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  • image SM 45/1/24

Reference number

SM 45/1/24


Design in an Ionic style and 82 feet wide


4 Back elevation of five-bay casino with a tall window (within a semicircular headed blank arch) at each end and, in the centre, a bowed portico or loggia with a door with flanking windows set on a convex plan and framed by four detached Ionic columns; part-wall plan of the bow fronted by columns


bar scale of 1/5in to 1ft

Medium and dimensions

Pen, sepia, green, light red washes, shaded, pencil within single ruled and burn umber wash border on laid paper (481 x 709)


Soane, trees by another hand?


J Whatman, fleur-de-lis within crowned cartouche with GR below


Previously catalogued (Concise Catalogue) as a 'casino' this has been prefered to 'villa' though 82 feet seems over large for what is meant to be a compact building. However, the design does relate to Soane's other designs for casinos and, judging by the lack of windows, the rooms may have been large but few in number. Soane set his unfinished elevation in a hilly Italian landscape with a variety of trees including Lombardy poplars, cypress, stone pine and a palm tree (probably brushed-in by another hand) and there is a glimpse of an Italianate farm building; the sky is not washed in. As has been said, the building is 82 feet wide and there is no indication of a basement nor are there any mezzanine windows to interrupt the calm and monumental front with the door and main windows of equal width (five feet) and height (10 feet). The order is Ionic and between the columns and above the three centre openings are large roundels, two decorated with festoons.Soane may have intended this unfinished drawing to be among the five that he exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1781. A little later, it may have been a source for one of his designs for Tendring Hall, 1784.



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

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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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