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Reference number

SM 36/2/25


[24] Copy of a design for the elevation to the River Thames


Design for New House of Commons &c / Front next the River Thames; (verso) Part elevation of an unidentified public building


as above; (verso) frieze inscribed: REGE INCOLUMI MENS OMNIBUS UNA ES[T]

Medium and dimensions

Pen and sepia wash, partly pricked for transfer on laid paper with one fold mark (308 x 522)


Soane Office


This drawing is a copy of TNA, WORK 29/3358 (4) (Salmon, fig. 13.33). The main feature is the 145-foot high tower, which might be based on the Temple of Fortune at Praeneste. In other designs the tower sits on an octagonal drum. Other features of note are the hexastyle Composite portico and the Pantheon domes with lanterns on the end pavilions. This drawing is not an exact copy of the original, which has alternative designs for the first floor windows on either side of the portico and statuary in only half of the design.

The verso of the drawing shows a part-elevation design for an unidentified public building. The source of the frieze inscription is Book IV of Virgil's Georgics ('Whilst the king is safe, they all live in perfect harmony'). Above the door is a heraldic relief with a crown, a lion and a unicorn. Other features that point to this as a Soane design are the use of the 'Tivoli' Corinthian order and the Greek fret frieze just visible behind the columns.

(Salmon, pp. 344-47)



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

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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).