One of the early London Studies 1 visits was to the quirky John Soane museum in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, on another outing we admired the memorial to his wife built in St Pancras churchyard. Almost 10 years later the group is still very active with many founder members and we have just visited Soane’s recently restored house in Ealing.
Originally it was a modest Georgian country house where he started his apprenticeship and he purchased it many years later when he was established as a very successful architect. He constructed a grand facade complete with life size statues, added a light-filled conservatory overlooking the garden and several curved ceilings, arches and alcoves in his characteristic neo-classical style.
His wife found the house isolated and rather dull in its quiet rural (!) setting; the Chinese painted wallpaper in the largest room may have been added to cheer her up. It would have been a colourful and lively contrast to John Soane’s magnificent collection of Roman funeral urns, now in his museum.
The current Anish Kapoor exhibition was a bonus. The mirror sculptures that create reflected, inverted and distorted images moving in bubbles of light were an Alice Through the Looking Glass experience.