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Variant sketch designs for new principal (south) front (2)


Soane was at Barons Court in May 1791. These sketch designs (folded several times for the pocket) would have been made after Soane had seen the survey drawings for the existing building (drawings 2-8, dated March and April 1791) and possibly while he was on his way to Barons Court having left London on 7 May 1791. A comparison with an elevation for the entrance front (drawing 9) made on 14 May 1791 shows that while the massing is more or less the same, the design for the portico varies - the drawings catalogued here having a vast segmental head spanning the portico that became a smaller semicircular window in drawing 9.



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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 Variant sketch designs for new principal (south) front (2)