- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
Gandy's technique emphasises the picturesque play of light and shade and exaggerates the hall's width, monumentalising and opening it up to the beholder's gaze. Staffage and part of the inner ring of counters are omitted to focus attention fully on the architectural setting.
The specific purpose of the image is unclear. It may have been intended for the Royal Academy's annual exhibition, but was not shown. Gandy, according to the Office Day Book, spent a considerable time in the spring and summer of 1798 drawing other perspectives of Soane's Transfer Offices, Rotunda, and new Lothbury (or Stock Office) Court, suggesting that this drawing may have been part of a set made for Soane's own gratification, documenting the work so far at the Bank.
The view compares interestingly with drawing 2, and drawing M39(i) at the Bank of England Museum (views of the preliminary 1791 triple-lantern scheme from a similar position), highlighting the built hall's pronounced centrality and variety of lighting effects.
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).