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image SM volume 109/52

Reference number

SM volume 109/52

Purpose

[7/6] Finished design for the east infirmary range in the proposed new south (or Chapel) Court

Aspect

Plan

Scale

10 feet to 1 inch

Inscribed

In pen and brown ink by Hawksmoor with dimensions across depth of plan, corresponding to those on 109/49; and with numbering on scale bar; and in graphite in C18 hand, at top centre, ye Infirmary, and in C19 hand top and bottom of right side of sheet, 52; and on verso in pen and black ink , probably by Tatham, Nicholas Hawkesmoor Arch.t

Signed and dated

Undated, but datable c.1711

Medium and dimensions

Pen and brown ink over graphite under drawing, with grey wash and some amendments in graphite; on laid paper, in three joined sheets, pasted to book guard at top, and folded into volume at left end, near join with narrow left-hand sheet; 382 x 840

Hand

Hawksmoor

Verso

Near the bottom of the sheet: sketch design in graphite for the north elevation of the oval-shaped chapel court, preparatory to 109/61. Incomplete elevation in of part of the right-hand side of the elevation, rendering the masses of the oval court in orthogonal view, at a scale of 20 feet to 1 inch

Watermark

Main right sheet: Strasbourg Lily / 4WR; countermark: IV; middle sheet: countermark: IV; left sheet, small fleur-de-lis

Notes

This plan is an adjusted, large-scale version of [7/4], with the addition (on an extra sheet, joined at the left side) of a three-arched link between the south court and the south side of the unbuilt Queen Mary's Court. In the three-window end block, Hawksmoor adjusts the window spacing in line with his sketched amendment to this part of [7/4]. He also adjusts the positioning of the niched infills between the end sets of paired columns.

The drawing is set out on a grid of parallel graphite lines that mark the 9-feet-wide spacings of the paired columns of the front loggia. The plan is for an infirmary building 22 bays long with a front colonnade 18 bays wide. It is a study of intersecting axes, which complement the long and cross axes of the hospital as a whole. In practical terms, this bi-axial configuration results in much unused space. The central east-west axis of the infirmary is marked by a corridor one bay wide which is flanked by cell-like bays on each side, forming a three-bay central axis running across the building and marked on the east side by an applied portico. These cells are doorless and windowless spaces of no obvious function.

The corner turrets on the east elevation mark a long north-south axis extending across the entire length of the hospital. The turrets would have aligned with those attached to the base wings of King Charles and Queen Anne Courts shown on the long west elevation of c.1700, [7/2]. The corridor behind the wards (marked for 'officers' on [7/4]) creates another parallel axis, while the front loggia creates a principal north-south axis parallel to the 'Chapel Court' itself. The pairing of columns back-to-back derives from Bernini's colonnades at St Peter's in Rome of c.1655 and reinforces the duality of the axes of the plan.

A date close to that of the second enlargement scheme of 1711 is suggested by the sketch in graphite drawn on the verso of the sheet. This is an initial study, scaled at 20 feet to 1 inch, for the elevation of the oval court on the right side of [8/3] (scaled at 10 feet to 1 inch). It was prepared from the pencilled construction lines at the bottom of the 20-feet scale half-plan of this scheme, [8/1], which are marked a, B, C, D, E, F, and correspond to the vertical construction lines on this elevation.

Literature

Wren Society, IV, pl. 34, left

Level

Drawing

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