- Museum number
Corner of Montagu House (British Museum), with part of Great Russell Street adjoining; view of cobbled street, flanked by buildings on both sides, at left foreground figures walking on footpath close to a wooden fence, in distance on same path glimpse of figures in military costume. 1845
- Production date
Height: 232 millimetres
Width: 310 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- The date is just before the demolition of the house to make way for the Smirke building. A tracing of this subject, presumably used in preparation for the watercolour is 1862-6-14-616. It is inscribed, 'Portion of the old British Museum pulled down 1849'.
Label text for NACF exhibition, 2003-4:
'Scharf was one of the most assiduous recorders of London life in the first half of the 19th century, ever alert to the changing face of the capital. This watercolour is dated 1845, the year that Montagu House was demolished. It was in this late 17th century building that the British Museum first opened to the public. Its corner turrets and tall chimneys already look strangely quaint beside the terraces of Great Russell St; beyhond it, the large classical building which house the museum today was nearing completion, far better suited to the growing collections and the rising number of visitors.'
In fact the turrets were on the gate houses at the entrance and the demolition took place in parts from 1845-49; the gate houses right on Great Russell Street were the last pieces to go.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2003-4 Dec-April, BM, NACF exhibition
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- This item has an uncertain or incomplete provenance for the years 1933-45. The British Museum welcomes information and assistance in the investigation and clarification of the provenance of all works during that era.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number