Drawing Out Meaning

The Victorian era: Richard Norman Shaw

elevation and section design for the dining room fireplace

Elevation and section of a design for the dining room fireplace, Cragside, Northumberland, 1870
Artist and designer: Richard Norman Shaw
© RIBA Library Drawings and Archives Collections 

Richard Norman Shaw played a central role in establishing the vernacular revival. Looking beyond Gothic sources to create a flexible, picturesque architecture, Shaw combined technology and modern planning with details derived from 17th-century English architecture.

This composite drawing detailing a fireplace shows sections and elevations describing increased complexity in the structural innovations of the 19th century. Steel-framed structures required engineers to produce new types of detailed working drawings. Shaw chose to colour his drawing most likely to make the design more legible for the engineers and workmen.

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