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image SM 45/1/11

Reference number

SM 45/1/11


[1] Preliminary design, 1779


Elevation, rough plans and detail


(of elevation, bar scale) 1/5 in to 1ft


(pencil, verso) Sir Willm Molesworth (1758-98, of Pencarrow, Cornwall, in Italy 1777-9 see J.Ingamells, Dictionary of British and Irish travellers in Italy, 1701-1800, 1997) / alle Crocelle (an inn in Naples)

Signed and dated

  • 1779

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, burnt umber wash, shaded, partly pricked for transfer on laid paper (519 x 393)


Scrolly ornate cartouche with M below (probably Italian)


Roughly drawn and unresolved, Soane's design consists of a domed, open, Corinthian rotunda (12 feet wide and housing a sculpted figure) over a square (on plan) middle storey with arched opening on a base with a stepped plinth (30 feet wide). The three-stage edifice is 60 feet high. A rough plan and erasures on the elevation suggest that Soane's original idea of an arched opening containing a sarcophagus was here altered to a blind opening with a bust placed in front of it. The source of the design lies in the Roman monument of the Julii at Saint-Remy in Provence. Soane's variations include the use of a Doric order instead of a Corinthian order for the middle storey and a rusticated base rather than the richly carved one of the original.



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).