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image Image 1 for SM (19) 63/7/31 (20) 14/4/8 (21) F83(201)
image Image 2 for SM (19) 63/7/31 (20) 14/4/8 (21) F83(201)
image Image 3 for SM (19) 63/7/31 (20) 14/4/8 (21) F83(201)
  • image Image 1 for SM (19) 63/7/31 (20) 14/4/8 (21) F83(201)
  • image Image 2 for SM (19) 63/7/31 (20) 14/4/8 (21) F83(201)
  • image Image 3 for SM (19) 63/7/31 (20) 14/4/8 (21) F83(201)

Reference number

SM (19) 63/7/31 (20) 14/4/8 (21) F83(201)

Purpose

Preparatory drawing and two finished perspectives (relating to Stage IV) made by J.M.Gandy for exhibition at the Royal Academy, before 6 April 1816 (3)

Aspect

19 Rough (pencil) perspective, hatched to demonstrate the intended effects of light and shade 20 Elevated perspective from the north-west set in an imaginary wooded site with many poplar trees; two diminutive male figures (a man and a boy about 18 inches high by comparison with the gateway) gesture towards the monument. On the north-facing tablet is carved a skeleton (personifying Death) flinging an arrow at the north face of the aedicule while the western tablet bears a shield with Soane's coat of arms. The tympani of the pediments are embellished with foliage including pomegranates (symbols of Resurrection). This finished drawing differs from the rough preparatory drawing 19 by the omission of two piers with crocketed finials which flanked the gateway and represents the penultimate stage of design 21 Elevated perspective from the south-west set in an imaginary wooded site; a single diminutive male figure, seated on a rock, holds a book before him. The design of the tomb varies from drawing 20 by, for example, altering the entrance so that piers and lintel have gone and as compensation more emphatic pedestals are now crowned by acroteria

Inscribed

19 Hight / 3.1½ /2.1½ (approximate width and height of following drawing 20)

Signed and dated

19-21 datable to before 6 April 1816 see Notes below

Medium and dimensions

(19) Pencil with rough border on laid paper with one fold mark (536 x 738) (20) pen, raw umber, sepia, blue and green washes, black ink wash, watercolor technique on wove paper with black wash border (667 x 970) (26½ x 38½ inches) (21) not available, framed, hung on north wall of Breakfast Parlour of 13 Lincoln's Fields (Soane Museum)

Hand

19-21 Joseph Michael Gandy (1771-1843)

Watermark

19 Phipps & Son 1809

Notes

The design shown in Gandy's finished perspective (drawing 20) was altered in execution by the omission of the entrance doorway and by the elaboration of the enclosing parapet wall. Details such as the skeleton with arrow, the pomegranates and Soane's coat of arms were not carried out. The effect of the drawing is that of the tomb discovered in a solitary, unvisited and heavily wooded spot in which self-seeded sapling trees and shrubs add to the air of tragic neglect. Drawing 21 is very close to the executed design though, for example, the figures (of saints?) in the recessed dice close to the tomb were not carried out.


Soane's office Day Book has an entry for 4 April 1816: 'Altering drawing of Monument and Mounting Mr Gandy's' signed by Basevi and again on 5 April 'About drawings of Monument, sent afterwards to the Exhibition'. Soane's Note Book for 26 April 1816 has an entry 'Private View of Exhib: but I cannot go! Alas poor Eliza, you always went thither on this day!'.
Soane exhibited two drawings of the monument at the Royal Academy (R.A. exhibition Nos 799 and 810) and it is assumed that these were drawings 20 and 21.

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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