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You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  [3] Preliminary design for the south wall elevation of Queen Mary's Closet, incomplete save for the panels of painted wall decoration, the centre one with a landscape view
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image SM, volume 110/65

Reference number

SM, volume 110/65

Purpose

[3] Preliminary design for the south wall elevation of Queen Mary's Closet, incomplete save for the panels of painted wall decoration, the centre one with a landscape view

Aspect

Elevation, with moulding profiles shown in section

Scale

5 feet to 3 inches (approx., as 10 feet is 5 9/10 inches) (same as 110/66)

Inscribed

In ink by George Dance at bottom left (bottom right in volume): Gd, and below in C19 hand: (65); and below centre of elevation in modern pencil (probably by A. T. Bolton): SOUTH SIDE

Signed and dated

Undated, but probably c.1693-94

Medium and dimensions

Graphite under-drawing, with pen and brown ink additions for freehand profiles of mouldings and ceiling cove, and coloured gouache for paintings on wall panels, with some splashing of gouache on sheet Laid paper, laid down 315 x 446

Hand

Gibbons; the painted panels possibly by James Bogdani (see Notes)

Watermark

No watermark visible (countermark probably obscured by central painted panel)

Notes

This unfinished drawing reveals Gibbons's preparatory technique of drawing the lines of all the mouldings in fine graphite before adding the ink lines, and starting the ink drawing with the freehand moulding profiles. It is a more precise version of the technique in the preparatory designs for doors in the king's apartments (110/56 and 57) and confirms Gibbons's ability to draw out entire wall elevations himself. The elevation also demonstrates that the artist responsible for the painted wall panels was handed the drawing before Gibbons applied his pen and ink lines and washed shading. Like Hawksmoor, Gibbons would have added the wash before the ink lines.Further research is needed on the author of the painted landscape panels (and other panels). The most likely candidate is James Bogdani, who was paid (as 'James Bogdain') for 'work by him done in the Queen's Looking Glasse Closett in the Thames Gallery in 1694' (Wren Society, IV, p. 28).

Literature

Wren Society, IV, pl. 46, bottom

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.

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