- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
Although an inscription claims that the drawing shows the buildings of the Palace of Westminster "as they existed in the Year 1800", (or more probably the year 1793 if it is a copy), it was probably not made until some time later - perhaps even as late as the 1820s, judging from its condition and quality in execution. The inscriptions, and therefore presumably the drawing itself, are in the hand of George Bailey (1792-1860). Bailey joined the Soane Office as a pupil in 1806* but this drawing shows evidence of a mature hand, implying that it was made later on in his career.
*After completing his articles he then became Soane's assistant and remained at Lincoln's Inn Fields after Soane's death, serving as the first Curator of his Museum from 1837 until 1860.
Tom Drysdale, October 2014
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).