- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
SM 71/2/76 shows part of the Royal Entrance, the three-bay Scala Regia and Ante-Room to the Royal Gallery as executed. These do not appear to be connected to the rest of the Palace of Westminster, however. Instead the three conjoined interiors are shown as floating on clouds. In the centre of the Scala Regia, a shaft of light beams down from the central lantern. In Sawyer's estimation the effect of the composition is to highlight the theme of the 'apotheosis' of George IV. The clouds, sky and holy light, together with Soane's highly-decorated classical interiors, allude to the near deification of the King, told through the medium of the final stages of the grand processional route from Windsor to Westminster as envisaged by Soane (S. Sawyer, 'Sir John Soane's symbolic Westminster: the apotheosis of George IV', Architectural History, 39, 1996, pp. 70-72).
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).