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image Image 1 for SM (50) 67/5/25 (51) 67/5/26
image Image 2 for SM (50) 67/5/25 (51) 67/5/26
  • image Image 1 for SM (50) 67/5/25 (51) 67/5/26
  • image Image 2 for SM (50) 67/5/25 (51) 67/5/26

Reference number

SM (50) 67/5/25 (51) 67/5/26


Presentation drawings, c. late August 1809 (2)


50 Perspective of the south front, with a balcony 51 Variant perspective of the south front, with colonnade and balcony


50 labelled "Batter'd with War, in many an hard campaign, / Tho' the maim'd Soldier quits the martial plain, / Fancy restores him to the Battle's rage, / and temporary youth inflames his age. / Again he fights the foe, counts o'er his scars. / Tho' Chelsea now the seat of all his Wars, / And fondly hanging on the lengthened tale, / Re-slays his thousands ._"

Signed and dated

  • (50-51) datable to c. late August 1809


Soane office


Drawing 50 shows the south front, facing the river, at the position suggested by plans 31 and 32. Wren's West Court can be seen in the background. As with drawings 47 to 49, the design indicates a continuous balcony and shows the pensioners using it for exercise. There is also a sheltered area underneath, protected by a colonnade, for exercise in bad weather.
Drawing 51 shows the north front, facing Paradise Row. The low buildings on either side visually tie the yellow stock brick Infirmary to the older red brick Wren structures. Those on the right of the drawing seem to be the Surgeon's house and Whitster's residence. Again there is a colonnade for exercise in bad weather but the design differs from drawing 46, which is much plainer.



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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.

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