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Sir John Soane (1753-1837), Architect
Sitter in 7 portraits
An architect and collector, Soane was the son of a bricklayer who began his education in the architectural office of George Dance, one of the leading Neo-classical architects of the day. In 1771, he enrolled in the Royal Academy Schools where he won a gold medal for his design for a triumphal bridge (1776) and a scholarship to study in Italy (1778-81). In 1788, he was appointed Surveyor to the Bank of England. Many other public and private commissions followed, among them Dulwich Picture Gallery (1811-14). The security of this position allowed him to develop his highly idiosyncratic architectural vision. He gave his house and important works of art to the nation as the Soane Museum.