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  • image SM 14/3/2

Reference number

SM 14/3/2


[3] Presentation drawing showing an alternative design, 1791


Perspective of design No 2, showing a Corinthian colonnade on all sides between three-bay projecting corner pavilions crowned by raised domes


as above, (upper case) Design for the Opera House proposed to be built on the site of Leicester House and Garden

Signed and dated

  • John Soane Archt 1791

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, pen and coloured washes within doubled-ruled black and grey wash border on wove paper (1071 x 681)


Soane office


The building is on a regular rectangular plan with shouldered corners. This drawing, SM 14/3/1 and SM 14/3/3 show rusticated ground and first floors surmounted by a plain attic and a bracketed cornice. The corners of the building project and carry domes raised on drums, each drum ornamented with a royal coat of arms. The roof line is ornamented at bay intervals by pedestals supporting statues and trophies of theatre motifs. Two drawings show an arcade at the ground floor; this drawing has colonnades.

This drawing, SM 14/3/3/ and SM 14/3/4 were later used for Soane's Royal Academy Lecture series, in lectures 2 and 3. This drawing is on a thicker piece of wove paper, usually the type of sheet used for Soane's lecture drawings. This drawing may have been produced especially for Soane's lectures in the 19th century, but the others appear to be originally produced in 1791 and altered (borders and titles made) for presentation at the lecture.



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

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

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).