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image Image 1 for SM 45/1/22, 45/1/21, 45/1/20
image Image 2 for SM 45/1/22, 45/1/21, 45/1/20
image Image 3 for SM 45/1/22, 45/1/21, 45/1/20
  • image Image 1 for SM 45/1/22, 45/1/21, 45/1/20
  • image Image 2 for SM 45/1/22, 45/1/21, 45/1/20
  • image Image 3 for SM 45/1/22, 45/1/21, 45/1/20

Reference number

SM 45/1/22, 45/1/21, 45/1/20


Design and variant design (3)


4 Ground plan, with site plan (to a reduced scale) and detail of entablature to a smaller scale, (feint pencil) sketch of sculpted figure
5 Elevation and section
6 Elevation of variant design and (feint pencil) part elevation


4 bar scale of 1/16 in to 1 ft, and not stated, and another of 1/12 in to 1 ft
5 bar scale of 1/16 in to 1 ft labelled English feet
6 bar scale of 1/20 in to 1 ft


4 (? Carlo Labruzzi) IL PIANO D'VN DISEGNO PER VN CASTELLO D'ACQVA, (Soane) labelled (dome) 60 feet Diamr, (each of 4 pavilions) 22 feet Square, (pencil) Alcove, door, (feint pencil) Il Danubio nell' Europa / Il Gange nell' Asia / Il Nilo nell' Africa / Il Argentano nell' Indie / Take the section on the Line a. b. [illegible] / no water [illegible] reclines [illegible] / Another section C D and (pencil, amendments) door and altar
6 (on a tablet) JACOBUS INFANTA DI PARMA and pedestal to fountain labelled 40:0

Medium and dimensions

Pen, black, sepia and green washes, pencil additions including setting up lines for a perspective within triple ruled and sepia wash border; pen, sepia, pink and blue washes, watercolour technique, shaded, pencil additions within single ruled border; pen, sepia and light blue washes, shaded, pencil additions within single ruled border on laid paper (709 x 494, 494 x 709, 352 x 518)


Soane and ? Carlo Labruzzi (P. du Prey's attribution)


(4-5) J Whatman, fleur-de-lis within crowned cartouche with GR below; (6) fleur-de-lis, crowned cartouche with GR below


In this finished design (drawing 4), Soane decided on an X-plan. He reduced the diameter of the domed area from 120 to 60 feet and enclosed it so as to make a water-tight tank. The geometry of the design was much improved: the four sides became concave with the four pavilions placed squarely at each corner, the whole enclosed by a stepped circular terrace placed on a square platform with fountains at each corner. The four concave sides of the building with their pavilions embrace two pools and two terraces, each fronted by a segmental stair on a convex plan. The elevation (drawing 5) has five bays rather than seven (as 3 recto) and the shallow, stepped dome is crowned by an equestrian statue. Water cascades from within the portico fronted by seven nude statues with urns pouring water into a pool. Water, sculpture and the pretty trees have been added by another hand, identified by du Prey (1982, op.cit., p.365, fn. 24) as Carlo Labruzzi, 1748-1817, a landscape painter who drew and painted views for foreign tourists.

Labruzzi (if it is he) also added similar finishing touches to a variant elevation (drawing 6) that set the Castello d'acqua in a piazza (a requirement of the Parma Academy's competition). Here, the dome is slightly steeper and plain masonry replaces the rustication shown in drawing 5, the order is now Roman rather than Greek Doric and, rather strikingly, six naked figures sit on the parapet above the entablature holding a festoon; the seven standing figures with urns shown in drawing 5 are omitted.


P. du Prey, John Soane’s architectural education 1753-80, 1977, pp.274-8; P. du Prey, John Soane: the making of an architect, 1982, pp.184-6



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).