- English Baroque Drawings: architecture, sculpture and garden design
The drawing technique may be compared with that on Gibbons's design of May 1989 for the Jeffrey wall tablet at Clifton-on-Teme, now in vol. VI of the Patrington collection of MSS on Worcestershire in the Society of Antiquaries (see Thurley 2003, Fig. 159). This has no cast shadow around the edge of the monument, behind the head of the winged putti either side the pedestal above the cornice, and behind the drop of flowers at the base of the tablet, even though these features were intended to stand well forward of the wall. The only cast shadow around the periphery is behind the fronds that hang from the soffit of the tablet (compare the fronds in the side drops of this design and beneath the portrait frame in 3; 110/36). Moreover, the putti on the tablet design have long, feathered wings, like those on 5; 110/38. By contrast, on the strongly shaded coloured-washed drawing on 6/5, no. 4 (110/39), the wings are much shorter and the heads have curly rather than straight, flaxen hair.
All five drawings are on identical paper, with a watermark of an ornamental Fleur de Lys over a 4WR motif, and the countermark monogram of Piet van der Ley (combined PVL), denoting Van der Ley's paper mill at Koog aan de Zaan, Holland (from 1674 onwards). It is a stout, cream-coloured laid paper, suitable for presentation rather than sketch drawings(see English Baroque architectural drawings / Introduction). In the sketch designs closely related to these presentation designs, a thinner paper is used (see section 6/3).
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).
Contents of Five 'early' presentation designs for chimney-pieces, mainly in grey wash
-  Design for a chimney-piece with a plain fire surround and an overmantel with a blank rectangular portrait frame surrounded by swags, drops of fruit and flowers, fronds and wreaths
-  Design for chimney-piece with a relief of a Roman battle scene over the fire surround and a portrait frame in the overmantel, surrounded by swags of drapery, fruit, flowers and other motifs
-  Design for a plain fire surround and an overmantel with a portrait frame, surrounded by swags of flowers, birds and foliage, hung from ribbons, and including a male portrait medallion
-  Design for a chimney-piece with a gilt sub-overmantel panel containing a WM monogram on a pair of wings, with a ribbon, trumpets and fronds
-  Design for a chimney-piece with a deep mantel frieze depicting captives presented to a king on a canopied dais, and a overmantel with a martial composition surmounted by a winged putto, and resting on a concave-sided pedestal stacked with spolia, all within a gilt canopy of gathered drapery