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London in the Soane

A TRAIL THROUGH SIR JOHN SOANE’S MUSEUM

This trail through Sir John Soane’s Museum takes you around the Museum on a London theme. You will see buildings, standing
and vanished, imagined and fragmentary. You will come face to face with London people; artists and architects, kings, and heroes,
rogues and adventurers. Here are evocations of great events in the capital and aspects of London life, noble and sensational.

Follow the trail from object to object with the aid of the plans on pages two and three; some objects are large and impressive,
others small and intimate - they are all part of Soane’s personal and amazing collection. 

The trail begins in the Library-
Library-Dining Look above the government buildings model and Turn around and look at the painting opposite
Room you will see you
As you enter the Dining Room you will find 2. A London artist: portrait of Sir 3. The Royal Academy:
Academy: ‘Love
‘Love and
the first two items featured in this trail opposite John Soane by Sir Thomas Beauty’
Bea uty’ by Sir Joshua Reynolds,
you, above the fireplace Lawrence, 1828-
1828 - 29 c. 1785
1. Government buildings: a model of
the Board of Trade and Privy Sir Thomas Lawrence was the leading British
portrait painter of the early 19th century,
Council Offices, Whitehall
producing accomplished and flattering
portraits of royalty and all the leading
personalities of Soane’s day from his studio in
Russell Square (where he lived from 1813 until
his death). He was known for his charming
personality and ease with sitters. This painting
was commissioned by Soane in 1828. It cost
him £420 – much less than the 700 guineas
recorded as Lawrence’s standard charge for a
portrait in the late 1820s. Perhaps Lawrence
reduced his fee because Soane was a good
friend. As Soane recorded later this work was
‘almost the last picture painted by that This painting, alternatively known as The Snake
distinguished polished gentleman’. Lawrence in the Grass, was purchased by Soane from the
This elaborate plaster model shows the died suddenly in 1830.
scheme proposed by Soane in 1822 for the collection of Reynolds’ niece when it was sold
construction of two buildings for the civil in 1821. Reynolds exhibited another version at
service on Whitehall, either side of Downing the Royal Academy in 1784, which now hangs
Street. The block to the right was to contain in the Tate Gallery, and also painted a third
the Board of Trade and Privy Council Offices variant, now in the Hermitage in St
and Soane intended its façade to be repeated Petersburg, Russia. Sir Joshua Reynolds was
to the south, on the other side of Downing one of the most admired artists of 18th-
Street, to create a symmetrical arrangement. century Europe. First President and one of the
Only part of the northern (right-hand) founding members of the Royal Academy, he
section was actually built so Soane’s symmetry had a great influence on public taste as well as
was never achieved. After Soane’s death his on the next generation of artists. The
building was remodelled by Sir Charles Barry Academy was founded in 1768 by King George
to form the Treasury in 1846-47. Today it is III. This independent, privately-funded
the Cabinet Office. Soane’s scheme also institution was led by eminent artists and
envisaged the construction of great triumphal architects. Its purpose was to promote the
arches at either end of Downing Street – creation, enjoyment and appreciation of the
commemorative of the glorious victories, by Lawrence was President of the Royal Academy visual arts through exhibitions, education and
sea and land, achieved by British valour. Once of Arts, from 1820 until his death. (See 3. The debate. The Academy’s first show was held in
complete, this grandiose scheme would Royal Academy: ‘Love and Beauty’ by Sir Joshua 1769 in a building in Pall Mall and drew
provide an appropriate processional route for Reynolds, c. 1785) Soane was its Professor of 18,000 persons at the price of one shilling
the King to use on his way from Windsor to Architecture from 1806 to 1837, his friend each. An admission fee was charged to avoid
Westminster for the State Opening of John Flaxman was Professor of Sculpture and ‘improper persons…’ attending the exhibitions.
Parliament. Soane noted that ‘The Buildings another close friend, J M W Turner, was The Academy’s annual exhibition of works for
in this design are so arranged that when Professor of Perspective. The Academy was sale, held at Somerset House from 1781,
completed, a view of the north entrance into central to Soane’s personal and professional became one of the obligatory social events of
Westminster Abbey Church would be life. Opposite this portrait it is no coincidence the London season. As the Academy
obtained from Whitehall.’ This model, that Soane hung a painting by Sir Joshua flourished and the number of collectors grew,
displayed in a place of honour on the dining Reynolds, also a celebrated portrait painter, the art market expanded and the number of
room mantelpiece, immediately advertised the Royal Academy’s first and most famous London shows increased. Temporary
Soane’s status as a Government Architect to President. See also 28. Bust of Sir Thomas exhibitions started to be held at the Academy
visitors entering his main reception room. Lawrence. in 1870 and are still popular today.

1

Soane obviously friend of the Duke of Sussex. facing the To the right of the Chinese chairs. Unfortunately. These splendid chairs are first 6 . the Dressing Room. there on 29 May 1787 and bought salvageable Above you building materials on behalf of one of his clients. in 1783. through the Study and on into the and left in ruins in the 1790s. they were presumably This was demolished in 1863. Freemasons Freemasons’ Hall lantern model recorded in Soane’s collection in 1822. It is a intended only for display. the contents of the house were auctioned off.1720. also in Kent. He and his eldest son Library were made in China c. Model of the the Soane family tomb Superintendent of Works in the same year. of Anglo- valued them highly. née Kenward. placing them in his the United Grand Lodge and became a Mason Flemish style from Furnival’s Inn. He had read works by many advanced French Enlightenment thinkers. Eight Chinese chairs chairs 5. Watercolour of the Soane century. John are also buried there. Eliza. Look through the window window on your left into the height of his career. The chairs come from their Incidentally. at least in in the trail (14. They have stood in their current of which is a model for the domical light in position since around 1825: lined up in a row Freemasons’ Hall built by Soane in 1828-31. Monument Court square base was a favourite form which is also of Wricklemarsh. this design also served as 7. in 1813. They bear the arms of Sir Gregory Page. some of whom were Masons. when they are shown in views of his first picture In the ceiling is a lantern light. Martha. on the outskirts of London at Family Tomb Blackheath. in a glass case square and against the bookcases on your right on the pedestal under the projecting ‘canopy’ you will see a row of which divides the two halves of the room 4. impaled with those of beautifully incorporated into the Breakfast On the wall opposite you. Grand Master of pilaster in the form of ‘term’ figure. Room ceiling which you will see later. A vanished London building building vanished Palladian mansion at Wricklemarsh. inspiration for the iconic red telephone box in one of the great private palaces of the 18th the 1920s See also 30. Kent. They characteristic of Soane’s architecture at the are of rosewood and inlaid with mother-of. a mid-17th- principal reception room. This is a fragment saved from a local building against the wall. of Yalding. the central part gallery. by Sir Gregory’s  Pass through the door to the right of the window nephew and heir Sir Gregory Page Turner. GROUND FLOOR BASEMENT 2 . being appointed Grand century building in Holborn. on the left: his wife. the design for the interior of this building later The eight chairs against the west wall of the the previous November. and came to appreciate the Masonic love of ceremony and fraternal affection. Room. The house was eventually dismantled on the south.In the Library part of the room. Design for the Freemasons’ Hall). following the death of his wife. Soane went second small space. Note the tiny rosettes and the signs of the zodiac on Soane erected this family tomb in 1816 in the the glass panes – exact replicas in miniature of Burial Ground of St-Giles-in-the-Fields (now the stained glass manufactured by William St Pancras Gardens behind King’s Cross Collins for the Hall. Soane was a demolished in Soane’s time (in 1817). The design is part to designs sent out from England. The shallow dome on a pearl. You will see a drawing of Station).

and every contemporary urban life. and a Londoner himself. coffee houses. Soane hoped to design a Royal Palace imprisoned for debt. It went instead to John Nash often considered a mere caricaturist. the Strand and St Martin’s Lane. this. Each series presented a kind of tour of London life featuring locations as In addition to the Royal Residence (9 above) Soane planned a grand processional route which the King would take from Windsor to Westminster for the State Opening of Parliament (see 1. until he is left bankrupt. A Rake’s Progress and Marriage A- la-Mode. In the upper row second from the left is 9 . 10. Bethlem Royal Hospital for the insane (‘Bedlam’) and the Thames embankment at old London Bridge. contrasted with the fashionable Below the Palace design is ‘West End’ with its aristocratic residences as well as the shops. As an English artist Green Park’ of 1821. The City of London in Buckingham Palace. London comes to life in his celebrated ‘modern moral subjects’. whose work Soane did not admire. on display in the Picture Room. 18th. like the Royal Residence. and finally thrown into mingling among the city’s populace. strongly mercantile and financial in character. Though the folly and the vice of human existence the commission. St James’. Design for a Royal Residence diverse as The Rose Tavern in Covent Garden. Design for a Grand National artists’ studios. When George IV became kind of indulgence. the Fleet Prison. FIRST FLOOR 3 .  Soane ingeniously designed the Picture Room turn right. was not built. the east. revealing and questioning possibilities to draw inspiration from and this new royal residence. and Hanging in two rows on the wall ahead of you is behind which. a scenes from which he extracted the absurdity. Nash re- was in reality a powerful preacher of century London was oozing with satirical modelled Buckingham House to create the fundamental truths. the walls on the north. and to house far more pictures than would at first enter the Picture Room appear possible. In proposing such schemes Soane was trying to persuade the British Government to begin the construction of grand neo-classical buildings in London to rival those of Paris. Corridor. A Harlot’s Progress. observing the responsible for Crown properties in the lunatics who believe they are a pope. Hogarth which he took such pleasure in painting. west and south are fitted with large ‘movable planes’ on. Hogarth’ Hogarth’s London are opened you will see watercolours of Soane’s designs. theatres. This design of 1828 is for a new gateway marking the entrance to London at Kensington Gore which Soane described as combining ‘the classical simplicity of Grecian Architecture. in the company of deranged daily life go by on the streets. brothels and ‘molly houses’ Entrance to London (taverns frequented by homosexuals and transvestites) of Covent Garden. A Rakes Progress. around him. an astronomer and a king.the visual interpreter of ‘Royal Residence on Constitution Hill in in London in brothels. the Magnificence of the Roman Architecture and fanciful intricacy and playful effects of the Gothic Architecture’. he never tired of King. gambling. walk through the Corridor. Needless to say. Its eight scenes depict the folly of a young man from William Hogarth was one of the great satirists This is a bird’s-eye view of Soane’s design for a the country squandering his recent inheritance of the 18th century . are more more pictures a set of eight paintings When the planes on the south side of the room 8 . later renamed the foolishness and immorality of society was the core of his art. was purchased at auction by Mrs Soane for £570 in 1802. watching for him and as the official architect the mad house. both Hogarth’s own and pirated sets. Whitehall). Westminster area would have expected to gain musician. Walk through the narrow passageway ahead. Marylebone. a poet. Government buildings: a model of the Board of Trade and Privy Council Offices. famous in his own lifetime through the dissemination of vast numbers of engraved versions.

there are of England as the modern counterpart to the sheet – an innovative way of enabling viewers paintings and prints of the Emperor in the great Roman baths or palace complexes of the at the Royal Academy exhibition to appreciate Breakfast Room and he also collected ancient world and even commissioned the building in its entirety. Germany and the 4 . one of the great heroes of Waterloo. made from left into the Monk’ Monk’s Parlour some form of papier-mâché.. (1742 – Museum. into their houses. the lion ‘rampant’ with ‘a semy of English market. Soane’s Law Courts 1788 to 1833. This is remain. See also 19. One hall. the Bank Stock Office. Fürst von Wahlstatt. imperial library . unfortunately it was demolished in 1862. turning the 12.. were demolished in the early 1880s when the and described this post as ‘. Design for the New State Paper the Hanoverians. A below the windows (a bit of showmanship incorporates not only the lions of England and short break in the Napoleonic wars with the made possible by bending the flue so that the Scotland. 16 .the relief at his final defeat at Soane’s great banking halls were demolished in  Leave the Picture Room and take the Waterloo in 1815 must have touched all the 1920s and only parts of the outer wall staircase going down to your right London and indeed the whole country. 14. quarter the two lions ‘passant gardant’ for large quantities of stained glass on to the Brunswick. After a long and dramatic military career in Look to your right at the inside of the right-hand the Prussian army the aged Field Marshal (he plane. Tragically. He was its official architect from Arms was cleaned in 1991. Blücher had been wounded and lay trapped under his dead horse for several hours. using coloured and stained Freemasons’ Hall lantern model). section and view on the same Although Soane admired Napoleon .Below the Grand National Entrance design is Below the Freemasons’ Hall design is of the Duchy of Saxony and in the centre the crown of Charlemagne – all introduced with 11. and even chimneypieces directly the Act of Union with Scotland in 1801: it contemporary settings. for security reasons. Designs for the Bank of England 13. St Waterloo James’s Park. were constructed. chimney runs up to one side of the fireplace harp of Ireland but in the lower right-hand provided the opportunity for the release of rather than above it). It was in a very different style from his other buildings. within openings. in the centre is was 72) saved the day by arriving at the battlefield at a crucial moment. Bench was rebuilt by Soane in 1824 as part of ‘fanciful effects’.a situation which new Royal Courts of Justice on Fleet Street has long been the pride and boast of my life’. Coat of Arms from the Court of von Blücher. King’’s Bench King 1819). was Soane’s last public building built in 1829. The bracket cornice gave the impression of an Italian pantiled roof but in fact hid a flat roof lit by skylights. both of whom installed segmental arches resting above the window of the Hanoverian king George I in 1714 until panels of ancient stained glass. The new State Paper Office in Duke Street.  Continue heading away from the stairs and turn This splendid Royal Coat of Arms. out and they were one of the great landmarks On the left is a section of the building and in of late Georgian London – Soane was even the foreground is the plan: this is said to be the called upon to escort the Tsar of Russia on a first drawing in the history of architecture to tour of the Bank in 1814. The Court of King’s architectural setting to create a variety of a model for the lantern earlier in the tour (6. Design for the Freemasons Freemasons’ Hall tide of the battle and ensuring a decisive victory. Bank of England models. His interest in such glass was style and creates one of his masterpieces of Parliament Square and he must have salvaged inspired by the English Picturesque movement spatial manipulation.. This was a court of Common Law (known as 16. 11. Soane saw his Bank combine plan. at the battle of Ligny. The doorcase was also inspired by the Villa Farnese. came from the On your right looking into the courtyard Court of King’s Bench in Westminster Hall. The royal coat and by the example of Horace Walpole and pendant dome like an unsupported canopy. part of the old medieval Palace of manipulation of light and colour in an Hall in Great Queen Street for which we saw Westminster. of arms shown is that used from the accession William Beckford. retiring only at the age of 80. 13 . 15 . The sacking of countless hearts’ behind for Lüneberg. the fleur-de-lys of France and the signing of the Treaty of Amiens in 1802. original and idiosyncratic style. Two days before. being inspired by Vignola’s Villa Farnese in Caprarola which Soane had seen on his tour of Italy fifty years before. He uses an extraordinary this coat of arms at that time. The overall impression of In Soane’s time the halls would have been the building looks forward to the style the open to the public for business to be carried Victorians would use later in the 19th century. This drawing shows designs for ‘Various Offices’ and shows how Soane exploited the  Continue down the stairs necessity of lighting the halls at the Bank from above. Here Soane again his new adjacent Law Courts which were glass in many of his interiors to create shows his idiosyncratic and highly original constructed between Westminster Hall and different moods. 12 . A stained glass window window the Court of Queen’s Bench during the reign of a female monarch) housed in Westminster Sir John Soane had a fascination with the Here is Soane’s design for the Freemasons’ Hall. Blücher and the heroes of in his brilliant. was a plaster bust by Peter Turnerelli (1771/2- At the head of the staircase reconstructed in the 1980s and is now open to 1839) of Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht the public as part of the Bank of England 14. to produce a At the foot of the stairs on your right wonderful variety of domed and vaulted spaces 15. Napoleonic medals and books from the drawings of it as if an ancient ruin. from 1318. The original The Bank of England was Soane’s greatest bright colours were revealed when the Coat of building. the white horse religious houses in France. This coat of arms would Office have been redundant from 1801.

hundred years ago. within Padre Giovanni is of course. In Soane’s time the window when translated means ‘it is pleasant to be of such noble and dramatic characters . Westminster ruins Ante- Ante-Room On the table in the centre of the room in the In the yard are what appear to be the ruins of a medieval building. These models. a medieval monk. See also 11. the architect Bedchamber and was later used as one of the England. 19 . 21. above the door. See 14. the ‘noble Roman’ influenced his private manner institutions destroyed during the French delight.a was described as having as ‘a very brilliant nonsensical in due place’. one of the most Debt Redemption Office in Old Jewry just Waterloo Place. 16th. 17th-century glass much of which he said had mentioning the column forming the grave of indeed it was said that the character of the come from monasteries and other religious Fanny. either side of which are two halves of a model of the Princes Street Vestibule and above the right-hand section of this model the right part of the Lombard Bench. It was beautiful and important rooms of the medieval opposite the Bank itself. fronting the Painted Chamber. At the end of his description the Domus Aurea of the Emperor Nero in made for Soane by a stained glass artist (the Soane added a quotation from the Roman Rome). he placed some models for the Bank of England here. Soane substantially remodelled parts of the old Palace of Westminster between 1824 and On the wall above the fireplace is 1827. who supposedly Low Countries had resulted in large numbers lived in the Monk’s Parlour. Bust of Sir Thomas Lawrence. was hugely successful on the London stage and Soane’s collection of stained glass was bought went on to become manager of Drury Lane at auction and includes 14th-. A London artist and 28. Palace of 19. These models and the medieval heads Henry Holland (1745-1806) between 1783 first meeting places for Parliament. which in turn. This patera comes from the ceiling of is one of the Pitt Cenotaph in the National the grand staircase of Carlton House. quite high up zoologist who was Napoleon’s scientific 17. The staircase was oval in plan with destroyed in the fire of 1834. sculpture discovered in 1506 near the site of coloured glass borders which would have been Soane himself.and 17th-century. 15th-. are from the Palace of Westminster. Fanny is surrounded by busts of ancient Romans and elaborate composition of ancient stained glass. contained figures holding a clock and a wind- 5 . compliment to Kemble’s acting skills perhaps? effect… both mysterious and beautiful’. 20. This increasing interest in stained glass also encouraged the production of new glass. Bank of England models museums) which was previously owned by Sir Westminster Thomas Lawrence. See 2. They are in fact fragments centre of the back row of busts of real medieval masonry which.. He created a Royal Gallery and 21. which place the actor Kemble’s bust in the company reconstructions). A plas p laster laster eagle from Carlton ceremonial entrance at the southern end of the palace together with new library facilities for House both Houses of Parliament and new law courts for the Chancery and King's Surprisingly. the Monk’s ‘faithful companion. it is open to reveal rebuilt as the Prince Regent’s London palace palace. He even wrote a of small scale Northern Renaissance glass panels being removed and sold. He was particularly famous tongue-in-cheek description of the ruins for the title role in Shakespeare’s Coriolanus. two of which dates from the 1260s. It was originally the King’s State the interior. show the Tivoli Corner. 17. quite low down Above the door. Coat of Arms from Court of King’s Street façade. This is a plaster bust by John Gibson of the for both secular and ecclesiastical buildings. In re-using these fragments Soane wanted us to believe they were the ruins of the monastery of Padre Giovanni. The patera would returned to their original positions from eight of these eagles between semi-circular- originally have been painted and probably which they were removed more than a headed openings in the walls. like the 20. Designs for the Bank of by one of Soane’s early teachers. actor John Philip Kemble (1757–1823). considering Soane’s desire to create a medieval atmosphere in the Monk’s Parlour. buried here but was in fact Mrs Soane’s dog! the two sons of Laocoön (from the famous mainly Flemish 16th. 18 . Above the Tivoli Corner model This is a spandrel in the form of an eagle from Bench. Between the 1770s and 1830s exhibitions of Kemble came from a theatrical family and was stained glass became very popular in London the brother of the actress Sarah Siddons. He and no doubt Soane visited some of them. It is interesting that Soane should borders present today are modern author Horace Dulce est desipere in loco. Father John.and Theatre in 1788. which and mode of speech. one of Soane’s greatest compositions. just off Pall Mall. fed the demand among the English gentry for such artefacts in the early stages of the Gothic revival. In the middle of the front row is a bust of  Look back towards the door you came in by Baron Cuvier (the French naturalist and To the left of the window. the solace of his leisure hours’. John Philip Phil ip Kemble wooden panel item 17 above. On this table he is Revolution.  Look through the window  Leave the Monk’ Monk’s Parlour and walk straight ahead passing a recess with a semi- semi-circular skylight In the courtyard known as the Monk’s Yard on your you r left and turn left into the Basement 18. It was immediately below them have recently been and 1796. This large window contains an can be seen to the left of the ruins. W ooden ooden panel from the ceiling advisor and urged him to found more public of the Painted Chamber.

the ultimate mysterious and romantic These obelisks formerly stood outside in centrepiece for his funereal basement. Belzoni was considered a achievements of the men it would have His most famous work. Flaxman may have proposed a statue of be duly appreciated by the students and lovers such excessive size and grandeur in a patriotic of art. or they couldn’t agree exhibited in May 1821. ‘is rather solemn than gloomy. 26 . as did 26.dial.’ 6 . Egyptomania and Belzoni To the left of the eagle. T urn right a t the door into Room. but as just the office but also the passages below to wall are illustrative of the custom. The private view attracted the Napoleonic Wars. including. arts. Standing in the centre of the space in a glass case 24. in Bloomsbury. Carlton House was demolished in 1828. 1801. relatively little was known Taylor and were taken out by Soane himself. Although Egyptian in origin. Hogarth’s London) a musician This colonnade of ten Corinthian columns (perhaps Handel himself) is seen playing a came from the pre-Soane buildings for the Handel opera on the harpsichord. Bank of England designed by Sir Robert In Soane’s time. became a popular guest of the literate and contemporary critics pointed out. away from the practical and decorative purposes. G F Handel King Seti I was discovered in Egypt. Mr and Mrs Soane. these served sarcophagus to enter the Crypt as lamp posts supporting oil lamps before the On your right between two iron chairs installation of gas lighting in the square. The statue was to have stood on wrote Soane.  Turn round and leave the Basement Ante–Ante– about the sarcophagus and his own description during the building of his own bank. from Egypt in 1820. has (1798-1801). turning left. Zadok the Priest. cleverly placed to light not Beyond the large bronze bust. The colossal statue can be gauged by the scale of show was an immediate success attracting the stairs at the base and the door at the back was written in 1741 and was repeatedly revised 1. (see 8. Lincoln’s Inn Fields. at a crown each. Light is also provided by the 23. In 1727 Handel was commissioned to interest in all things Egyptian in England as a write four anthems for the coronation of King result of Napoleon’s Egyptian Campaign George II. Handel bequeathed to the hospital a fair copy of Messiah and Either side of you at the top of the stairs became a Governor of the Hospital. of A Rake’s Progress. 22 . Although born in Museum refused to pay the £2. religion and north and south. He wanted to be acknowledged as an would have been overpowering. not only as two long skylights. 25. Greenwich is today best known by Handel. Greenwich Hill and would have been 230 feet and the pictorial breaks of light and shade will high. reaching its most familiar version for its maritime history and for giving its name in a performance to benefit the Foundling to the Greenwich Meridian (0 degrees Hospital in 1754. They Room. against the north a work of human skill and labour. much next to the bust of Blücher later. When he returned to England desire to make the monument worthy of the been sung at every British coronation since. He published his dropped . the scale wealthy. especially for antiquarian of distinction rather than as the Wren’s famous Greenwich Hospital at the travelling circus performer he had been before foot of the hill below. The Foundling Hospital. There was an enormous upsurge of 1712. above the door The alabaster sarcophagus of the Egyptian 22. An idea of the size of this cream of society and the intelligentsia. at the Egyptian Hall in on the site . celebrity among London’s social elite and commemorated. obelisks became popular in Georgian London and were used for a variety of  Walk towards the east. Two obelisks government of a very ancient and learned people. one of the greatest of all stepped in and bought it when the British 18th-century composers.000 asking Germany he settled permanently in London in price. Ten Corinthian columns c olumns William Hogarth. Light is admitted to this small yourself in the West Corridor to be at least three thousand years old… and is architects’ office from above on either side via considered of pre eminent interest. It was established in 1739 by the philanthropic sea the site of a Royal palace from the 15th century captain Thomas Coram. The Levée. as a number of which contains the celebrated Hallelujah Chorus. Soane Handel (1685–1759). However. One of these. A Statue of Britannia Triumphant This large model of a proposed statue of Britannia was submitted in a competition for a large dome skylight beyond the Colonnade national monument in 1799 by John Flaxman and from the window looking into the and later exhibited at the Royal Academy in Monument Court. the oratorio Messiah. and maintenance of exposed and deserted young children’ which was patronised by many  Retrace your steps and go back up the staircase of the great and the good. of the plinth. In scene II. of it was as follows: ‘This Marvellous effort of appear to support the floor of the Students’ the external New Court and you will find human industry and perseverance is supposed Room above. ‘The effect in this part’. in his tomb in the Valley of the Kings by Giovanni This portrait medallion is of George Frederick Battista Belzoni (1778-1823) in 1817. 25 .  Turn to your right when Soane must have obtained this eagle and its pair.’ It was one of his greatest treasures. These were enough money available. was a and was the birthplace of Henry VIII and children's home established for the ‘education Elizabeth I.and Britain was left without any Piccadilly.possibly because the committee did adventures in several books and brought his not find a suitable design or there was not accumulated treasures to London. The project was quietly he set out for Egypt.900 visitors on the first day. and included plaster casts from the general memorial to the heroes of the tomb of Seti I. longitude) and Greenwich Mean Time. 24. east.

pictures are in the Museum. Soane’s own bust by Sir This shows the Soane tomb in the Burial Francis Chantrey is placed lower down. was intended to Soane placed the figure of a winged victory in represent what Soane wanted his Museum to front of this picture on New Year’s Day 1837. Mirror Mirror Westminster Abbey. at the heart of Soane’s In the spandrels (the lower. as a huge and view landscapes and transform them into in a setting where it is difficult to appreciate expanding empire created through trade and framed works of art. His tolerance this bust is in the Entrance Hall and was one towards Roman Catholics led an anti-Catholic of the first things a visitor to the house would mob to burn down his town house in have seen in Soane’s lifetime. Watercolour of the Soane family family shipped out to be sold in Jamaica) held that to mb English Law did not recognise the state of This is a plaster copy of a bust of Soane’s slavery. ‘The Union of Architecture. For centuries. His standing was reflected in the commissioning of a marble  Turn round and walk around behind the Apollo memorial from the neo-classical sculptor. Room. It was sculpted Bloomsbury Square during the Gordon Riots posthumously and exhibited at the Royal of 1780 – he and Lady Mansfield barely Academy in 1830. He shared his study papal tombs in Rome by sculptors like 18th-century marine artist. naval superiority. See 5. just twenty days before he died. mirrors and coloured and stained glass to standing group. Lord Mansfield  Return to the statue statue of Apollo. was clapped statue of Victory) in irons by his former master and set to be 3 0. The monument was moved from its movement in the eighteenth century whose the dome of St Paul’s on the left. the Mansfield is depicted enthroned in judicial remains relatively unknown today. It is significant that below Soane’s own bust. turn right and William Murray (1705-1793). The use of her scales and wearing a helmet and Wisdom earning himself the name of the ‘English convex mirrors in many parts of the house holding the book of law. When Mansfield died death. Pass to your right In the rectangular opening high up Lincoln’s Inn Fields would have arrived by river. Lord greatly admired and often imitated. 27. 3 1. 2 9 . the year of Lawrence’s escaped with their lives. and raw materials it required . in Scott’s day it served large cupboards as the main highway of southern England. Bust of Sir Thomas Lawrence the servicing of the city. triangular areas) of Museum. incidentally. Flaxman received the create ‘those fanciful effects that constitute commission while in Italy and was able to Samuel Scott is an important and influential the poetry of architecture’. which surrounds the stairs Michaelangelo and Raphael by John Flaxman to the burial chamber. A view of the River Thames which Soane placed in its present position. also places the Royal Academy. John and into the New Picture Room Flaxman. His pioneering Above the bookcase (on the wall behind the judgement in the Somerset case in 1772 (James Somerset. topped by typically side of the Dome. installed in 1801 between pillars and set against the Gothic windows of the Abbey. on the Ground of St-Giles-in-the-Fields. A London artist: portrait of Sir John the dome and on the arches supporting it Soane by Sir Thomas Lawrence. in white marble. Mansfield. 28 . yet he reflection and refraction with his friend. On the wall on the right In this small-scale model for the memorial. with two small figures of Soanian acroteria.. This painting shows the Thames monument is a seated youth representing perhaps grew out of the Picturesque with the Tower of London on the right and Death. first Earl of pass through the doorway into the Ante- Ante-Room. Model balustrade which runs around the opening to of the Soane Family Tomb. Scott painter J M W Turner – three of whose robes. Sculpture and Painting’ – and. The final monument. with a commanding view over the Dome area. This restricted slavery in Britain at a friend Sir Thomas Lawrence by Robert time when owning an African slave was the William Sievier (1794-1865) The original of height of fashion in London. The Thames is the aquatic mirror glass was becoming ever more artery of London. the high looking back towards the Colonnade bricks used by Soane to build his first house in street opticians). It is a tribute to their friendship and to he was buried in the north transept of Soane’s opinion of Lawrence that the plaster version of the bust is also placed in an important position. it was the first monument possibilities of light through the use of in an English church in the form of a free. Whilst the river today plays little part in Between the columns on the top of one of the 28. the powerful sophisticated in Soane’s lifetime – some of  Continue along the Colonnade and cross the Thames tides helped the world’s sailors his early convex mirrors were supplied by a Dome Area (you can see the sarcophagus below) to provide an expanding London with the food Mr Dollond (one of the founders of what is stand with your back to the statue of Apollo. had an illustrious legal career Turn immediately left to enter the domed culminating in his appointment as Lord Chief Breakfast Parlour Justice from 1756 to 1788. The design is highly unusual in being free-standing rather than a wall monument which was the original Soane sought to exploit the imaginative intention – indeed. a former slave. and therefore artistic education. Flaxman’s skill as a modeller is immediately obvious. See 2. would have been executed by assistants under his direction. His views of original position in the Abbey in 1933 and followers used hand-held convex mirrors to London and the Thames illustrate the today stands surrounded by other monuments importance of London. embody. At the back of the Canaletto’. Many of Soane’s mirrors 7 . In his day he was interest in optics and the possibilities of Bernini while working on his design. The manufacture of it fully. The arrangement on this shows the balustrade. Unlike the model it the basement below. flanked by the figures of Justice holding painted topographical scenes of London.the Suffolk today Dollond and Aitchison. 27.

12. The houses demolished and re-built by Soane. Work began in 1824 Suffolk bricks with Portland stone dressings. John and new bridge was built 100 feet (30 metres) constructed No. into Lincoln’s Inn Fields. urging him on ‘to the was sold to an American entrepreneur in the advanced is the style that sometimes people highest pinnacle of invention’.g. No. a gift from Queen Anne to mark the close to the royal party and surrounded by his completion of St Paul’s) and a walking stick friends. in 1792-94 and Eliza Soane enjoyed visits to the theatre and west (upstream) of the original site by John he lived there for 19 years. The 1831 bridge flat areas of stone and incised decoration. frequently bidding on Soane’s behalf at 33. bust but Wren’s silver pocket watch (probably Soane is shown at the heart of the picture. Painting This painting by George Jones was admired Wren as one of the greatest of all by Henry Howard The Vision of English architects and collected not just this Shakespeare commissioned by Soane in 1831 and exhibited at the Royal Academy the following year. this pared down classical style as ‘scored like from Alderman John Boydell’s famous ‘Shakespeare Gallery’ – including the large loins of pork’. this time concrete. The style is uniquely Soane’s with simple seen seated in the lap of Fancy with Tragedy pavilion on the new bridge. Royal Procession at the opening auctions and acquiring 16th. on Pall Mall. two of which came 1973.were supplied by William Watson who was  Continue up the stairs to the first- first-floor landing Soane’s regular painter and glazier from and look up the staircase about 1806 – like many suppliers of that era On the opposite wall is hanging he was much more than a mere contractor. Bridge . think it was added in the 20th century! One Shakespearean theme runs through Soane’s London Bridge constructed which opened in critic in Soane’s day described his buildings in collection of paintings.’ Soane 32. Trail leaflet text by Lisa Attard. was picture of a scene from The Merry Wives of  Walk ahead into the South Drawing Room built by Soane in 1824 to match No. John Philip Kemble. 13 had engraved to illustrate his new edition of allowed the master architect Sir Christopher acting as an ‘eye-catcher’ to any visitor walking Shakespeare’s plays. went bankrupt and the paintings were sold in 1805. looked after Soane’s household and became the first Inspectress of the Museum after his  That is the end of this tour of the Museum – death. The three façades High up to your left. completed in 1209 and lined with an actor. Its 19 narrow arches He performed at a number of London theatres restricted the river’s flow in such a way that it and wrote his greatest tragedies. 32 . staircase next to this recess. 35 . containing a set of drawing instruments which J M W Turner and Mrs Sarah Conduitt. It is built of white Soane continued to go to the theatre even Rennie’s son (also John). sheet. 14. advertising Soane as a sophisticated which he commissioned from all the leading One positive outcome of the inferno of the and wealthy architect. He performing regularly in his plays. 33 . The Museum itself is the middle one of three Philip Kemble and his sister Sarah Siddons designed by the engineer John Rennie. St Paul’s Cathedral. silvered (e. The 18th and early 19th be replaced as it was too narrow and blocked centuries saw a great revival of interest in river traffic. By the end of the Globe Theatre in Southwark on the South 19th century it was clear the bridge needed to bank of the Thames. September 2010 8 . to design the Shakespeare together form what is almost like a palace Gallery. The Old (medieval) London Bridge was one of the most famous structures in the William Shakespeare spent most of his life as world.000 years ago. he was responsible for rebuilding 51 churches in the  Leave the room by the door leading through to City of London after the Fire. Exterior façade of the Museum river crossing on the site almost 2. Central London has a number of please return to the ground floor via the main bridges spanning the river Thames. Boydell opening into the Loggia Soane rented it out and on his death it was commissioned George Dance. 34. playwright and manager in London. description of it as a ‘loggia’) but Soane glazed Henry Howard: Lear and Cordelia (top) and The captured in this vibrant painting. No.and 17th. after his wife’s death in 1815. Soane’s – the old bridge continuing in use as the new He later re-built No. London staircase and as you leave the Museum Bridge (between Cannon Street railway bridge Look at and Tower Bridge) has been rebuilt many times since the Romans first constructed a 35. Soane’s first bequeathed to his family. originally an open balcony (hence the memory. Macbeth and King Lear. Old London Bridge was 1813. This was embodied in this small recess. so and Comedy above. His memorial in Shakespeare Recess St Paul’s Cathedral features the Latin inscription Lector. Othello. in which the bard can be included a banquet in a specially constructed 1834. Wren’s plan for rebuilding the City was mirrored) and plate glass. to the left. the sculptor Sir Francis Chantrey. John Bridges and Helen Dorey. look around you. 13 and moved there in admiration for Shakespeare as the greatest one was being built. to house a collection of 34. nevertheless. if you seek his memorial. si monumentum requiris On the left is circumspice which translates as ‘Reader. 12 – Windsor by James Durno which hangs on the walk towards the windows through th rough the centre although it is occupied today by the Museum. See also 20. The third house. 13 has a much more impressive literary genius in England’s history is demolished after the new bridge was opened façade with a projecting loggia. dedicated to his by King William IV on the 1st of August 1831. of London Bridge. 1831 century glass for his windows as well as modern coloured. A strong late 1960s and another. such as could freeze – providing the setting for great Hamlet. the projecting façade of No. for the ‘Frost Fairs’ held on the ice. London. deemed too expensive. who he believed had belonged to Wren. timber houses and shops. completed in the turn of the stairs off the half landing is the 1710. where he is now buried. The recess contains two paintings by at a grand and festive opening ceremony. Shakespeare in London. A bust of Christopher Wren front at the centre of the north side of the pictures illustrating scenes from Shakespeare square. antiquarian and artists of the day and many of which he later Great Fire of London in 1666 was that it collector. The Gallery eventually Wren to build his magnificent churches. including his the main staircase. which the openings in 1829 (the ground floor) and Vision of Shakespeare. It was eventually replaced by a Shakespeare. on one of the cross shelves is architectural master. with celebrated actors like John much simpler bridge with five stone arches. walk up the first flight and at masterpiece.