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image SM (93) 49/3/34

Reference number

SM (93) 49/3/34

Purpose

Alternative designs for the front entrance using different orders, July 1824

Aspect

93 Two elevations of the entrance with plan of the entrance

Scale

bar scale of 1/3 inch to 1 foot

Inscribed

Height of the Building 55'3'' and some dimensions given

Signed and dated

  • Lincolns Inn Fields / 22nd July 1824

Medium and dimensions

Pen, sepia, black, grey, pink and blue washes with double ruled border on wove paper (596 x 480)

Hand

George Bailey (1792-1860, pupil then assistant 1806-37, curator 1837-60)

Watermark

Weatherley & Lane 1818

Notes

Soane's original designs for the new Board of Trade and Privy Council offices had used a Corinthian order copied from the Temple of Vesta at Tivoli. That order, however, was not to Robinson's liking - it was (he argued) 'universally deemed extremely defective from the dwarfish proportions of its capital'. He urged instead that the order should be taken from the Temple of Jupiter Stator (Castor and Pollux) at Rome, which was 'allowed to be amongst the finest specimens of the Corinthian order'. Soane made drawing 93 to compare the two orders in the context of the new building.
The order of the Temple of Jupiter Stator (Castor and Pollux) was much more elaborate than that of the Temple of Vesta - Soane described it as 'the richest order in all the remains of Antiquity' in contrast to the 'plain example of the Corinthian order' of Tivoli. The entablature on drawing 93 is therefore much taller and increases the height of the building by around 2½ feet. This would inevitably add to the cost of the building. Soane restated his argument - with new drawings - in front of the Special Committee in 1828 (q.v. drawings 274-275).

Level

Drawing

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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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