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  • image SM 45/2/23

Reference number

SM 45/2/23


Measured drawing of the Corsini Chapel


Plan and section


bar scale of 1/6in to 1 ft (approximately)


Sketch of the Corsini Chapel in the church of St John Lateran, / at Rome, the domed area on the plan marked 29' 01/2"

Signed and dated

  • John Soane (the 'e' added later) July 1779

Medium and dimensions

(plan) Pen, light sepia wash, pencil (section) pen, light blue, sepia, light red, Indian red, violet, olive green washes, shaded, pencil, within double ruled and wash border on laid paper (711 x 496)




J Whatman, fleur-de-lis within crowned cartouche with GR below


This is a copy of an elaborate drawing made for Philip Yorke, a patron of Soane's. The bill for A drawing of the Corsini Chapel sent / from Rome / ditto done in London --- 10 days.- / Measd & makg fair drawg of the Cors: / do of An Ancient Monument near / Capua - - - - - - 4 Days / 7 7 0 was recorded in Soane's Account Book of 1778-1797. Soane charged half a guinea for each of 14 days work. Professor du Prey (in conversation, February 2009) suggested that it was unlikely that Soane measured up the Chapel himself but probably copied an existing drawing measured and made by someone else.
San Giovanni in Laterano was the first Christian basilica built in Rome, c.314-18; rebuilt and added to from c.1308 it was rebult again by Borromini in 1646-9. The Corsini Chapel was designed by Alessandro Galilei (1691-1737) shortly before his death.


P.du Prey, John Soane's architectural education 1753-80, 1977, pp.238-9, 505 fn.7; P.du Prey, John Soane: the making of an architect, 1982, pp.122-3, 354 fn.45



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).