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Design A in a Neo-Classical style, December 1778 or early 1779 (1)


The poor condition of the drawing suggests that it has been in its pretty, gilded frame for most of Soane's lifetime and afterwards. After a discussion with Professor du Prey (February 2009), it seems probable that the drawing was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1781 as a 'Design for a doghouse', for though it does not have the appearance of a drawing made for exhibition - the labelling and notes are informal and the plan larger and more prominent than the elevation - it shares the same palette and watercolour treatment as two other drawings exhibited in 1781. Namely a design for a 'Mausoleum ... for the Lord Bishop of Derry' and 'plan and elevation for a hunting casine' see Soane's early works, 1770-1785: Downhill: County Derry, Northern Ireland: mausoleum for Lord George Hervey, 2nd Earl of Bristol (died 1775) for Frederick Hervey, Bishop of Derry and 4th Earl of Bristol, c. 1778-1781 and Soane's architectural education ... : Alternative designs for a (hunting) casino.


P. du Prey, 'Je n'oublieray jamais': John Soane and Downhill', Quarterly Bulletin of the Irish Georgian Society, XXI Nos 3&4, 1978, pp.19-20; D.Guinness, 'An Unpublished watercolour by James Malton from the collection of Desmond Guinness', Journal of the Irish Georgian Society, V, 2003, pp.226-237



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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 Design A in a Neo-Classical style, December 1778 or early 1779 (1)