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  • image SM P379

Reference number

SM P379


Composite record drawing of ceiling and interior, as executed


52 Top: Interior perspective looking east Middle: Reflected-ceiling plan Bottom: Interior perspective looking north


Bank Stock Office Built in MDCCXCII (twice) / Latitudinal Section (label inside frame, added later) Original no. 379 / Original Position "Oratory" 2nd Floor / Dra[wing] (unknown) / Plan [and tw]o sections of the Bank Stock / Office [of] the Bank of England, as built / from [Soane's] designs in 1792

Signed and dated

  • datable to September 1796

Medium and dimensions

(top, bottom) Pen and coloured washes within single-ruled black wash border (middle) pen and sepia wash, within shaded border on two sides on laid paper, within bronzed frame


Robert Smirke (1781-1867, pupil 1796-97)


not visible


The top drawing is a nearly exact copy of the same view looking east in drawing 51, with identical dimensions and composition. The only differences in the image are that here the stove is given more definition, the counters are a darker brown closer to the colour of wood, and the vaulting is more deeply shaded in emphasise the contrast of light and shadow. These, plus the addition of the inscription in a Roman panel and the ruled border, also seen in the bottom drawing, give the drawing the appearance of a finished, presentation drawing, done though not for the Bank or exhibition but for Soane's own personal record and pleasure, similarly to drawings 53.
The middle drawing is also a nearly exact copy of the reflected-ceiling plan in drawing 51, except for the thicker, black inking of the walls and piers, and the border on the two sides of the drawing.
The bottom drawing is an almost exact copy of the same view in drawing 51, identical dimensions and composition. The only differences in the image are that here the stove is given more definition, the paving is delineated in a checkerboard pattern, thicker black-ink lines define the groin vaults and pendentives, slightly different glazing appears in the clerestory lunettes.
The dating and attribution these drawings are based on a comparison with drawing 53 produced on 21 September 1796 by Robert Smirke, a pupil in Soane's office and later a well-known architect in his own right.
The drawing has been in storage since 2005, on the fourth floor of 12 Lincoln's Inn Fields.


(middle) D. Stroud, Sir John Soane, architect, 1984, p. 153, ill. 105



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).