Sketch of a Half-Facade for a Royal Palace, Hyde Park, London
- Additional Title(s):
Facade of a Design for a Royal Palace, Hyde Park, London
- ca. 1779
- Brown wash, gray wash, pen and brown ink, and graphite on medium, moderately textured beige wove paper
- Sheet: 3 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches (8.9 x 21.6 cm)
Inscribed in graphite, lower center, "Palace @ Sketch of [...] J Soane"
Signed in graphite, lower center: "Sir J. Soane"
- Credit Line:
- Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
- Copyright Status:
- Public Domain
- Accession Number:
- Drawing & Watercolors-Architectural
- Prints and Drawings
- Subject Terms:
- architectural subject | chimneys (architectural elements) | columns | domes | doors | palace | pediments | stairs
- Associated Places:
- England | Hyde Park | London | United Kingdom
- Accessible by request in the Study Room [Request]
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Sir John Soane, 1753–1837, British, Sketch of a Half-Facade for a Royal Palace, Hyde Park, London, ca. 1779
Similarly to painters of the period who depicted imaginary landscapes, Sir John Soane and his colleagues invented ideal structures was combined with the influence of architectural fantasies by Piranesi to allow architect-draftsmen to give free expression to the visual vocabulary of ancient architecture. They imagined grand structures for London and the new Rome. Soane conceived of this design while working in Rome, and in his memoirs he describes is as a mix of ancient Roman and Italian Renaissance sources, part Pantheon, part Villa Farnese. Here he uses the popular neoclassical forms of the domed roods and the Corinthian pilasters in his fanciful sketch of a Royal Palace for Hyde Park. The pedimented temple façade and tall dome mark the center of the structure, and he includes the right wind in his depiction. Soane commissioned his chief architectural draftsman Joseph Michael Gandy to depict his structure in a perspective watercolor (Soane Museum, London). Gandy, an architectural draftsman like Thomas Malton (cat. 129), specialized in the perspectival depiction of imagined, ideal structures of his own or other's invention, as well as acting as chief draftsman for Soane's architectural practice. He was a frequent and popular exhibitor at the Royal Academy, an indication of the increasing acceptance of architectural drawings as works of art as well as utilitarian documents.
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