Sir John Soane, R.A. 1753 - 1837
Design for a New House of Lords: plan (insert) and perspective
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Design for a New House of Lords: plan (insert) and perspective, 1794
Pen with black and brown ink and coloured washes, 702 X 1254 mm
Diploma Work given by Sir John Soane, R.A., accepted 20 March 1802
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Sir John Soane's choice of subject for his Diploma Work - a project for a magnificent new House of Lords in the neo-classical style dating from 1794 - was by no means mere paper architecture at the time he sent it in to the Academy on 20 March 1802. Only a week later the Peace of Amiens, under negotiation since 1 October 1801, was signed with France, opening up a real prospect that the medieval rabbit warren currently occupied by their lordships could at last be replaced by a new, purpose-built Upper House. Soane - like everyone else - could not have known that war was to break out again the following year, postponing any chance of realising his dreams for another twelve years.

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