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image Image 1 for SM 45/3/3, 42/124
image Image 2 for SM 45/3/3, 42/124
  • image Image 1 for SM 45/3/3, 42/124
  • image Image 2 for SM 45/3/3, 42/124

Reference number

SM 45/3/3, 42/124

Purpose

Copy (?) of measured drawing, afterwards copied by Thomas Hardwick, and measured drawing of a candelabrum (2)

Aspect

1 Plan and longitudinal section2 Plans at 4 levels of triangular stand marked A, B, C, D, and elevation - the drawing not finished

Scale

(1) 1/7 in to 1 ft, (2) bar scale of 1½ in to 1 ft

Inscribed

(1) 48 Steps and dimensions given (2) as above and dimensions given

Signed and dated

(1) Rome / May 21st 1778

Medium and dimensions

(1) (plan) Pen and black wash, (section) pen, sepia, yellow ochre and burnt umber washes, shaded, within double ruled black and grey wash border on laid paper (691 x 502); (2) pencil with pen labelling on laid paper (380 x 246)

Hand

Soane (see note below)

Watermark

(1) fleur-de-lis within crowned cartouche with C & I Honig below, and IV

Notes

Soane arrived in Rome on 2 May 1778 and drawing 1 is the earliest dated measured drawing made (copied) in that city. The measured drawings for the church of San Stefano Rotondo al Celio (q.v.) share a similar method of presentation and were made in the same week as the one catalogued here. It is thought that all may be copies by Soane from an unidentified source though probably a fellow countryman since the scale is in English feet. In June 1778, Thomas Hardwick closely copied Soane's plan of Santa Agnese fuori le Mura, drawing it to the same scale of 1/7 of an inch to 1 foot (RIBA Drawings Collection SB60/9). However, Professor du Prey notes (January/February 2009) that though '21 May is early days for Soane to have organized so detailed a campaign of measuring, especially of the elevation, often so precise a date [May 21st 1778] is associated with something he carried out personally rather than copied. Sta Costanza is a stone's throw away. S. Stefano is further afield'.Soane's drawing was later re-used as a Royal Academy lecture drawing (lecture V, drawing 10 ) when it would seem that window glazing, some washes, shade and shadow and a border were added to the original drawing. du Prey (op.cit., 1982) notes the suppression of the early mosaics and the ornate Renaissance ceiling of the 7th century basilica church as well as the regularisation of the capitals of the arcades, 'restoring' it to what was imagined to be its earlier Antique state.

Literature

(1) P.du Prey, 'Soane and Hardwick in Rome: a Neo-Classical partnership', Architectural History, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, XV, 1972, pp.53-4,60-1; P.du Prey, (Jill Lever, editor), Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects, volume G-K, 1973, p.913; P.du Prey, John Soane's architectural education 1753-80, 1977, pp. 109-10; P.du Prey, John Soane: the making of an architect, 1982, p.131

Level

Drawing

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.

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