- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
Drawings 49 and 50 are similar except that paired columns and half-columns have been added between each arch of the gallery on drawing 50. Furthermore drawing 49 shows fireplaces in the large Gallery rooms, whereas drawing 50 shows flues embedded within the walls. At this stage Soane is still exploring alternative heating methods.
These working drawings were most probably drawn once construction had begun (the foundation stone was laid on 19 October 1811 and drawing 50 is dated 25 October on the verso), and would have been used on site, indicated by drawing 49 being folded for transport between the office and Dulwich College. The drawings are fully dimensioned and would have acted as instructions for the builders.
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).