Inscribed in ink in a contemporary hand upon the Globe is placed a saint
Signed and dated
Undated, possibly 1763
Medium and dimensions
Pen, pencil, ink framing lines
307 x 193, three horizontal foldlines
Unidentified eighteenth-century artist, possibly George Richardson
In 1764 Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-78) began reconstruction of the 1568 church of Santa Maria del Priorato, Rome for the Knights of Malta; the building was completed in 1766. This may be a copy of the drawing in the library of the Berlin Staatliche Museum, Germany (see E. Bowron & J. Rishel, eds., Art in Rome in the Eighteenth Century, Philadelphia and London, 2000, catalogue of an exhibition at The Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 2000-2001, p.142, fig.24). Unlike the Berlin drawing, this shows no indication of St Basil being transported heavenwards. As James Adam left Rome in May 1763, this drawing may possibly be a copy of a finished drawing that was submitted to the Cardinal Rezzonico to gain the commission such as that in the Morgan Library for the ceiling vault (see J. Wilton-Ely, Piranesi as Architect and Designer, London, 1993, pl.109). This would suggest a date of 1763, and the draughtsman may possibly be George Richardson (d.c.1813), which would explain the inscription. The drawing has been folded three times, like Adam vol.26/178, which suggests postal transmission.
There is a drawing of the elevation of Santa Maria del Priorato in Adam vol.27/48.
Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation
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