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Design for a gateway at Blenheim Palace (recto)
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Design for a gateway at Blenheim Palace (recto)


Nicholas Hawksmoor (1661 - 1736)

Formerly attributed to John Vanbrugh (1664 - 1726)

Width: 30 cm; Height: 21.5 cm;

Inscription, Design at Blenheim / drawing by Sir John Vainbuy //
Inscription, x x / 2. 2 //
Collector's mark, collector's mark of Sir Robert Witt (L.2228b)
Inscription, Gate Ways
Inscription, 11.0
Inscription, 12
Inscription, 11
Inscription, 22-0 7.0 / 3 - [?] / 2-7 //
Inscription, L. DVCI.DE / MARLB. MDCCXX //
Inscription, 29-10-0
Inscription, 7.6. 71.6 / 8.0 //
Inscription, 14-10 / 13-0 / 0 / 3-0 //

Acquisition (source, method, date)
Witt, Robert Clermont (Sir); bequest; 1952

About this work
Some architects have claimed that their first thoughts for a building are always put down in the form of ruled drawings made to scale. Hawksmoor's first thoughts, however, frequently took the form of drawings such as this, in a spontaneous, free-hand style. Here we can see the developments of his ideas as, for example, his original intention for two obelisks to surmount the piers was replaced by two small domes, drawn onto scraps of paper stuck over the earlier part of the sketch. (Permanent collection label)

Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

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