A strong case can be made for Hooke's authorship of the present drawing. Firstly it would appear to be executed by someone who had a knowledge of contemporary Dutch architecture, one almost certainly acquired from Philip Vingboon's Gronden en Afbeeldsels, vol. I & II, 1648-74. Many of the same, formal architectural ingredients as those used in the work of Vingboon are apparent in the present drawing; the shallow ogee dome, the concave dormers, the segmental and triangular pediments. Hooke was influenced by the work of Vingboon, acquiring his copy of Gronden en Afbeeldsels in 1674. Hooke included a similar dome in the street screen of Montague House and also in another design, now in the collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
Hooke's career as an architect began with his appointment as one of the three surveyors appointed for the rebuilding of the City of London after the fire in 1666. He worked with Sir Christopher Wren on the design and erection of the Monument and a number of City churches. In January 1690 he was appointed Surveyor to the Dean and Chapter of Westminster. His most important works, many of which are now destroyed, included the domed octagonal theatre of the Royal College of Physicians, London, the carefully articulated blocks of Bethlehem Hospital, London, Magdelene College, Cambridge, Escot house, Devonshire and the Merchant Taylor's Hall, Threadneedle Street, London, the stables Somerset House, London, Ragley Hall, Warwickshire and Montagu House, London. He died on 3 March 1702/3 and is buried in the Church of St Helen, Bishopsgate.
We are grateful to Dr Anthony Geraghty of Glasgow School of Art for his help in preparing this catalogue entry.