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Presentation drawing (1)


Gandy's Breakfast Room perspective is very similar in purpose and design to his Library interior perspective (221) and was thus probably made at a similar time, late 1802 or early 1803. However, there is no record of it being exhibited at the Royal Academy as the Library perspective was. The watercolour was clearly made so that Soane could visualise his collection and the room together.

Importantly, the Cawdor vase (which Soane had bought in 1800) can be seen (on the viewer's right hand side), standing in pride of place. Eventually, the importance of this object to the design of the room was to be even more obvious, as Susan Feinberg indicates: 'A wall opposite the mantle, for instance, was composed of red and yellow panels. The Cawdor Vase, a celebrated ancient piece of red and black ware, stood in front of it. Together, they formed an architectonic unit'.

The decorative scheme of the Breakfast Room was based on the third style of Pompeian interiors, and Soane wrote in his diary of arranging the vases in the Breakfast Room at Pitzhanger, in January 1803.


S. Feinberg, 'Pitzhanger Manor: The Beginnings of Soane's Museum' in Sir John Soane's Museum, UMI Research Press 1987, p.21



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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 Presentation drawing (1)