- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
Having alighted from his carriage under the porte-cochère, the King proceeds into the curved, Gothic Royal Entrance, through a small 'transitional' vestibule, and into the vesitbule at the bottom of the grand flight of stairs known as the 'Scala Regia' which is shown in this view. The vestibule has a groined 'starfish' ceiling with rosette and banded rustication on the lower part of the walls, with recessed arches adorned with ball mouldings and floral bosses framing the royal coat of arms and a bust of George IV. The overdoor cornice incorporates feathers as a reference to the Prince of Wales. The roundels allegorising the rise and fall of Rome survived the fire of 1834 and remain at the Palace of Westminster (S. Sawyer, 'The processional route', in M. Richardson and M. Stevens (eds), Sir John Soane, Architect: Master of Space and Light, 1999, p. 263).
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).