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image Image 1 for SM 12/5/4
image Image 2 for SM 12/5/4
  • image Image 1 for SM 12/5/4
  • image Image 2 for SM 12/5/4

Reference number

SM 12/5/4

Purpose

Presentation elevation of the river front made after winning the Royal Academy's Gold Medal, 1777

Aspect

5 The Elevation to the River of a Design for a Triumphal Bridge

Scale

bar scale of 1/15 in to 1 ft

Inscribed

as above

Signed and dated

Jn Soan Archt and 1777

Medium and dimensions

Pen, light blue, sepia, raw umber and green washes, pencil, shaded within double ruled and black wash border on laid paper, 3 sheets joined (540 x 2410)

Hand

Robert Baldwin (fl.1762- c.1804), ? Soane

Watermark

J Whatman (twice)

Notes

The drawing was made after Soane submitted a plan, end elevation and section (drawings 2-4) to the Royal Academy in November 1776 but before he was elected a year later to the R.A. Travelling Scholarship on or about 10 December 1777. The draughtsmanship (as with drawings 3 and 4) is attributed largely to Robert Baldwin but the drawing of the sculpture is not attributed to Dance since (comment from Professor du Prey, February 2009) 'it is badly drawn'. A likely reason for its appearance after Soane had submitted the other drawings to the Royal Academy was that it was not completed in time. A highly finished and large drawing - almost eight feet wide and demonstrating very well the length of the bridge, 1186 feet, as required by the competition conditions - it would have taken weeks to make. A later copy to the same scale (see drawing 20) took 28 days. A Royal Academy regulation did not permit students to send their winning Gold Medal drawings in for the annual exhibition ('Royal Book 1768-1802', 11 August 1769) A pity since the four drawings, hung together, would have looked very fine.
The bridge of seven heavily rusticated semicircular arches carries a complex superstructure. Over the centre arch is a rusticated drum with a Pantheon-type dome and over the first and seventh arches are large roofless drums with engaged columns and at each entrance are twin domed rotundas. Down the centre runs a carriageway, and double Corinthian colonnades punctuated by pedimented pavilions provide corridors for pedestrians on each side. The order is Corinthian and there is a lavish sculptural programme, the drawing of which must again be attributed to George Dance.

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).