Museums comes under my charms of wanderlust and I must say that UK has got some of the best museums in the world. The last one that I visited was Sir John Soane’s Museum. Inexplicably, the museum has one of the most intricate, complex and ingenious set of interiors that were ever conceived. The gloomily lit rooms, antique fragments, prints, pictures, drawings, and books define the architectural model of this place.
Sir John Soane, the man who created it had a very taste discriminative collection as per history. It’s said he used to display his collection not on the basis of what was aesthetically or historically important but how what amused his eyes. The symmetry and decorative pattern were eccentric to this taste.
Inside the museum, you will come across Roman Busts, Greek vases, massive Egyptian Sarcophagus, 18th-century statuary, cinerary urns and mesmerising watercolour paintings from inconsequential artists and include a portrait of Fanny, Mrs. Soane’s pet dog, Sarah Siddon’s death mask and Napoleonic memorabilia.
You move further and can find masterpieces from Turner, Canaletto, Watteau and Hogarth hung to ingeniously hinged panels. The museum isn’t about the artwork of Soane but rather it’s the ensemble of some of top-lit galleries, gloomy subterranean vaults and double height spaces.
I couldn’t but just explain the vast beauty of this place. On evenings the place is only lit by candles.
Getting yourself a ticket to the museum isn’t easy as there are only 70 visitors allowed in a day. I went there after getting through a long queue. The museum isn’t like your other ones, rather, it’s certainly for people who have a connoisseur for art.
When you get there, there are some famous places in the house that you need to visit for sure like the Colonnade, Dome Area and Museum Corridor. The picture gallery is made of walls that are moveable like that of cupboard doors. This allows for the place to keep three times the items that a normal place would have accommodated.
The Museum has “No.13 rooms” that were used for domestic purposes. It has an unusual Breakfast Room that has convex mirrors
There is a vast collection of objects that are extremely expensive. For example Giovanni Battista Belzoni was bought by Soane for $2000 on 12 May 1824. Other antiques include Roman and Greek bronzes from cinerary urns; Pompeii and a few remnants of Greek Mosaics and vases.
The museum also have a miniature copy of Diana of Ephesus sculpture. Other important pieces include Apollo Belvedere, Sulis Minerva and Aphrodite of Cnidus.
The place has paintings from William Thomas Beckford, Hogarth, J.M.W Turner, Thomas Lawrence, Antoine Watteau and Joshua Reynolds.
What’s my suggestion for the visitors?
Soane museum has one of the largest and most intricate collections. If you are looking for something unique and different, this museum can easily take up your whole day.