The Grosvenor Gallery

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he new Fine-Art Gallery, in New Bond-street, provided by the liberality and enterprise of Sir Coutts Lindsay, has this week been opened for the first public exhibition of pictures and sculpture. We here speak only of the building, which dees much credit to the architect, Mr. W. T. Sams. The exterior presents an imposing facade of stone in the Italian Benaissance style, with a fine doorway which is an actual work of the famous Palladio, formerly belonging to the Church of Santa Lucia, at Venice. Through this doorway lies the entrance to a vestibule and oorridor, flanked with green Genoa marble columns and Ionic pilasters, leading to a flight of steps 15 ft. wide, with pedestals for statues at each side. The principal gallery is 104 ft. long, 35 ft. wide, and 36 ft. high, having a coved ceiling painted blue, and sprinkled with gold 6tars, and a lantern above. The walls are diviied into large panels by sixteen Ionic pilasters, fluted and gilt, which came from the foyer of the old Italian Opera-House at Paris, supporting an elaborate frieze and cornice running round the gallery. The walls are entirely covered with rich deep-toned crimson silk damask, upon which the pictures are hung, with an ample interval of space between the frames. The floor is of paiqueterie, the tone of the woods being dark and the pattern subdued, so as not to attract the eye. Adjoining the principal gallery, and entered from the side by a handsome dcoiway, is a smaller room, 60 ft. long and 28 ft. wide and 30 ft. high, in every way corresponding with the larger apartment. The light is modified by a velarium worked fzcm the exterior of the building. A sculpture gallery is provided, having a good light, with a wagon-headed ceiling, and a cornice supported on columns, and at the sides alcoves suited for statues, which are lighted from above. The water-colour room leads out of this sculpture gallery, and is about 40 ft. long, with a somewhat narrow joim, well adapted for exhibiting works of this kind. A most important requisite of all picture galleries is that they should be safe from fire and water. The whole construction of the Grosvenor Gallery is of iron girders and plates supporting the floors, which are made fireproof by concrete. Additional safety is obtained by a complete set of hydrants distributed throughout the building. Warmth is provided for by a complete system of hot-water pipes from a calefactory in the base* ment; and, by means of a steam-engine, fresh air is drawn from a high level, to be supplied to the galleries through perforated metal skirting. In very hot weather the air will be cooled by means of a spray of water made to fall in the chamber below, from which the current of air is furnished. The restaurant is on the ground floor beneath the great gallery. It is a splendid salle k manger, having a row of scagliola marble columns with gilt Ionic capitals on each side, dividing the apartment into spaces where tables can be placed, inclosed by draperies or screens if required. The kitchen and offices are replete with every requisite. A large and powerful lift is provided for raising statues and pictures up to the gallery floor. Our notice of the exhibition opened this week is deferred for want of space.

Related material


“The Grosvenor Gallery.” The Illustrated London News. (5 May 1877): 420. Internet Archive web version. Web. 20 May 2017.

Last modified 2 20 May 2017