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Design for a ceiling for the drawing room (now the library), as executed, 1759 (1)


This room, and especially this ceiling design, is full of nautical allusions and naval trophies, relating to Boscawen's naval career. Four of the radiating compartments contain figures of Neptune, Justice, Fame and Victory. Stillman notes that the principal motifs of the design are borrowed from a seventeenth-century panel in the dome of the Villa Pamphili in Rome.

The ceiling, executed in accordance with this drawing, remains in situ, though the original colour scheme is unknown. In the 1990s Alec Cobbe painted copies of four medallions by Antonio Zucchi at Harewood House representing the Continents.



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 Design for a ceiling for the drawing room (now the library), as executed, 1759 (1)