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image SM volume 111/60

Reference number

SM volume 111/60

Purpose

Presentation design for a monument to John Withers and his wife Ann [Cutts, sister to John Lord Cutts], at the Church of St Mary, Arkesden, Essex

Aspect

Elevation

Scale

1 inch to 1 foot (drawn scale)

Inscribed

In pencil, by Pearce (?), vertically within pedestal base on right-hand side, 2 - 2 ½; and by John Talman in pen and brown ink with triple-T collector's mark on the base of the sarcophagus panel

Signed and dated

c.1692

Medium and dimensions

Pen and brown ink with brown and grey washes and brown ink shading, over fine pencil under drawing; on laid paper; 402 x 267; with a separate, inserted section for the relief panel of the sarcophagus and two pasted overlays for the putti on the pediment; laid down on two-part mount, 445 x 317, the inner frame with thick and thin lines in gold leaf, and the outer frame having a single ruled brown-ink line near the edge.

Hand

Edward Pearce

Watermark

None visible

Notes

The design is for a wall monuments in a railed enclosure, although the railings were not executed (see photographs in Wren Society, XVII, pl. 25). The central dado panel of the pedestal base bears reliefs of skulls, bones and laurel leaves, above which is the sarcophagus panel with an inserted a relief of a recumbent women, emerging naked from a shroud, symbolising resurrection. She reclines on a pillow with tassels at the corners which, appears to rest on a scroll. On the monument itself, this is an inscribed panel, without relief ornament. The busts of John and Ann Withers are set on scrolled brackets against shallow oval recesses within a dark marble backing panel, surmounted by a segmental pediment. A large, strapwork cartouche, draped with swags of laurel leaves, rises in front of the upper cornice, indicating that it was to be tilted forwards, as on the monument itself. Winged cherubs holding flowers recline at each end of the pediment. These were added to the drawing as pasted overlays, drawn in lighter brown ink, and like the inserted recumbent figure, were not executed. The recessed outer bays of the pedestal base carry long concave scrolls either side of the central panel, from which hang knotted drapery swags, symbolising mourning. Ruled brown ink shading over grey-brown wash is used to denoted dark marble for the upper and lower mouldings of the pedestal and for the central panel.

Literature

Wren Society, XVII, pl. 24, bottom; J. Bettley and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Essex, 2007, p. 91.

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).