Painters, princes and personalities: Soane the entertainer at Pitzhanger
Sir John Soane designed Pitzhanger as his country house between 1800-1804 to create a showcase for his architectural skills, as well as his growing collection of artefacts. It soon became his elegant stage set for the entertainment of friends, celebrities and potential clients: he threw grand garden parties and held fascinating dinners for the beau monde of the time. Guests included the artist JMW Turner, a fellow Academician, with whom Soane enjoyed fishing in the lake at Pitzhanger, and numerous other personalities from the worlds of finance, politics, theatre, journalism and literature. In this talk, Clare Gough will tour the entertaining rooms at Pitzhanger Manor, introducing some of the personalities that graced Soane’s table, and cast light on how Soane used these parties to show off his skill as a designer to potential clients.
Clare Gough is Director of Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery. She joined Pitzhanger in 2016 and oversaw the £12M three-year conservation project to restore this rare and extraordinary example of Sir John Soane’s architecture to his original vision. The newly restored Manor and Gallery re-opened to the public in March 2019. Soane Restored, an exhibition that reveals the fascinating story of the restoration, runs at Pitzhanger until May 2022.
Part of the London Luminaries virtual lecture series.
The London Luminaries is a group of historic organisations who collaboratively work together to share knowledge and ideas about heritage.
London was the epicentre of commerce and wealth, thanks to the River Thames which attracted royalty, aristocrats, artists, writers and wealthy property owners. A legacy of these luminaries is an area exceptionally rich in heritage buildings, gardens and landscapes. Drawing on the success of our Thames and Twickenham Luminaries virtual lecture series, Pope’s Grotto Preservation Trust and English Heritage’s Marble Hill, with other local heritage organisations, have organised a series of twelve free virtual talks over two seasons beginning in October. Acknowledged experts will explore, explain and offer insights about a luminary and their connection to Poets, Princes, Politicians or Painters. There will be talks about the occupants and their relationships with Kew Palace, Garrick’s Temple, Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery, Ham House and Garden, Boston Manor, Orleans House, Pope’s Grotto, Chiswick House, Marble Hill, Hogarth’s House, Strawberry Hill and Turner’s House.