- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
57 Front elevation 58 Perspective
- (55) Jany 26 1818 (56) Lincolns Inn Fields / January 27th 1818 (57) Lincolns Inn Fields / January 27 1818 (58) Lincolns Inn Fields / Jany 1818
The elevation (drawing 57, design I) is simpler than in previous designs. It reads as five bays wide and four storeys high over a semi-basement. The entrance is off-centre, the end bays marked by thin, plain pilasters. The perspective (58, design J) offers an alternative design in which there are three storeys rather than four and the ground floor has recessed openings in loggia-like manner. Compared with the elevation (57) the perspective design is more imposing with fewer but larger windows and an assertive ground floor though the entrances are rather weak. The contrast between the comparitivel starved design of drawing 57 and the more robust design of drawing 58 was presumably deliberate. The Committee for Building must have been persuaded by the second of the two designs since further drawings (62, 63, 71, 72, 89, 91) follow the three-storeyed, round arched windows and loggia approach.
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.
Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).