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  • image Image 1 for SM (24) volume 60/24 (25) 9/2/1c
  • image Image 2 for SM (24) volume 60/24 (25) 9/2/1c
  • image Image 1 for SM (24) volume 60/24 (25) 9/2/1c
  • image Image 2 for SM (24) volume 60/24 (25) 9/2/1c

Reference number

SM (24) volume 60/24 (25) 9/2/1c


Record drawings of the interior, one dated 6 July 1798 (2)


24 Rough interior perspective 25 Interior perspective looking west, showing the clock over the main door


24 (Bailey) View of a Design for the Rotunda at the Bank of England 25 (Bailey) The Bank of England, View of the "Rotunda" at the Bank looking towards the North

Signed and dated

  • (25) July 6th 1798


Soane office


(25) J Whatman 1794


The surfaces are stripped of any columns, mouldings or structural ornamentation, leaving the structure of the room on display. Soane admired the durable and impressive construction of Roman domes, for example that of the Pantheon, and the pared down Rotunda would have communicated such an appreciation of form. The Rotunda appears bigger with such minimal ornamentation; its monumentality accentuated. In drawing 25 the room has a serene quality. Such a view, however, would rarely be afforded to a visitor because the room was usually crowded with the business of brokers and traders.

The empty Rotunda is also reminiscent of ruins depicted by Piranesi, for example Tempio della Tosse, near Tivoli and Hadrian's Villa, Tivoli (plates 70 and 90, respectively, J. Wilton-Ely). The engravings show rotundas partially stripped of the interior facing, for example the masonry surrounding the doors is exposed. The interior ornament of the Rotunda is reminiscent of the exposed masonry, with abstracted incised wavy lines accentuating the masonry of the arches, the rings around the oculs and the ceiling.



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).