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image SM (36) 16/7/3 (37) 16/7/2 (38) 51/3/32

Reference number

SM (36) 16/7/3 (37) 16/7/2 (38) 51/3/32


[36-38] Perspectives of the House of Lords with House of Commons and Law Courts and with principal front facing the River Thames, 1807 (3)


36 Perspective of domed design with inset part-plan and with staffage (barge with sails, figures, dog) 37 Perspective of domed design labelled Design No II and with staffage (boats and figures) 38 Perspective of design without domes


(36) The plans in this design were made in the year MDCCXCV by which it was proposed to take away all the modern additions on the / outside of Westminster Hall likewise to remove the Courts of Judicature at the end thereof by a large flight of / steps into the Court of Requests from thence through the Painted Chamber into the Vestibule of the proposed House of Lords (right-hand side) By this plan it was further proposed to restore Saint Stephen's Chapel to its original state for the purpose of a / Chapel for the two Houses of Parliament thus Westminster Hall the Painted Chamber Saint Stephen's chapel and the Cloisters would / have resumed their ancient appearance and the outsides of the other buildings would have been of Grecian architecture making a contrast with Westminster Abbey, inset plan labelled: Abingdon Street, New / House / of Lords, Painted Chamber, Court of / Requests, Westminster Hall and St / Stephens / Chapel and (on building) LABITUR ET LABETUR OMNE VOLUBILIS AEVUM (still glides the river and ever shall - Horace Ep.1.2.40) (36 verso, pencil, past curatorial hand) 383 Framed Drawing / Model Room / Drawer XI / Group A no 5 / Drawn H.H.Seward / 1807 and A view next the River of Design for a New House of Lords (37) Design II for the new House of Lords / this view was made from the drawings designed in obedience to an order of a committee of the House of Lords and (37 verso, pencil, curatorial hand) Removed from 14/5 / for Exhibition 1956 and (? A.T.Bolton, curator 1917-1945) Design New House of Lords / J Soane Architect 1794-6 / Students Room / Drawer 43 /113 and 54 6th lecture

Signed and dated

  • (36-37) design datable to ? 1795, drawings made 1807

Medium and dimensions

(36) Pen, burnt umber, sepia, greenish blue and red washes, shaded on stout wove paper, previously framed (624 x 1241) (37) pen, burnt umber, sepia, blue and red washes, shaded, with ruled and black wash border on stout wove paper, one old paper patch (699 x 1218) (38) pencil, sepia and blue washes with ruled border on laid paper, one old paper patch (288 x 474)


(36-37) Henry Hake Seward (1778-1824, pupil and assistant May 1794-September 1808) (38) ? Seward


(38) fleur-de-lis above cartouche with bar and below, ornate W


Drawing 38 is close in design to drawings 36 and 37 but with the domes removed. Each of the drawings varies in the design of the middle section so that on drawing 36 the colonnade is two storeys high on a rusticated ground floor. Drawing 37 has a single storey colonnade the height of the rusticated bases on each side. Drawing 38 has a shallow colonnade above a rusticated ground floor. The long inscription on drawing 36 outlines Soane's proposals for the Palace of Westminster.

According to a note on the verso of drawng 37 it was used as lecture drawing 54 in the sixth of Soane's annual lectures at the Royal Academy where he contrasted a theoretical design for a 'Senate House', made when he was in Italy in 1778-9 with a practical design 'made in advanced life'.

For related plans see drawings 39 and 40.



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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