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  • image SM volume 109/34

Reference number

SM volume 109/34


[12/27] Record of completed design for the west side of the eastern (colonnade) range of King William's Court




10 feet to just under 17/20 inches


In brown ink in unidentified hand, beneath scale bar, East side of King Williams Court, and at top right in C19 hand, 34.

Signed and dated

  • Undated, but datable 1735

Medium and dimensions

Pen and grey ink, with some brown ink, over graphite under-drawing, with grey wash and some additions in graphite; on laid paper, laid down, with narrow backing strip along bottom edge; 364 x 475


Unidentified draughtsman in office of Thomas Ripley


Small fleur-de-lis; IV


This elevation records the completed design of the colonnade looking west. In 1780, the then Surveyor Robert Mylne added the present narrow flight of steps up to the central intercolumniation (see Bold 2000, figs. 147 and 239). The draughtsman shows the original design, before this central flight was added, when short flights of steps provided access on each side of the projecting portico. However, he does not make clear through his shading of the portico that the columns are behind the line of the steps, and that the podium above the rusticated base is in front of the columns. No breaks are shown, left and right, in the entablatures above the set-backs in the basement storey, above the outer edges of the first rusticated pilasters. The same error occurs on the elevation of the east side of the colonnade of Queen Mary's Court ([12/28]), which is in the same hand. This draughtsman draws his scale bars with long vertical cross-stroke for the feet divisions, uses more graphite under-drawing, and has a slightly coarse wash technique. He was also responsible for [12/24]. On the left side of the elevation is a trial sketch in graphite for a deeper basement storey with a full pedestal beneath the paired pilaster. This is a sketch for the basement of the inner elevation of the colonnade in Queen Mary's Court, a design drawn up in [12/28] but amended by means of an annotation stating that Plinth should be plain. A lower ground level within Queen Mary's Court appears to have permitted a higher basement storey beneath the colonnade on this side.


Axel Klausmeier, Thomas Ripley, Architekt: Fallstudie einer Karriere im Royal Office of the King's Works im Zeitalter des Neopalladianismus, Frankfurt am Main, 2000, pp. 113-24



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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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