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Presentation drawings of the drawing room, 8-12 December 1791 (3)


The perspectives show the final designs for the drawing room's plasterwork.

As noted by Christopher Woodward, the form of the room's southern end, consisting of a top lit square space between apsidal recesses, is the same arrangement as Soane's earlier design for the Great Room at Chillington Hall, 1788 (q.v.), and the design is an 'expanded version' of Soane's unexecuted picture gallery at Fonthill Splendens, 1787 (q.v.). An even more striking resemblance is between this design and Soane's addition to the chapel at Wardour Castle, which, just like at Wimpole, is attached to a barrel-vaulted nave (q.v.) (C. Woodward, p. 10). The original chapel at Wardour was designed by James Paine and its barrel vault was clad in an ornate coffering. Soane's early design for the drawing room (drawing 6) also has coffering, perhaps an indication that he was consciously referencing this earlier commission.



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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 drawings of the drawing room, 8-12 December 1791 (3)