- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
Drawings 27 and 28 share the same muddy tones, drawing 29 is the best of the four perspectives and may have additions (black ink wash trees, left-hand side) by J.M. Gandy; drawing 30 is rather bland. Basevi must have benefited from observing Gandy at work and his perspectives show an increasing confidence.
The gateway appears in many drawings (14-20,22, 23, 25 but cancelled, 27 and 29). It does not appear in the last design drawing (30). It's massy weightiness might be said to represent earthly sorrow and contrasts with the lighter, more transcendent design of the four-sided aedicule, the contrast between the two mediated by the stark monolithic dome on piers. Essentially, the scale was wrong, the design placing the emphasis on the vault rather than the monument and, it was unnecessary. Whatever the reason, Soane was reluctant to give up the gateway but eventually did so.
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).