Elevations for an unknown public building, ca. 1720
Pencil and ink on paper
Artist: Nicholas Hawksmoor
© Victoria and Albert Museum. Museum number E.398-445-1951
Nicholas Hawksmoor, assistant and collaborator to Sir Christopher Wren and John Vanbrugh, designed many magnificent buildings in the early 18th century. Designing the rich detail and ornament of his buildings would have occupied a great deal of Hawksmoor's time.
This study for the façade of an unknown building was drawn in multiple steps. Hawksmoor first drew the forms in light pencil to set basic proportions, followed by an ink wash to add depth. As a study drawing, measurements and construction lines are still visible. Perhaps Hawksmoor used this as a reference drawing for future work, or this was simply practice for a formal presentation drawing already underway.