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image SM (13) volume 60/168

Reference number

SM (13) volume 60/168

Purpose

Presentation drawing for the Lothbury Street screen wall with an eight-columned domed temple frontispiece, probably November 1802

Aspect

13 Elevation; (verso) plan of a column, detail of a column base

Scale

to a scale

Inscribed

Design for the North Front. 1803, The Bank of England

Signed and dated

datable to March 1800 (see Notes)

Hand

Soane office

Notes

After the acquistion of property to the north-west, Soane had planned a grandiose frontispiece in the centre of the Lothbury Street screen wall (see drawings 6 to 10 in 3:2). His preferred design was not the domed temple front of drawing 13 but a six or eight-columned pedimented temple front as shown in his Royal Academy Lectures (see SM drawing 12/2/5) and in his 1828 book of designs (Soane, pl. 46). The impressive portico was greatly diminished in compliance, Soane wrote in 1828, with the City of London's street improvements scheme (Abramson, p. 38). Apparently the temple front would have projected too far into the street.

Soane exhibited a drawing at the Royal Academy in 1811 entitled 'View of the front of the Bank of England as originally designed', probably showing drawing 13.

Literature

J. Soane, Designs for public and private buildings, 1828, pl. 46; D. Abramson, Money's architecture: the building of the Bank of England, 1731-1833, Doctoral thesis for the Department of Fine Arts, Harvard University, 1993, pp. 383-4.

Level

Drawing

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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).