- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
46 In this striking illustration two skeletons, suspended above the four-sided aedicule, each holding an hour glass and hurling an arrow downwards have been added, as have a cluster of five stars in the tympanum. Framed by panel piers, the focus is on the aedicule; swift brush strokes suggest clouds and a heavenly radiance. See drawing 20 for a finished perspective by J.M.Gandy, 1816, that also shows a skeleton.
47 The small plan shows shrubs in the planting area and, interestingly, twelve steps between the gate and the vault, drawn with heavier, lighter and dotted lines in a way that suggests descent. See Note to drawings 9-12 regarding whether a stair was built or not. It is interesting that Gandy adds skeletons, Hand of God and stars that were not on the executed scheme and thus may perhaps have added an unbuilt stair.
In 1828 Soane published a resumé of his career, Designs for public and private buildings, that concluded with a 'Plan of the Monument' as shown on drawing 47; an elevation of the west face of the four-sided aedicule with the additions shown in drawing 47; and a view from the west without the trees and shrubs shown in drawing 45. The layout of the three drawings engraved on plate 54 is the same as that shown on drawing 46.
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).