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image SM Adam volume 28/18

Reference number

SM Adam volume 28/18

Purpose

[7] Design for the rotunda, c1789, unexecuted

Aspect

Side elevation of the curved south front and rotunda, with a projecting, balustraded Tuscan portico, raised on a plinth ornamented with ram masks and festoons. The portico is flanked by a curved, six-bay block, and is surmounted by a drum ornamented with festoons, supporting a stepped dome with an oculus. At the ground-storey level there are tripartite entrances with Tuscan screens, flanked by doorways set within relieving archways, all surmounted by lunettes and forming an arcade. At the first-storey level, tripartite balustraded windows are set behind Ionic screens, and are flanked by giant Tuscan pilasters and windows, with a string course of rope moulding and figurative roundels above. In the upper register Diocletian windows are flanked by short pilasters, and half-height windows. Beyond the six-bay block, there is a part-elevation of a balustraded link building. At the ground-storey level there is a tripartite window, articulated by tapering herm pilasters, and surmounted by a lunette. At the first-storey level there is a tripartite pedimented window, surmounted by a Diocletian window, and all set within a relieving arch

Scale

bar scale of 1 inch to 5 feet

Inscribed

[_ _ _ _ _ _] of the [?] Opera House to the west

Signed and dated

  • c1789
    c1789

Medium and dimensions

Pen, pencil and wash on laid paper (460 x 355)

Hand

Possibly
Office hand, possibly Robert Morison or Daniel Robertson

Watermark

JWHATMAN

Notes

The rotunda forms part of the south entrance to the opera house, which SM Adam volumes 28/18 and 47/02 assigns as for the use of people belonging to the theatre. The first-floor plan (SM Adam volume 47/9) shows the entrance through the rotunda leads to the rear of the stage via a flight of steps.

Literature

Bolton, 1922, Volume II, Index p. 40
Sheppard, 1960, Volume XXIX, (i), p. 249
For a full list of literature references see scheme notes.

Level

Drawing

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.

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).