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image SM volume 111/15

Reference number

SM volume 111/15


[8] Presentation drawing for engraving of south (Privy Garden) elevation, nearly as executed, c.1691




About 12 feet to 1 inch


In pen and brown ink by C19 hand at top left, 3

Signed and dated

  • Undated, but datable c.1691

Medium and dimensions

Pen and brown ink with grey washes over graphite under drawing; on thick laid paper, laid down; fold near right-hand side; mounted with 111/13 and 14; 153 x 685




None visible


Unlike 9, below (111/11), this elevation records the built work of the Privy Garden front exactly, save for the four statues above the central pavilion. Construction of the Privy Garden range was consistently ahead of the Park front. In the summer of 1691, Grinling Gibbons was carving trophies and festoons on the Privy Garden front. The trophies are shown exactly as executed on this drawing (see photograph in Downes 1982, pl. 158). The drawing also shows the carving on the pilasters of the attic, carving that is replicated on the Park front but not shown on drawing 111/11. Like 111/11, the drawing is preparatory for engraving. The shading follows the engraver's convention of darker shades for the more recessed planes of the building, and the cast shadows are in reverse, on the left side. However, no engravings appear to have been produced. The sheet has been heavily trimmed to fit into volume 111.


Wren Society, IV, pl. 18, bottom



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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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