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Variant designs for villa C, c. June 1800 (3)


Drawings 15 to 17 are presumably dated to the same period given the similarity in the elevation's general form. The curved vestigial wings of previous designs remain to the sides of the three-bay central block. The three drawings show alterations in the facade ornament and a progression in ideas for this through the designs.

Drawings 16 and 17 have been labelled a and b by someone within Soane's office presumably to differentiate them from drawing 15 (the first of these three variant designs), rather than to link it to earlier schemes for a villa at Acton.

Drawing 15 shows a fairly plain Classical facade with vases above the fluted ionic pilasters of the entrance porch. The positions of these vases have clearly been changed as the partially erased vases to either side show. Other than these, there are two roundels (presumably bearing relief sculptures) and a relief central to the porch. The dentilled cornice is widely spaced - adding to the sparse effect and a chimney screen sits on top of the sloping roof. Drawing 16 follows the previous design closely but incorporates a much wider porch and a more closely spaced dentilled cornice. Above the cornice, although the high plain chimney screen of drawing 15 is still evident, there is also the pencil revision for a balustraded pediment chimney screen, the pen version of which appears in drawing 17 (and the realised version of which appears at Pitzhanger Manor). Drawing 17 also shows alterations in the cornice line and vases as well as the porch relief (now discernible as a lion).



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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Contents of Variant designs for villa C, c. June 1800 (3)