stone brothers following his six-month sojourn to Egypt and Jerusalem in 1639. Nicholas Stone the Younger’s contemporary sketchbook, which is largely architectural in nature, also survives (see cat.152). The pages of Henry’s sketchbook are filled with drawings in brown ink and also graphite; these include numerous drawings made after antique sculpture in Florence and Rome; and what seem to be drawings made after paintings, including several pastorals reminiscent of the works of Nicholas Poussin (1594-1665), who was then living on and off in Rome, including fol. 25 [incorrect – they mean fol. 21], which takes as its subject the Massacre of the Innocents.
Stone’s drawings also provide what appear to be glimpses of rooms in the palaces that he visited, though these also have the sense of drawings for theatrical scenery. There are also what appear to be drawing made from live models, or possibly again from figures in paintings. Finally, and perhaps most remarkably, there are also sketches that appear to have been made en plein air, possibly recording the progress of Paston’s entourage, one of them among the ruins of the Roman Forum.
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).