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image SM volume 111/19

Reference number

SM volume 111/19

Purpose

Presentation design for the east wing of the house, showing the chapel and the mezzanine floor above.

Aspect

1 Long section, two cross sections, and plan

Scale

Just over 4 feet to 1 inch (50 feet = 12 5/16) (drawn scale)

Inscribed

By Gibbs in pen and brown ink, East End, South Side, west End, and within plan, 53 : foot : [internal length], 20 foot [internal width]; and at bottom right, in a C18 hand (Gibbs's?), Wimpole

Signed and dated

c.1719

Medium and dimensions

Pen and grey ink with grey wash and with pink for the structure in sectional view, over faint pencil under drawing, and with additions in pencil (alternatives for staircases) at bottom right; on single sheet of laid paper, with fold marks and modern backing tissue and canvas tape; 455 x 715

Hand

James Gibbs

Watermark

Strasbourg Lily (partially obscured by backing tape)

Notes

This design can be associated with Gibbs's request for payment 'several drawings for ye Chapple' on 24 July 1719 and envisages the chapel as a free standing building, lit from windows on the south and north side. The completed chapel was fully incorporated within the east wing of the house and the windows on the north side were omitted. The pencil-sketched plans of a dog-leg stair at the bottom right of the plan indicates how the chapel could be reached from the first-floor apartments. In the completed chapel Thornhill's trompe-l'oeil Corinthian columns replaced Gibbs's solid Ionic pilaster, and the walls above the dado are entirely flat (see Friedman, James Gibbs, pl. VII, facing p. 174). The design shows a low mezzanine floor above the chapel and another floor above this (where the walls break off), with steps going up to this level through the wall thickness at the west end. The implied elevational treatment on the south side of the building, of large windows at raised ground floor windows and square mezzanine windows above, is not recorded in any of the initial designs for remodelling the entrance front of the building of c.1721 (see above, 1 and 2). This is further evidence for the relatively early date of the design in the sequence of Gibbs's proposals for Wimpole between about 1713 and 1721.

Literature

Wren Society, XII (1935), pl. 35; T. Friedman, James Gibbs, 1984, pp. 73-75, pl. 57; D. Adshead, Wimpole, 2005, cat. no. 16.

Level

Drawing

Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

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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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