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image SM 71/2/74

Reference number

SM 71/2/74


Preparatory sketch for a capriccio of the cupola in the Royal Gallery as executed, 1824


Perspective Sketch of Cupola in the Royal Gallery House of Lords 1823


as above

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, brown pen, sepia, blue, raw umber and olive green washes, shaded, with single ruled border on wove paper (565 x 450)


Joseph Michael Gandy (1771 - 1843)


Weatherley & Lane 1818


SM 71/2/74-76 are among the most unusual drawings in the Soane Museum's collection. All three are preparatory sketches for presentation drawings by Soane's gifted draughtsman, Joseph Michael Gandy (1771-1843). Each has elements of Gandy's distinctive sketch style - rough ornamentation and details, liberal use of wash and a highly imaginative composition. The final presentation drawings were not executed - at least, none survives in the Soane Museum.

In contrast to SM 71/2/75 and SM 71/2/76, which both show a series of connected rooms at the Royal Entrance to the House of Lords, this drawing instead shows one detail. This is the cupola over the centre of the Royal Gallery. Similarly to the previous two drawings, however, the cupola is shown surrounded by clouds in a fantastical composition that serves to raise the status of the Royal Entrance as part of Soane's ceremonial processional route and to allude to the overarching theme of the 'apotheosis' of the King (S. Sawyer, 'Sir John Soane's symbolic Westminster: the apotheosis of George IV', Architectural History, 39, 1996, pp. 54-76).



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

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

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).