This is the former home of Sir John Soane (1753-1837), an architect who rebuilt the Bank of England (although not the present structure). With his multiple levels, fool-the-eye mirrors, flying arches, and domes, Soane was a master of perspective and a genius of interior space (his picture gallery, for example, is filled with three times the number of paintings that a room of similar dimensions would normally hold). One prize of the collection is William Hogarth's satirical series The Rake's Progress, which includes his much-reproduced Orgy and The Election, a satire on mid-18th-century politics. Soane also filled his house with classical sculpture: The sarcophagus of Pharaoh Seti I, found in a burial chamber in the Valley of the Kings, is here. See the "West End Attractions" map.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Recommended 2010