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image SM volume 109/66

Reference number

SM volume 109/66


[9/3] Sketch design for the west elevation of the domed chapel, showing the arch of the road tunnel at basement level and alternative designs for the peristyle of the dome


Part-elevation, partly in perspective, and largely incomplete on the right-hand side except for the peristyle


10 feet to approx. 13/20 in (see also [9/2])


In graphite by Hawksmoor, with dimensions for width of basement arch (16 - 0), the central intercolumniation at raised ground level above the arch (9 . 9 - 0), and the width of the recess left of the basement arch (5); and in brown ink by C19 hand at top left and right, 66

Signed and dated

  • Undated, but datable 1711.

Medium and dimensions

Graphite, with a small area of grey wash; on laid paper, with central fold on central axis of design; attached in C19 to 109/65, [8/2], at top edge of sheet, and attached to book guard on left; 371 x 478.




CDG; small fleur-de-lis


This elevation post-dates the initial scheme at [9/1], where the drum of the dome has not yet been drawn in, and the columns of the square peristyle are all evenly spaced, 10 feet wide, without a larger intercolumniation of 18 feet on the cardinal axes. It corresponds to the half-plan at [9/2] and is preparatory for the finished grey-wash elevation at Worcester College, which Hawksmoor inscribed as being for the 'West Front' of the chapel (Colvin 1964, cat. no. 61; Wren Society, VI, pl. 41; duplicate at Courtauld Institute of Art, inv. D.1961.XX.2.6). It is also preparatory for Hawksmoor's final plan of the chapel at Worcester College, dated 9 August 1711 (Colvin 1964, cat. no. 60; Wren Society, VI, pl. 40, top left). The date is probably when the design was finalised and the plan shows the chapel at three levels.

The elevation presents alternatives for the disposition of columns around the peristyle, as on the plan, [9/2]. On the left side, drawn in ink, is an initial scheme for a peristyle of 40 columns (10 in each quarter). The drum of the peristyle is slightly wider in this scheme and the columns are backed by pilasters on the wall of the drum. The version of the peristyle in the right half of the design, in pencil outlines, was the one adopted for the final plan and elevation at Worcester College (Colvin 1964, cat. nos 60 & 61). In other respects, however, the left side of the elevation closely follows the Worcester College elevation, e.g. in the stepped base of the cupola, and in the projections and recessions of wall masses around the basement. The chief differences are in the ornamental detail added on this elevation to the curved bastions beneath the drum.


Downes 1979, cat. no. 355 (as 'study for E elevation') Wren Society, VI, pl. 41, bottom



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