- The drawings of Sir John Soane
Drawings 4 and 5 both show the north screen wall with a four-columned triumphal arch framing an apsidal niche with a statue of Britannia. The attic above has a semicircular opening surmounted by a domed cap with a finial. Drawing 3 is dated February 1804 but it is clear that the design it shows was made one year earlier. Drawing 5 is dated 1803. As in drawing 3, the attic is crowned with an ornate scrolled acroterion and fronted by an urn. In the centre of the main arch, a statue of Britannia seated between two lions is raised on a podium; caducei decorate the spandrels of the arch. The drawing shows the north-west corner within a low railing.
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).