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  • image SM 65/4/37

Reference number

SM 65/4/37


Accepted design for Gallery and almshouse range on a quadrangular plan, 10/12 July 1811


28 Block plan


bar scale of 1/17 inch to 1 foot


a key AAAA to apartments / for the old Women, Entrance, Gallery (twice), the Picture Gallery, arcade (six times), the Mausoleum, Great Quadrangle, Chapel, Dulwich College, (written later in Soane's hand) At Dulwich 12 July 1811 / Present Master / Mr Corri (sic) / Mr Douch, organised (sic) / Mr Smith - saw & / app[roved] but / was engaged/ to dinner at / Clapham / Mr Jullian (sic) / Mr Druce (sic) / This General plan / app[roved] & also est[imated]

Signed and dated

  • Lincolns Inn Fields 12 July 1811 (originally 10 July but amended)

Medium and dimensions

Pen, pencil, sepia and rose pink washes, pricked for transfer, within single-ruled pen and sepia wash border on laid paper (453 x 579)


George Bailey (1792-1860, pupil and office assistant 1806-1837, curator 1837-1860) or John Buxton (pupil 1809-1814) (both pupils recorded drawing plans of Dulwich in the Soane office Day Book entry for 10 July 1811) with pencil additions by Soane


A Stace 1798, fleur-de-lis above cartouche with bar and below, AS


On Friday 12 July 1811, Soane recorded in his note book a meeting with the Master of Dulwich and other College authorities, where they 'finally settled plans'. The approved design is a development of design No 7, drawing 24, including the extensions to the Gallery on the west side, which were initially sketched-in on the previous plan, drawing 25. This made the end bays of the almshouses longer. The single range housing both the Gallery and the almshouses has an arcade running across the entire length of the east front. This plan is almost as executed but the arcade was never built. There is also a pencil addition, in Soane's hand, relocating the Mausoleum to an unassuming position at the end of the original south range with the chapel. These alternatives were possibly discussed at the meeting but were not pursued.


F. Nevola, Soane's favourite subject: the story of Dulwich Picture Gallery, 2000, pp. 41 & 179-180



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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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