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image SM volume 109/67

Reference number

SM volume 109/67

Purpose

[9/2] Preparatory design for the chapel, developed from [9/1], with concave-sided attic storey and alternatives for the drum of the dome

Aspect

Plan at three levels: raised ground floor, attic and peristyle

Scale

10 feet to 13/20 inch

Inscribed

By Hawksmoor in pen and brown ink with numbered dimensions

Signed and dated

1711

Medium and dimensions

Pen and brown ink with grey wash over graphite under-drawing, with additions in graphite; on laid paper, joined by C19 compiler of volume with 109/68, [8/5], at bottom of sheet and to a book guard at top; 465 x 377.

Hand

Hawksmoor

Watermark

CDG; small fleur-de-lis

Notes

The additions to the plan of the dome in graphite represent revisions to an original scheme drawn in pen and ink over graphite. The drawing is laid out with the entrance steps to the chapel on the south side at the bottom of the sheet. On this quarter of the plan Hawksmoor has written the intercolumniations and column diameters and has drawn in dotted outlines his quarter-plan of a 40-column peristyle. In this variant of the design of the dome, the outer walls of the drum are plain and the inner walls have single niches between the openings.

Hawksmoor's revision to the quarter-plan of the dome is in the top half of the drawing, but it begins with pencilled alterations to the plan of the dome in the bottom half. He first considered widening the drum and peristyle, and tries out a peristyle of 48 columns (12 to a quarter) at two closely set radii. His preferred scheme is for 32 columns (8 a quarter) but with additional pairs of columns set radially in the voids in the drum. In the revised quarter-plan the outer walls of the drum have pilasters and the inner walls are plain. This is the version of the peristyle sketched in bare outline on the right half of the elevation, [9/3]. Both drawings must have been worked up at the same time, but with the plan rather than the elevation being used to refine the detail of the revised peristyle.

The concave-sided attic appears in plan for the first time in this drawing; its earliest appearance in elevation is on the west elevation and long section in the Courtauld Institute Gallery (Downes 1979, cat. no. 356; Wren Society, VI, p. 92, bottom). In [9/1] the steps up to the main floor level of the chapel are about 100 feet to the south, two thirds across the court. In the present drawing 12 steps are marked in pencil in front of the peristyle. This suggests an intention to create a single level for the whole court. How the reduction in ground level between the south end of the King William and Queen Mary Courts and the front of the chapel steps would have been effected is not apparent from this or any other design from the third enlargement scheme. However, Colen Campbell's elevation of this scheme in Vitruvius Britannicus (see Wren Society, VI, p. 93, top) assumes that the columns of the chapel peristyle are level with those of the hospital colonnades. Although this elevation is misinformed, it may record an intention to bring the peristyle of the chapel as low as possible in relation to the main group of buildings.

Literature

Downes 1979, cat. no. 352 Wren Society, VI, pl. 40, bottom right

Level

Drawing

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