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Joseph Michael Gandy (1771 - 1843)

Soane office, view of the interior of the Council Chamber of the New Masonic Hall adjoining Freemasons' Hall, Great Queen Street, by day

Watercolour on paper

Museum number: P89

Curatorial note

This is Soane’s design for the Freemasons’ Hall in Great Queen Street (see DR1 Freemasons’ Hall lantern model). Here Soane shows his idiosyncratic and highly original style and creates one of his masterpieces of spatial manipulation. He uses an extraordinary pendant dome like an unsupported canopy, segmental arches resting above the window openings and even chimneypieces directly below the windows (a bit of showmanship made possible by bending the flue so that the chimney runs up to one side of the fireplace rather than above it).

This daytime view, dramatically framed with theatrical curtains, shows in great detail items such as the grates and heathrugs and the gilt throne on the left. Leaning against a table in the centre is a framed watercolour of the great kitchen beneath the Hall with its exposed roof timbers, also designed by Soane. The other items grouped around the table include a fire grate (left) - almost as if it has been moved here for cleaning.

Exhib: RA 1829, no.1039.


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