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image SM (20) P106

Reference number

SM (20) P106

Purpose

Framed drawing of the Bank of England's corridors

Aspect

20 Two perspectives of corridors and an unrelated perspective of an entrance hall at McCarthy House, Blackheat

Inscribed

(on the frame) Corridors, &c _ (capitals) Bank of England _ (Sir J. Soane)

Hand

Henry Hake Seward (Soane pupil and assistant, 1794-1808)

Notes

Views of the Bank's corridors are on the right and left-hand sides of the drawing. Both are views of the Long Passage from the south. The perspective on the left shows the south end of the passage, with the entrance to the directors' offices on the left. The right-hand persective shows the north end of the passage, with a stair on the left followed by an entrance to the Discount Office Lobby.

The Bank had more than 300 feet of corridors (Abramson, 2005, p.168) connecting the private banking departments with the directors' rooms and the front lobby. Drawing 20 shows the richly decorated interiors and the captivating variation of ornament, vaulted ceilings, and lighting techniques that led visitors through the passages; what Daniel Abramson describes as a 'dramatic sequence of distinctly defined architectural units' (Abramson, 2005, p.171). The Long Passage, viewed in drawing 20, is a fine example of Soane's corridors, what John Summerson once called 'the essence of Soane' (Abramson, 2002, p.168).

Level

Drawing

Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

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).