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John Yenn RA, Design for a nobleman's villa: elevation

Design for a nobleman's villa: elevation, 1769

John Yenn RA (1750 - 1821)

RA Collection: Art

This drawing is a tour de force in terms of design and draughtsmanship, especially astonishing considering that it was created by John Yenn in 1769 when he was only nineteen years old. This was the year too that he entered the Royal Academy Schools amongst the first batch of intakes for the newly formed institution. He exhibited the drawing in 1772.

The design shows a villa, presumably symmetrical in plan, raised high on a rusticated ground storey podium. Each side is approached by a double-entry staircase to the principal storey which rises almost to double height and, on this elevation, has only two windows. The rest of the wall elevation is taken with decoration: niches with statues either side of the central door, and a line of sculptural panels over festoons. In front projects a great Corinthian portico with a pediment tympanum decorated with a sculptural scene portraying a Greek sacrifice. However, the most noticeable element of the design is the high central dome with its unusual fenestration made up of a great ring of large oval windows.

Object details

Design for a nobleman's villa: elevation
John Yenn RA (1750 - 1821)
Object type
Architectural design
Pen with black ink and black, brown, blue and pink washes with a black and grey wash border

482 mm x 640 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Given by Augusta Thackeray 21 June 1865
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