Signed and dated
The gallery is 60 feet long, and comprises the entire top (second) storey of the higher central portion of Adam’s central block, above the entrance hall and the dining room (later the music room) on the principal storey. Adam divided the room into three by the installation of Ionic screens at the north and south ends, and ornamented the walls with a frieze of urns, tripods, festoons and rosettes (see Adam volume 53/50). There is a barrel-vaulted ceiling for which Adam designed a compartmental ceiling (Adam volume 12/61), but this was not executed owing to a disagreement between the architect and his patron.
The original use of the gallery is not clear, although it has been suggested that it was intended as a viewing platform. The gallery is now used as a museum where some of Adam’s drawings are displayed.
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