We are delighted to announce that our campaign has just exceeded our £15,000 target. We are now able to conserve the frame of The Snake in the Grass. To everyone who donated to the campaign, an enormous thank you – we are incredibly grateful for your support.
Though we’ve reached our target, the campaign doesn’t end until 19 November, so there are still 6 days to be part of our campaign if you would still like to show your support or receive an exclusive reward.
All extra funds donated will go towards the conservation of the frames for four engravings by Giovanni Battista Piranesi, which hang in the Museum's iconic Picture Room. Piranesi was another important figure in Soane’s early development as an architect, presenting these engravings to Soane in Italy in 1779.
These four engravings once hung alongside The Snake in the Grass when it was displayed in the Picture Room, and their romantic depiction of crumbling classical ruins was hugely influential to Soane’s own work.
The frames are smaller and simpler than the Reynolds frame and have a dull 19th-century oil gilded finish. George Bailey, the museum’s first curator, compiled an inventory at the end of Soane’s life in which he noted that these frames were Black & gilt. When we conserve the frames we hope to re-instate this scheme and to remove the poor top surface to reveal the fine original water gilding beneath.
Once again, a huge thank you to those who have donated, and for helping to return the frame of The Snake in the Grass to its original splendour. Please help us achieve our stretch target by spreading the word.