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  • image Image 1 for SM (45) 65/4/36 (46) 65/4/19
  • image Image 2 for SM (45) 65/4/36 (46) 65/4/19
  • image Image 1 for SM (45) 65/4/36 (46) 65/4/19
  • image Image 2 for SM (45) 65/4/36 (46) 65/4/19

Reference number

SM (45) 65/4/36 (46) 65/4/19


Presentation drawings for alternative design of Mausoleum (2)


45 Perspective of the east front with Mausoleum 46 Elevation of the east front with Mausoleum


(46) bar scale of 1/9 inch to 1 foot


45-46 Dulwich College

Signed and dated

  • (45) Lincolns Inn Fields / August 8 1811 (46) August 1811

Medium and dimensions

(45) Pen, coloured washes, watercolour technique, shaded, within a seven-ruled pen and sepia and black wash border on wove paper (358 x 523) (46) pen, warm sepia, yellow ochre, burnt sienna and blue washes, watercolour technique, shaded, partly pricked for transfer, with a nine-ruled pen and sepia and black wash border on wove paper (332 x 523)


(45) pupil (George Bailey, George Allen Underwood and George Basevi recorded drawing views of Dulwich in the Day Book entry for 8 April 1811) (46) Soane office


(45) J Whatman 1808


The drawings show a different design for the decoration of the Mausoleum. The false doors are now capped by a segmental sarcophagus lid-like ornament, and the lantern is crowned with an acroterion in the form of a segmental pediment enclosing a wreathed eagle and with an antefix on either side. Here the Mausoleum is reduced in height and is no taller than the Gallery roof-line behind, appearing more closely related to the building.

In 'First principles and ancient errors: Soane at Dulwich', Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, volume 37, 1994, p.108, Andrew Ballantyne writes that the false doors can be seen as 'a re-working of the solid stone 'spirit' doors which are to be found in ancient Egyptian mastabas [burial tombs], through which could pass the spirits of the dead, but not living people, still possessed of their bodies'. The symbolic associations of the false doors demonstrates Soane's fascination with the funerary architecture of antiquity and thus contributes to the sepulchral character of the building.


(45) M. Richardson & M. Stevens (ed.), John Soane architect: master of space and light, Royal Academy of Arts, 1999, pp. 176; F. Nevola, Soane's favourite subject: the story of Dulwich Picture Gallery, 2000, (45) pp. 57 & 184; (46) pp. 58 & 184



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.

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).