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'Last' presentation design, 1778 or 1779 (1)


Walls and floor are washed a pale green, the columns are white, doors and skirting are a mahogany brown, niche and alcoves have classical sculpture. Soane's copy of the presentation drawing made for Frederick Hervey, Bishop of Derry (who succeeded his brother as (4th) Earl of Bristol, 22 December 1779) is very carefully drawn and rendered. He re-used it for his Royal Academy lecture 7 to illustrate a discussion of proportion in rooms and the use of internal columns to increase 'the variety and movement of our plans' (D.Watkin, Sir John Soane: the Royal Academy lectures, 2000, p.169).

This 'last' design resolves some of the uncertainties of Nos 1 and 2. The large bow window was correctly sited at the western end, and the tall windows to the south were regularised. Little could be done about the awkward diagonal approach from the existing corridor and library at the east end. In Soane's Designs for Public and Private Buildings, p.39. he wrote of this design that it was 'similar to the Entrance Hall at Claremont, which had been finished from Drawings made by me during the time I was in the employ of Mr. Henry Holland'.

Two Royal Academy lecture drawings (13/4/1-2) show the designs represented by Nos 3 and 1 as interior perspectives.


P. du Prey, John Soane's architectural education 1753-80, 1977, pp.141-144; P. du Prey, John Soane: the making of an architect, 1982, pp.114-118



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

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

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.

Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).  

Contents of 'Last' presentation design, 1778 or 1779 (1)