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Presentation drawings of variant designs for an entrance screen, 24 January 1794 (4)


On 24 January 1794, Soane delivered to Lord Hardwicke four preliminary designs for an entrance screen, as in drawings 17 to 20.

The four drawings show lodges of varying designs flanking a triumphal-arch form gate. In drawing 17, the lodges are fronted by pairs of three-quarter fluted baseless Doric columns in antis and framing round-headed windows. Each lodge is surmounted by sculptural festoons and a pediment with corner antefixes. Drawing 18 has the same design but with gabled roofs over the lodges, apsidal niches on the front, and a variant design for the pediment crowning the arched gate. In drawing 19, the columns are omitted and a balustrade fronts the windows. Ionic columns frame the gated entrance, as well as flanking entrances. The strigillated urns that surmount the pedimented gate in drawings 17 and 18 are re-used here both over the gate and the flanking lodges. Drawing 20 shows a more compact design, with the lodges attached to the gate. Attenuated Ionic columns in antis frame the windows and the gated entrance. In this drawing, the gate is surmounted not by a pediment but a pedestal ornamented with festoons and supporting a strigillated plinth. Paterae decorate the building's frieze.



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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 variant designs for an entrance screen, 24 January 1794 (4)