Architectural Drawings: Hidden Masterpieces from Sir John Soane’s Museum

Architectural Drawings: Hidden Masterpieces from Sir John Soane’s Museum

A visual, large-format compilation of some the finest architectural drawings from Sir John Soane’s extensive collection.

The architect, teacher and collector Sir John Soane compiled what was probably the first comprehensive collection of architectural drawings in the world. Comprising 30,000 drawings at the time of his death in 1837, it remains one of the jewels in the crown of architectural art.

The quality of Soane’s collection is scarcely paralleled elsewhere, but because of their fragility these items are rarely seen by the public. This magnificent book draws together the most exquisite and important works from Soane’s drawings collection for the first time, presented in large format to allow details to come through on the page.

Soane Museum curator Frances Sands takes the reader on a curated tour of the collection, giving an insightful description of each piece. She also explores what drove Soane to amass such a collection and the provenance of his various significant acquisitions.

The book provides a sumptuous opportunity to peruse some of the finest architectural drawings in existence, including Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s view of the Temple of Neptune, John Thorpe’s elevation of Old Somerset House and Joseph Michael Gandy’s cutaway view of the Bank of England. Work by Montano, Wren, Hawksmoor, Vanbrugh, Gibbs, Kent, Chambers, Adam, Clérisseau, Pêcheux, Wyatt, Playfair, Nash, Reynolds and of course Soane himself, are also featured.

It’s a beautifully presented, unique glimpse into the architectural drawings collection of Sir John Soane and is a must-have for anyone interested in architectural history.

About the author:

Dr Frances Sands is Curator of Drawings and Books at Sir John Soane’s Museum in London. Her research interests focus on architectural drawings from Georgian Britain. In 2010 she was appointed as Catalogue Editor at the Soane Museum, with responsibility for cataloguing the office drawings collection of Robert and James Adam. In 2016 she was promoted to Curator of Drawings and Books, taking responsibility for the Soane Museum’s collection of 30,000 drawings and 7,000 books, as well as supervising the Soane Museum research library and drawings cataloguing projects. She lectures and is published widely. Fran has also served as a Trustee of the York Georgian Society, the Mausolea and Monuments Trust and the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain. She lives in Hertfordshire and is available for interview.

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    Architectural Drawings: Hidden Masterpieces from Sir John Soane’s Museum
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    Frances Sands
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Cite: "Architectural Drawings: Hidden Masterpieces from Sir John Soane’s Museum" 12 Aug 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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