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You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  [2/4] Small presentation design showing front elevation of revised version of first design , possibly for engraving,
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image SM volume 111/7

Reference number

SM volume 111/7

Purpose

[2/4] Small presentation design showing front elevation of revised version of first design , possibly for engraving,

Aspect

Elevation

Scale

Scale not indicated, but approximately 50 feet to 1 inch

Inscribed

In pen and brown ink by an undentified 18th century-hand beneath centre of ruled frame, Greenwich Hospital

Signed and dated

Undated, but datable 1694

Medium and dimensions

Pen and brown ink over graphite under-drawing, with grey wash; brown ink ruled border line, with some staining spreading outwards along the lines as a result of the acidic action of the iron gall ink Laid paper; central vertical fold line 160 x 318

Hand

Wren Society, VI, pl. 21, top; Summerson, Architecture in Britain, 1983, fig. 199

Watermark

No watermark

Notes

This is the latest known design in the sequence of drawings for the central domed scheme. In technique and detail it has much in common with the front elevation of the seven-block scheme [3/1]. Wren has now increased the number of arched windows in the hall and chapel ranges from five to nine, added attic windows in place of sunken panels, and dispensed with the applied orders on their transept elevations. The configuration of large and small arched windows on these transept ends is similar to the treatment of the end elevation of the hall range of the seven-block scheme [3/4]. Other notable changes are: (1) widening the end pavilions of the base blocks from about three-eighths the width of the end pavilion of the King Charles Building on [2/3] to over half that width; (2) changing the order of the quadrant colonnades from Corinthian (in All Souls, Geraghty 2007, no. 190) to Doric; (3) changing the end colums of the main portico from square to round; (4) modifying the profile of the dome lantern from convex to concave.The drawing was probably prepared for engraving as it adopts the engraver's convention of increasingly darker tones for recessed planes of the building (compare [3/4]). The brown-ink ruled frame probably postdates the drawing (see [3/1]), and may have been drawn by the writer of the inscription.

Literature

Wren Society, VI, pl. 21, top; Summerson, Architecture in Britain, 1983, fig. 199; Geraghty 2007, p. 128.

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.

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