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  • image SM 45/5/5

Reference number

SM 45/5/5


7 Copy of measured drawing of acanthus ornament from ? a published source


Half-elevation of an Ionic pilaster capital ornamented with acanthus leaves, detail of modillion with acanthus enrichment, and details of varied acanthus ornament composed as a frieze


to a scale

Medium and dimensions

Pen, warm sepia and raw umber washes, pencil, shaded on laid paper (366 x 526)


? Soane


J Whatman


This careful drawing seems to be a consciously artistic exercise in soft shadows and highlights as well as an exploration of different types of acanthus ornament. On Whatman paper and carefully composed, drawn and shaded, the drawing could have been copied after Soane returned from Italy - perhaps towards the end of 1780. Or it may have been purchased by him.



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).