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Record drawings of the entrance front, one dated July 1832 (4)


Drawings 238 and 239 show the entrance front from an angle, as if the viewer is approaching from the gated entrance. The tree shown in front of the house seems to relate to drawing 243, but does not survive today. The service wing is not visible, and the Dance wing is only just visible, possibly to impose a sense of symmetry. Drawing 240 shows a very similar view from a slightly closer position, and the Dance wing is more visible. The gated entrance is shown below, very similar to the perspective given in drawings 236 and 237.

Drawing 241 is viewed from the opposite side to drawings 238 - 240, showing the Dance wing first and then Soane's house. The Dance wing has the skyline corner ornaments that also feature in drawings 242 and 243 but were never part of Soane's original scheme and are not there today. Bianca De Divitiis suggests that these were part of a theoretical re-design process of Soane's - a means of reconciling the asymmetry of the Dance wing attached to the Soane house. Moreover, De Divitiis puts forward the idea that these particularly Tudor looking ornaments were intended by Soane to place Pitzhanger within a national architectural chronology together with the ruins on the other side. 'By trying to give Dance's wing the appearance of a Tudor fortress-dwelling, Soane seems to have wanted not only to invent a further episode in the history of Pitzhanger, but also to widen its narrative value by absorbing its original autobiographical significance into a reflection and summary of changes in architecture over time'.

Given the watermark date, both this and drawing 239 seem likely to be by C. J. Richardson, as well as drawing 238.


B. De Divitiis, 'Plans, Elevations and Perspective Views of Pitzhanger Manor-House', pp. 55-74, The Georgian Group Journal Vol XIV, 2004, p.59



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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 Record drawings of the entrance front, one dated July 1832 (4)