A home to the neo classical architect John Soane, the Sir John Soane’s Museum is a home also to many models and drawings which were a project of Soane, the collection consisted of drawings, antiquities and painting that he assembled. The masterpiece museum the neo classical architect John Soane is situated in central London at Holborn that is adjacent to Lincoln’s Inn Fields. This museum is a NDPB (non-departmental public body) which is sponsored by the Department of Culture Media and Sport. The Sir John Soane’s Museum was a rebuild by Soane of a plain brick house which was in succession on the northern side of the Lincoln’s Inn Field between the year 1792 to 1794. In the year 1806 Soene became the Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy who bought the house next door of his present residence and reconstructed it two phases during the years 1808,1809 and 1812.

During the years 1808 and 1809, on the area of the former stable block behind the building Soane constructed his drawing office which used primarily top lighting. In the year 1812 Someone had rebuilt the faced side of the site that included Port Stone protecting the frontside to the basement, ground floor and first floor that also included the center bay situated in the second floor. The museum was a union of two houses No. 12 and No. 13 and once Soane moved out from No. 12 and moved into No. 13 he rented out his previous home at No.12 and he later would give his two homes after his death, to be rented to the nation while its income through the rents would be funded for running and maintaining the Museum. After No. 13 had completed rebuilding it was treated as a laboratory for architectural work and continually remodelling its interiors. Soane was 70 year when had purchased a third house No. 14 in the year 1823 and rebuilt it during 1823 to 1824 and this third house was treated as a picture gallery that was linked to No. 13 which was on a former stable area of House No14, but after Saone passed away the house was left over to his family which did not include the ownership of the museum. In the year 1833 the museum was established through Soane’s lifetime by a Private Act of Parliament which was in effect after the death of Soane’s in 1833. The Act stated that No.13 was to be maintained exactly as it is, when it was left since his death which has been done largely. The Private Act of Parliament was necessary because Sir John had a direct male heir with whom he had a lifelong conflict of Sir John’s disapproval over the debts of George because he refusal in a trade and his marriage. The Soane Museum Act was passed during April 1833 that stipulated that, when Soane passesaway his home and its collections would be handed over to a Board of Trustees which was on behalf of the nation by which the home should be preserved as possible exactly as they were left before he passes away. The Trustees later purchased the house at No.14 with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund in 1997 which was then restored during the years 2006 to 2009. This helped the Museum to expand its activities on education and to relocate its Research Library to the house at No.14 by which i would generate a Robert Adam Study Center at the 9,000 collection of Soane and Robert Adam drawings are accommodated newer purpose-designed cabinets by Carmichael and Senior.

The Museums Architecture

There are these three famous areas in the museum towards its rear such as the Colonnade, Dome area and the Museum Corridor. The areas provide toplit indigenous lightings which were created by Soane used at the banking halls at the Bank of England. The innovative, creative and imaginatively designed Picture Gallery consists of walls which have large movable planes just like huge cupboard which can accommodate items three time the size it can normally can. In the rooms of No.13 are domestic rooms situated at the front of the house that seem highly unusual but seem elegant. The Breakfast Room’s domed ceiling consists of convex mirrors that insetted, the design style has influenced the world’s architects. Influenced by the Etruscan tombs or probably even the gothic designs is reflected in the The Library Dining Room for its collection of small pendants found in the fan vaulting as they are decorated with rich ‘Pompeian’ red. Containing a collection of Roman architectural fragments is “The Study” along with two courtyard externally, The Monk’s yard and the Monument Court contains range of architectural collection, “The Classical” situated in the Monument Court that has a central column or otherwise known as the Pasticcio represents the Architecture and the Gothic at the Monk’s Yard which is filled with the stonework of the medieval times from the Palace of Westminster

John-Soanes museum

The Museum’s Collection

Soane collected objects gradually as his practice financially succeeded, the collection was worthy of the British Museum like for instance Seti I’s alabaster sarcophagus which is covered with Egyptian styled pictures and was purchased for a value of £2000 on 12 May 1824 was unearthed by Giovanni Battista Belzoni as it is the most expensive art work. Soane hosted a three day party for 890 invitees in the cellar where the sarcophagus of Seti I was put up in the museum in 1825 March and the basement was lit up by some one hundred lamps and candelabra, as the house’s exterior was lighted by huge lamps. There were prominent guests who were attending the party among them were 2nd Earl of Liverpool, accompanied by his wife, the then Prime Minister Robert Jenkinson, Prince Augustus Frederick, Robert Peel, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Duke of Sussex, Sir Thomson Lawrence, Benjamin Haydon, 1st Baron Farnborough, Charles, J.M.W Turner and also where many foreign dignitaries. Found in the museum is a carved white marble bust of Sir John Soane by Francis Leggatt Chantrey in the Dome which overlooks the Seti sarcophagus. Exhibited at the back in a small space of the Picture Room is a plaster model from Sir Richard Westmacott “Nymph unclasping her Zone” was acquired by Soane. The museum also houses a model monument of Penelope Boothby acquired from Thomas Banks and the memorial sculpture of William Pitt the Younger which was a plaster model by John Flaxman. The painting at the museum include the works and painting which were acquired by Soane such as the View of the Riva degli painted by Canaletto in the year 1736 and was purchased from William Thomas Beckford for 150 Guineas along with three other works of artists and eight paintings by Hogarth. In the museum is also housed Sir Johns friend’s J. M. W. Turner works, Soane also acquired a painting by Antoine Watteau, an oil painting by Joshua Reynolds – Love and Beauty which is on the wall in the dining area hanging over the sideboard. Housed in the museum are over 30,000 collection of architectural drawings of Soane’s own designs by which many of them were by his pupils and assistance and most notably Joseph Gandy. Among these drawings there are drawings that cover most of Soane’s career, some such as, are most bound together in 37 Volumes and 97 are mounted on the walls of the museum , 601 drawing covering the Bank of England, works of other drawing are about 6,226 and 1080 drawing which are prepared for Royal Academy lectures.



Admission fee:
Free except for exhibitions

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Opening Timings

10:00 – 17:00
Sunday, Monday and Bank hoildays



Sir John Soane’s Museum
12-14 Lincoln’s Inn Fields,
United Kingdom

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