- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
The rest of the progress drawings would have been sketched on site and then pasted into Soane's record book. Drawings 85 and 86, drawn a week apart, show the development of the plain round arches of the Gallery enfilade supported by timber scaffolding. The walls were built by the bricklayers John and Henry Lee who were paid a total of £2804.3.3 for their work. London stock bricks were used and 14,550 bricks were required for the Gallery.
Drawings 87 and 88 show the erection of the stone lantern above the Mausoleum. Drawing 87 (not recorded in Nevola's catalogue) is presumably the rough sketch done on site, it is a loose drawing kept in the front pocket of the record book. This was then copied in drawing 88, which was actually pasted into the record book. By 3 June the scaffold had been erected for work to begin on the upper storey of the Mausoleum. Thomas Grundy was employed as the stone mason and was paid a total of £1243.6.6 for his work. He had constructed the shell of the lantern, including the urns which were pegged in place with iron, within ten days, as can be seen in drawing 89 dated 13 June. Portland stone was used. He is recorded in the building accounts as having '2 iron bars and letting in 5 Portland Vases'. A few days later the sarcophagi had been added to the Mausoleum as seen in drawing 90 dated 18 June. The second-storey of the almshouses was also under construction at this stage. Drawing 92 is a view of the central Gallery room with the arch on the left leading to the Mausoleum and the arch on the right as part of the Gallery enfilade. The roof carpentry is visible.
Pupils were sent to the site in pairs, so Chantrell and Basevi would have gone together on 3 and 29 June.
An enlarged version of drawing 92 was drawn by a pupil as an illustration for Soane's twelfth Royal Academy lecture from the second series about construction on 12 March 1815 (SM 15/2/09). The drawing is of an almost identical view through the enfilade at the same stage of construction but reveals more of the roof carpentry and is drawn in greater detail.
The information about the tradesmen is from the building accounts, SM Bill Book G, folios 413-442.
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).