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Ceiling design for the library showing a starfish ceiling on a square plan, 21 December 1802 (1)


The drawing is labelled as 'Final', though it does not show the executed design. As before (drawings 24-25), a starfish ceiling is over the central space. Significantly, however, the drawing shows a square centre. The underlying structure of the room is not changed, though, as the arches have been re-situated within a room of the same dimensions as earlier drawings. The apsidal ends both have an incised Greek key ornament radiating from the centre of the ceiling (as in drawings 30 to 32) and the projecting bay has a coffered vault.

The rough plan in the upper-right hand corner of the drawing is possibly an alternative plan for the new extension.



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

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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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