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image Image 1 for SM (12) volume 74/101 (13) volume 74/102 (14) volume 74/103
image Image 2 for SM (12) volume 74/101 (13) volume 74/102 (14) volume 74/103
image Image 3 for SM (12) volume 74/101 (13) volume 74/102 (14) volume 74/103
image Image 4 for SM (12) volume 74/101 (13) volume 74/102 (14) volume 74/103
image Image 5 for SM (12) volume 74/101 (13) volume 74/102 (14) volume 74/103
  • image Image 1 for SM (12) volume 74/101 (13) volume 74/102 (14) volume 74/103
  • image Image 2 for SM (12) volume 74/101 (13) volume 74/102 (14) volume 74/103
  • image Image 3 for SM (12) volume 74/101 (13) volume 74/102 (14) volume 74/103
  • image Image 4 for SM (12) volume 74/101 (13) volume 74/102 (14) volume 74/103
  • image Image 5 for SM (12) volume 74/101 (13) volume 74/102 (14) volume 74/103

Reference number

SM (12) volume 74/101 (13) volume 74/102 (14) volume 74/103

Purpose

Alternative designs for the interior ornament, one dated 7 July 1795 (3)

Aspect

12 Elevation of the Rotunda showing interior ornament; (verso) plan and elevation of the foundations; two rough elevations of the Four Per Cent Office; and plan of two straight-flight stairs from a single landing 13 Elevation of the Rotunda showing interior ornament; (verso) full size detail of wavy line pattern; elevation of lunette; and working drawings for construction of the dome 14 Elevation of the Rotunda showing interior ornament; (Soane) detail of coffering; (verso) full size detail of alternative wavy line pattern, with acanthus motif added in pencil

Scale

(12-14) bar scale

Inscribed

12 (Bailey) The Bank of England, Design for part of the Rotunda, (Soane) Plan below the Steps, Old Foundation 13 (Bailey) The Bank of England, Sketch of Design for part of the Rotunda; (verso) dimensions given 14 (Bailey) The Bank of England, Sketch of design for part of the Rotunda

Signed and dated

(12) 1795 (13) 1795, (Soane) July 7 1795 (14) 1795

Hand

(12) Soane office (13-14) Soane office and Soane

Notes

The walls of the Rotunda consisted of alternating semicircular arches and smaller flat rectangular alcoves. The arches alternated as semicircular alcoves and flat alcoves containing entrances. A chimney piece was situated inside each semicircular alcove.

The interior of the Rotunda was decorated with lines incised into the plaster (what Soane called 'sinkings'). Soane used Greek key patterns and an inventive wavy motif. Drawings 12 to 14 show, in Soane's hand, alternative designs for the decoration around the windows and within the ribs of the dome. Drawing 12 shows a leaf motif emerging from between Greek key patterns at the base of the lunettes and a design for the ribs of the dome to extend down to the cornice. Drawing 13 shows a Vitruvian door (similar to drawing 5) and variant Greek key patterns at the base of the lunettes. A pilaster capital, or cornice, is also shown with an acanthus motif. Drawing 14 is a curious design for the decoration between the lunettes, showing variant designs for a more freehand floral motif. The Rotunda tended toward a more understated decorative scheme.

Literature

M. Richardson and M. Stevens (eds), John Soane architect: master of space and light, Royal Academy of Arts, 1999, p. 229, cat 130.

Level

Drawing

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).