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image SM 51/3/40

Reference number

SM 51/3/40

Purpose

Design to render the new buildings in a uniform style, 1825

Aspect

Bird's-eye Perspective Sketch of a Design made in the Year 1825 to render the buildings connected with the Houses of Lords & Commons of one uniform style of Architecture

Inscribed

as above

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, sepia and blue-grey washes, shaded, on stout wove paper (472 x 690)

Hand

Soane Office

Watermark

Smith & Allnutt 1823

Notes

This bird's-eye perspective of a design for rendering the entire side of the Palace of Westminster facing the river in a Gothic style shows, from left to right, Black Rod's house, the House of Lords committee rooms (with the Royal Gallery behind), the Painted Chamber, the library and committee rooms of the House of Commons, the House of Commons, the residence of the Speaker of the House of Commons and, behind, Westminster Hall. Gothic design was not Soane's greatest strength but here he decided that it was the most appropriate style. Significantly there were no Classical frontages on this side of the Palace, unlike on the west side where the Palladian Stone Building dictated the initial design of the new Law Courts. The offices of the river front had been repaired and rebuilt in an 'irregular Gothic manner' by James Wyatt (1746-1813) in 1805-6 (King's Works, VI, p. 532).

This drawing bears a close relation to Plate 29 in Soane's Designs for Public Improvements, 1827, which is a bird's-eye view of 'A design to render the exterior of all the buildings connected with the official residence of the Speaker of the House of Commons & the front of the House of Lords to the northern entrance of Westminster Hall in the same style of architecture'.

Level

Drawing

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).