Explore Collections Explore The Collections
You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  Possibly unfinished record drawing of part of a frieze or capital, carved with alternating dolphins and oak leaf vegetation.
  • image Adam vol.26/71

Reference number

Adam vol.26/71


Possibly unfinished record drawing of part of a frieze or capital, carved with alternating dolphins and oak leaf vegetation.




Inscribed in chalk L

Signed and dated

  • Undated, probably 1760 - 63

Medium and dimensions

Black chalk 137 x 347


Nicolas-François-David Lhuiller (attributed to)


coat of arms [part]


The inscribed 'L' would seem to confirm this as a drawing by Nicolas-François-David Lhuiller (d.1793), as would the drawing technique and hatching. There is a similar composition in red and black chalk among drawings by Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778) in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, which is seen as a preparatory study for the etching of a capital in Piranesi's Della Magnificenza ed Architettura de'Romani, 1761. The source for the Piranesi study was given as 'In cavo aedium Farnesianarum' (see F. Stampfle, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Drawings in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, 1978, pl.21, p.xxiii). There is another pencil study very close to the centre part (see Stampfle, op.cit., pl.42, p.xxix); see also G.L. Taylor & E. Cresy, The Architectural Antiquities of Rome, 2 vols., London, 1821, (vol.I, p.44) where it is described as being from the forum of Nerva.



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).