In Focus: A View from the Streets of Georgian London, Wednesday 3 April at 13.00

Regular price £5.00

In Focus is a series of lunchtime talks with Sir John Soane’s Museum curators and conservators in which they select an item from Soane’s vast and eclectic collection for an in-depth investigation.

This proposal for a book illustrating sixteen scenes of London street life in 1793 by a Dutch artist and specialist figure painter, (Benedictus) Antonio Van Assen (1767-1817) survives in Soane’s library, but was never actually published. The watercolours depict the grittier and more exotic side of urban life, away from the fashionable streets, including dromedary rides, street acrobats, bare-knuckle boxing and distressed Algerines.

Archivist and Head of Library Services Sue Palmer will take us through the book page by page, giving a little background to each scene.

The volume itself will be on display in the exhibition Fanciful Figures in the Soane Gallery, 22 March to 9 June 2024, which also features other drawings by Van Assen.

About the speaker

Sue Palmer has been Archivist to Sir John Soane’s Museum since 1989 and is the author of At Home with the Soanes (Pimpernel Press, 2015) and of a number of articles on Soane’s life and times.

About the Event

This event is taking place in the Seminar Room.  Please enter via Number 14 Lincoln's Inn Fields. Doors will open at 12.45. 

Your confirmation email serves as your ticket. Tickets are refundable up to 7 days before the event, after which point they are non-refundable or exchangeable. 

We are in a Grade I listed, 19th-century building, so access is not always straightforward. If you require step-free access or extra assistance, please contact us in advance of your booking on or 020 7405 2107.

Image: ‘Italian Strollers’ from The Busy World or London dissected, 1793 (SM Vol 107/1)

Close (esc)


Use this popup to embed a mailing list sign up form. Alternatively use it as a simple call to action with a link to a product or a page.

Age verification

By clicking enter you are verifying that you are old enough to consume alcohol.


Shopping Cart

Your cart is currently empty.
Shop now