72 Desentans / MDCCC, Sir Francis Bourgeois / MDCCCXII (on sarcophagi)
73 Desentans, Sir Francis Bourgeois / MDCCCXII (on sarcophagi)
Signed and dated
- (72-73) datable to late 1812
Medium and dimensions
(72) Pen and coloured washes, watercolour technique, shaded, pricked for transfer on wove paper (736 x 1290) (73) pen and coloured washes, watercolour technique, shaded, within a single-ruled black wash border on wove paper (735 x 1274)
(72-73) Joseph Michael Gandy (1771-1843) (see Notes below)
(72) James Whatman Turkey Mill Kent 1809
The design of the building is far from that executed indicating the hope that the Gallery would have been more elaborately decorated had there been greater funds. This can be seen by the additional figurative statues on the altars and at the top corners of the lantern, a more decorative frieze and cornice, and a stone balustrade on the parapet of the Gallery to hide the rooflights. The Mausoleum is entirely built in Portland stone and the canopy dome of the lantern has been elongated.
Drawing 73, as a copy of drawing 72, is possibly the drawing exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1813 (RA No. 836) titled 'Design for a Mausoleum attached to the Gallery now building at Dulwich College for the reception of the pictures bequeathed to that establishment by the late Sir F. Bourgeois' (A. Graves, The Royal Academy of Arts: A complete dictionary of contributors and their work, from its foundation in 1769 to 1904, 1970, pp. 201). It is a very dramatic drawing using a romantic style setting the Gallery in a beautiful landscape at what seems to be dusk with strong lighting illuminating the Mausoleum. The Gallery and almshouses behind are in relatively low relief. This conveys the role of the Mausoleum as the centrepiece of the building. An exaggerated scale is also suggested by tiny people drawn at the foot of the Mausoleum.
The drawings are in the hand of Joseph Michael Gandy, who was a draughtsman in Soane's office from 1798 to 1801 after which he practised on his own supplementing a meagre income by making watercolour perspectives of many of Soane's schemes.
(73) C. Davies, 'Masters of building: the first independent purpose-built picture gallery: Dulwich Picture Gallery', Architect's Journal, April 1984, p. 56; D. Stroud, Sir John Soane, architect, 1984, pp. 201; A. Ballantyne, 'First principles and ancient errors: Soane at Dulwich', Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, 37, 1994, p. 107; M. Richardson & M. Stevens (ed.), John Soane architect: master of space and light, Royal Academy of Arts, 1999, pp. 179-181; (72-73) F. Nevola, Soane's favourite subject: the story of Dulwich Picture Gallery, 2000, (72) pp. 84 & 189; (73) pp. 85 & 190
Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation