Drawing made for exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1803 (1)
The above perspective completes the set of Library designs. It was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1803, and the perspective is likely to have been completed in late 1802 at the earliest. Gandy often made perspectives in March for the April exhibition at the RA.
The painted curtain framing Gandy's perspective gives the Library an air of theatricality. The watercolour also gives many clues about the items from Soane's collection intended for the library. Above the door the cast relief of 'The Dancing Hours' from the Palazzo Borghese can be seen, which is still in situ today. The drawings lining the walls and the unrolled plan on the table look very much like images of the Bank of England - of which Soane was Surveyor.
Soane's diary describes arranging vases in the the Breakfast Room, in January 1803. It is likely that the Library was complete by a similar period i.e. January -. Gandy's perspective shows the room in full use, however, with the fire blazing and books and papers strewn across the floor. Mrs Soane can also be seen in the Breakfast Room beyond.