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Preliminary and presentation drawing of the entrance hall, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1798 (2)

Notes

Drawing 98 was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1798 (cat. 960). The drawing shows a perspective of the entrance hall, as in drawing 97, and plans of the first and ground floors. The drawing employs a trompe l'oeil effect of scrolling paper for the plans and sans serif capitals for the labelling.

The entrance hall has four Greek columns (2/3 fluted) supporting full entablatures, from which spring four shallow segmental arches decorated with a motif derived from a Greek fret pattern. The arches support a groin vault that reaches 21 feet 6 inches at its crown. The cornice of the entablature continues around the periphery of the entrance hall and tribune, with modillions included. The walls are rusticated, with a frieze ornamented in coats of arms. The chimney-piece is a simple incised line ornament on a Greek key motif similar to the spandrels overhead. The perspective looks towards the drawing room. The drawing room's door is surmounted by a sculptural relief panel depicting figures and winged figures. A fluted pendentive dome surrounds the tribune on the ground floor.

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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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