domingo, 19 de octubre de 2014

Secret corners of Sir John Soane's Museum in London

(*To my English readers: I apologize for every mistake. Please be aware I am a Spanish writer who translates what you have asked for)

(More English version) (Versión en castellano)

The Sir John Soane’s Museum is a wonderful place if you want to take a short journey to the past times. Located within walking distance of the busy quarter of Holborn, this private museum exhibits the art collections and personal effects of the neoclassical architect Sir John Soane (1753-1837) in a bourgeois building, at 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields (the largest public square in London).

Portrait of Sir John Soane (by Thomas
Lawrence, National Gallery of London).
The building remains as it was at the moment of the founder’s death. Todays museum was the house where Sir John lived with his wife, their personal rooms filled with a large amount of sculptures, paintings, etc. He established the house as museum in 1833 requiring that his romantic and poetic interiors would be kept as they were initially. A copy of the portrait of Sir John Soane (National Portrait Gallery), painted by Thomas Lawrence, welcomes the visitors at the very starting point of the exhibit.

Sir John Soane's Museum Gallery.
The museum’s rooms are small and full of artwork, so you must be prepared for a little waiting time if your visit coincides with a guided group or at rush hour. I strongly recommend you to buy the leaflet (around 6 pounds), which will lead you through the entire building and let you know both the history of the place and its inhabitants as the art collection.

The Dome of Sir John Soane's Museum.
Iis forbidden to take pictures or videos due to its character of private museum, only funded by the benefits of ticket sales and the contributions of small and medium patrons. You can of course buy some gifts, such as key-rings, postcards, pencils or same art reproductions, at the museum shop.

The Sir John Soane’ Museum shows a wide art collection from Egyptian and Roman antiquities to medieval works, furniture, paintings, drawings, prints and stained glass. It also houses minor works by William Hogarth as The Levee (1733) and a portrait of the wife of Sir John, by John Flaxman (1810).

Portrait of Mrs Soane.
Beside the proper collection, it is worth the simple experience of lazily stroll around the rooms of the museum and try to reenact the house as it was two hundred years ago, when the place was the home of a devoted couple who raised four children.

In the basement of the museum there is a sarcophagus of Seti I. Sir John Soane used to call that place "the burial chamber". One of the many secret corners of the museum. 

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