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Reference number

SM 74/2/1 (since 1994, framed and hanging in the Breakfast Room, 12 Lincoln's Inn Fields)

Purpose

Measured drawing

Aspect

1 Elevation of the front facing Horse Guards

Scale

with bar scale (illegible)

Inscribed

The BANQUETTING HOUSE at Whitehall

Signed and dated

datable to 1772

Medium and dimensions

Pen and sepia washes within ruled and wash border on laid paper backed with wove paper (577 x 800)

Hand

Robert Baldwin (fl.1762 - c.1804)

Verso

When the drawing was framed and hung in the No. 12 Breakfast Room, Helen Dorey catalogued the drawing. She noted the following inscriptions: recto: 52 Lectr 3, No. 3 Lect 1 / 3 Lecture 2 (pencil, top l.h.corner) (Soane period) verso: numbered 73 Whitehall / Inigo Jones / Measured drawing John Soane R.A / silver medal 1772 / Students Room / Drawer 43 No. 14 / I.D. p.22 (lower l.h. corner) (Bolton's hand) Helen Dorey's catalogue entry is filed in Green Boxes information file in library under Soane B

Watermark

J Whatman (laid paper)

Notes

Soane's measured drawing of part of the south front of Old Somerset House (q.v.) submitted in the Royal Academy's Silver Medal competition of 1771 had been handed in one day too late. The following year, he tried again with this measured drawing of the Banqueting House (designed by Inigo Jones, 1619-22) and with only two students competing for two Silver Medals, both were successful; John Rudd's drawing is in the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects [PA28/8(1-2)]. Because the building was scaffolded in preparation for the refacing of the Oxfordshire stone of the basement, the work of measuring was made much easier for Soane and Rudd.
The inscribed title to the drawing is striking and not in Soane's hand. It has been attributed, with the drawing, to Robert Baldwin who was an architect, draughtsman and (significantly) engraver

In 1829, Soane carried out a survey of the external stonework of the Banqueting House, and restoration followed, 1829-32. A letter (SM XII.E 13, 2 July 1829, from Craib, the Clerk of Works, to Soane) states that 'after minute examination' the Northamptonshire stone of the upper storeys is beyond saving, and the only option is to ashlar the front in Portland stone. Soane was also to replicate the rear facade and he replaced the original windows with modern sashes. (Letter, 22.6.2004, SM information file)

This drawing was used for Soane's Royal Academy lectures III (drawing 47) and X (drawing 33). Other drawings of the Banqueting House were made specifically for the R.A. lecture series by Soane's office (16/2/1-3; 74/2/3-7)

See also Survey drawings in the Soane Museum dated 28 February 1829 (36/3/11-12) and Details of sash frames dated 14 May 1831 (36/3/10) and 'Truss for New roof to Whitehall Chapel' (37/2/12) and Model of roof truss (M1216)

Jill Lever

Literature

P. du Prey, John Soane's architectural education 1753-80, 1977, pp.66-7; P. du Prey, John Soane: the making of an architect, 1982, pp. 72-4

Level

Drawing

Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

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).