- Museum number
Montagu House (later the British Museum), from the NW; view from near the present Tottenham Court Road, over fields, Montagu House in the centre, on the right, backs of houses bordering on Great Russell Street
Pen and brown ink, touched with grey wash
- Production date
Height: 59 millimetres
Width: 299 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Acquired as anonymous. Attributed to Gasselin by Edward Croft-Murray.
Not in Binyon.
Stainton & White 1987
The first Montagu House, much the grandest house built in London in the second half of the century (1675-80), was designed by Robert Hooke (1635-1703) for the francophile Ralph Montagu (1638-1709), 1st Earl of Montagu and later 1st Duke of Montagu. Markedly French in style, with elaborate interiors decorated by Verrio, it was gutted by fire in January 1685/6. The house was rebuilt shortly afterwards, and it is this second building that is shown in Gasselin's drawing;. Colen Campbell illustrated the reconstructed house in 'Vitruvius Britannicus', I,1715, pls 34-6, ascribing the design to a "Monsieur Pouget", who has been identified with the sculptor and architect Pierre Puget (1622-94). For several reasons, however, it is unlikely that Puget was the architect responsible for the new Montagu House. Recently a number of drawings in the style of Daniel Marot by an otherwise unidentified "Mr Boujet" have come to light, and it seems possible on stylistic grounds that he may have been the architect not only of Montagu House, but also of the remodelled North Front of Boughton House, Northamptonshire, also built for Ralph Montagu, and of Petworth, Sussex, rebuilt by the 6th Duke of Somerset (1662-1748), whose wife was Montagu's stepdaughter.
Gasselin's view is taken from near the present Tottenham Court Road looking east towards Montagu House: Robert Hooke's forecourt and cupola-topped entrance (which had survived the fire) are also visible, with, on the right, the backs of the houses facing onto Great Russell Street. The British Museum was established in Montagu House in 1754, but with the construction of Sir Robert Smirke's Greek Revival building between 1841 and 1848 the old house was gradually demolished.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1949-50 BM, English topographical and landscape drawing, no.58
1987 June-Aug, BM Hilliard to Hogarth no.159
1987 Sept-Nov, New Haven, Hilliard to Hogarth
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number