The gallery is located on the ground storey of the southeast projecting range of the house, adjacent to Adam’s dining room (later the library). Both projecting wings had been built to designs by John Carr, and Carr had given the gallery three rectangular rooms divided by screens of columns. Within these spaces Adam created a gallery composed of three linked rooms, being a rotunda flanked by rectangular rooms, one of which has an apsidal end. Each room contains alcoves and niches to house sculptures, including the Barberini or Jenkins Venus.
The Barberini Venus was purchased by Gavin Hamilton, and then Thomas Jenkins, the English antiquities dealer, who undertook extensive restoration works, including the addition of a new head. In 1765 it was sold to William Weddell for an unknown sum of money, but it thought to have been the most expensive antiquity of the eighteenth century. In order to raise funds to restore the house, the Venus was sold at Christie’s on Thursday 13 June 2002 for £8 million and exported to Doha. In its place stands a plaster reproduction.
The ceiling was executed in accordance with Adam’s design. It survives in situ, and has been repainted in the original colour scheme of pink, buff and green. There is a grey-washed Adam office finished drawing duplicate of this design of Adam volume 11/237 at the West Yorkshire Archive Service, Morley (WYL5013/D/1/17/4).
Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation
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