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image Image 1 for SM 45/3/51, 45/3/49, 45/3/50, 20/5/4, 20/5/2, 20/5/3
image Image 2 for SM 45/3/51, 45/3/49, 45/3/50, 20/5/4, 20/5/2, 20/5/3
image Image 3 for SM 45/3/51, 45/3/49, 45/3/50, 20/5/4, 20/5/2, 20/5/3
image Image 4 for SM 45/3/51, 45/3/49, 45/3/50, 20/5/4, 20/5/2, 20/5/3
image Image 5 for SM 45/3/51, 45/3/49, 45/3/50, 20/5/4, 20/5/2, 20/5/3
image Image 6 for SM 45/3/51, 45/3/49, 45/3/50, 20/5/4, 20/5/2, 20/5/3
  • image Image 1 for SM 45/3/51, 45/3/49, 45/3/50, 20/5/4, 20/5/2, 20/5/3
  • image Image 2 for SM 45/3/51, 45/3/49, 45/3/50, 20/5/4, 20/5/2, 20/5/3
  • image Image 3 for SM 45/3/51, 45/3/49, 45/3/50, 20/5/4, 20/5/2, 20/5/3
  • image Image 4 for SM 45/3/51, 45/3/49, 45/3/50, 20/5/4, 20/5/2, 20/5/3
  • image Image 5 for SM 45/3/51, 45/3/49, 45/3/50, 20/5/4, 20/5/2, 20/5/3
  • image Image 6 for SM 45/3/51, 45/3/49, 45/3/50, 20/5/4, 20/5/2, 20/5/3

Reference number

SM 45/3/51, 45/3/49, 45/3/50, 20/5/4, 20/5/2, 20/5/3

Purpose

Measured drawings, probably after Thomas Hardwick 1-3 Unfinished drawings4-6 Finished drawings, later used as Royal Academy lecture drawings

Aspect

1 Elevation, incomplete
2 Section/elevation of an ideal reconstruction
3 Part-elevation and part-section to a larger scale
4 Plan titled Pianta del primo Piano dell' Anfiteatro Flavio with Indice numbered 1 to 13 beginning Quattro ingressi principali ... and ending Euripo dell'acqua, dove si rinfrescavano i / Gladiatori
5 Elevation corresponding with drawing 1
6 Section/elevation corresponding with drawing 2

Scale

(1-2, 4-6 ) to the same scale of 1/22 in to 1ft; (3) 1/10 in to 1 ft (1, 3, 4) with bar scales

Inscribed

as above, (4) 620. feet on long axis 513' 4"

Medium and dimensions

(1) Pen, pencil within double ruled border (2) pen, sepia wash, pencil within triple ruled border with box for title (3) pen, pencil within single ruled border (4) pen, pencil within double ruled and wash border (5) pen, pencil, warm sepia, blue, green, and raw umber washes, shaded within triple ruled and wash border (6) pen, pencil, warm sepia, blue, green and burnt umber washes, shaded, with pink wash (added later ?), within triple ruled border on laid paper (1) two pieces joined (633 x 983, 492 x 938, 526 x 743, 632 x 989, 397 x 913, 397 x 908)

Hand

(1-4) Soane, 5-6 attributed to Thomas Hardwick (1752-1829) see below for note

Watermark

(1,4) J Honig & Zoonen and beehive within cartouche (2) J Whatman (twice) and fleur-de-lis within crowned cartouche with GR below (3) fleur-de-lis within crowned cartouche with C & I Honig below (5-6) footed P (Heawood 3020, 3021)

Notes

Drawings 1-3 are incomplete though the section, an ideal reconstruction, is almost complete but lacking a title and other finishing touches. Drawings 4-6 are finished drawings that have been filed with Soane's Royal Academy lecture drawings. The plan (drawing 4) is carefully drawn and washed, and the lettering is certainly in Soane's hand. In fact, it was not used for Soane's R.A. lectures. The coloured-up elevation (drawing 5) corresponds with the unfinished elevation of drawing 1; the coloured up section/elevation (drawing 6) corresponds with drawing 3. Both (drawings 5 and 6) are shaded in careful sepia tones that convey the circular geometry of the building; the pink wash emphasising the cut through the section/elevation coarsely laid on and presumably added when the drawing was re-used for lecture purposes. Drawings 5 and 6 are set in a landscape with sky, clouds, hills and foreground that reinforce the notion of an ideal reconstruction with the amphitheatre placed on a rural site empty of other buildings. Professor du Prey (January/February 2009) suggested that the handling of the landscape elements of drawings 5 and 6 is beyond Soane's talent and recalls some of Hardwick's studies of Hadrian's Villa. This seems right and hence the re-attribution to Hardwick of drawings that had seemed to be 'lost'. Drawing 4 was not used in Soane's R.A. lectures but drawing 5 was used for Lecture III, drawings 31 and 44 (that is, used twice) and drawing 6 was used in Lecture IV, drawing 52. Possibly Soane 'borrowed' the drawings from Hardwick for use at the Royal Academy.Soane's sketchbook 'Italian Sketches' 1779 (SM volume 39, 6-8r,9r) REFERENCE NEEDED has a few details of the Colosseum but he probably acquired most of his information from Hardwick who made the Colosseum a particular subject of study, commissioning a model and communicating a paper to the Society of Antiquaries. P.du Prey, (J.Lever, editor), Catalogue of the the Drawings Collections of the Royal Institute of British Architects, G-K, 1973, p.921 mentions 'two elevations and an ideal sectional reconstruction in John Soane's collection [that] may record the appearance of [lost] Hardwick originals copied ... in the summer of 1778'. Hardwick's drawings at the RIBA Drawings Collection are a plan 'from actual admeasurements / In 1778' and an elevation of one bay inscribed 'Elevation of part of the / Colosseum - 1778 - T.Hardwick ' and 'the Model to be made 1/11 [the 11 blotted] of an Inch to a Foot' (SB57/6-7)

Literature

P.du Prey, John Soane's architectural education 1753-80, 1977, pp. 125-6 (Nos 1-3)

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.

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).