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  • image Image 1 for SM volume 42/162 recto and verso
  • image Image 2 for SM volume 42/162 recto and verso
  • image Image 1 for SM volume 42/162 recto and verso
  • image Image 2 for SM volume 42/162 recto and verso

Reference number

SM volume 42/162 recto and verso


Rough designs, 1778


4 Rough plan basically consisting of a stretched ellipse with a three-quarter circular chamber at one end, a cross axis marked by slightly projecting wings and with several rooms arranged along each side; and very rough (pencil) studies of plan forms including a Greek cross enclosing a circular compartment with four apses; and a circular compartment with several domes or lanterns; (verso) further very rough studies of plan forms: an elliptical courtyard building with a double entrance marked In twice; rectangular courtyard building with Triumphal Arch marked; and a T-plan with several compartments including a circular one with 8 lanterns related to plans on the recto


(recto) Hall (verso) as above and near Capua on the road / bad from - - - - c (illegible) Capua / to Caserta

Signed and dated

  • datable to c. 29 December 1778

Medium and dimensions

Pen and pencil, (verso) pencil, on laid secretary paper with three fold marks (319 x 418)




(partly illegible) D'Annonay and crown with trefoils (French made)


The rough plans reveal Soane rapidly sketching out successive ideas that bring him closer to the eventual solution. Soane's Italian notebook, 1778-9 (volume 164, f.14) shows that he was, for example, in Capua and Caserta, 20 miles north of Naples on 29 December 1778.



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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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