Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Gothic London

Image not from the Museum
In the thrub of the city, there are quiet, small spaces of calm if you know where to find them. Take Lincoln’s Inn Fields on a Saturday morning when the law is at rest, for example, or the imaginary monk’s cell and parlour in the basement of the Sir John Soane Museum that abuts the park.

It is wasteful, almost profligate to spend the hours of sunshine on a winter’s day indoors in the semi-dark amongst gargoyles, a marble skull, heavy furniture and blood red walls. But with my teenage Goth daughter in tow and delighted by everything here from the architectural ‘specimens’ to the fabulous sculpture packed into every square inch of the house, there was no choice. And more, it was a positive choice to keep from the Arctic cold that arrived with insufficient notice for me to pack properly last weekend.

As usual, I wanted the fires lit, everyone else banished and the place to myself, a good tome from the library and a pot of tea. My needs are fairly simple, no? Barring that, free entry, an exhibition on death and architecture and four of Hogarth’s paintings from the Rake’s Progress kept us more than happy for the morning.

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