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Henry Hake Seward (1778 - 1848)

Soane office: designs for the Bank of England and Macartney House, Greenwich. 1. Perspective of a corridor leading from the Pay Hall to the Cashier's Office at the Bank. 2. (centre) Design for the entrance hall of Macartney House. 3. Perspective of a Corridor at the Bank.

c1802-September 1808

Watercolour on paper

Museum number: P106

Curatorial note

These three watercolour perspectives, framed together were drawn while Seward was a pupil in Soane's architectural office (May 1794 – Sep 1808). Their muted colours and stirking contrasts of light and shade convey the brililance of Soane's use of natural light in narrow and confined spaces while the multitude of figures in the Bank's corridors are a reminder that the Bank of England was a busy public building in the early 19th century.

The elegant Regency couple in the Hall at Macartney House are presumably intended to represent Soane's client, the Hon. G.F. Lyttleton and his wife, for whom Soane carried out alterations between 1802 and 1809. It seems likely that these three identically sized small perspectives, designed to be displayed together, were executed at some point during that project.


If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk