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John Yenn RA, Design for a Palladian bridge: elevation

Design for a Palladian bridge: elevation, 1775

John Yenn RA (1750 - 1821)

RA Collection: Art

This visually vibrant drawing is executed mainly in gouache, a rarity in the Yenn collection of architectural drawings. The monochromatic flat elevation of the bridge design, which is drawn strictly in pen and wash (with the exception of the urns and flames), contrasts with intense colour of the lake water and landscape foliage.

The design is a classical ornamental bridge. Yenn's title of the drawing, used when it was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1775, is 'A design for a bridge, in the manner of the Palladian Bridge, in the E.[earl] of Pembroke's gardens at Wilton'. The little bridge in the grounds of Wilton House, Wiltshire, had been designed by the ninth Earl of Pembroke in 1737. In admiration, in 1774, Yenn had drawn the bridge (two drawings in the V&A, one drawing in the RIBA) and followed it with this his own design in homage. The original bridge is a simple affair with a rusticated base, a central loggia and a pair of outer pedimented pavilions. Yenn's bridge is much grander, standing upon three wide arches with sculpture of dolphins at the middle bases. There is one large pedimented loggia, centrally placed, consisting of six Ionic columns supporting a sculpted pediment on each side, with further Ionic columns to extend the loggia at either end. The entrance piers at the approaches are single standing Ionic columns surmounted by flaming urns.

Object details

Design for a Palladian bridge: elevation
John Yenn RA (1750 - 1821)
Object type
Architectural design
Pencil, pen with brown ink, coloured washes in a ruled and gouache border

482 mm x 642 mm

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