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Topographical view -  Brompton Park House from the East

Brompton Park House from the East

  • Object:

    Topographical view

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1865 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Morris, Oliver (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour on paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level H, case PD, shelf 160, box D

The Victoria and Albert Museum was established at South Kensington in the 1850s, on land which had formerly made up the Brompton Park House Estate. Although run down and divided into three dwellings, Brompton Park House was still standing on the south-west corner of the site. By 1857 Francis Fowke, a captain in the Royal Engineers, had supervised its renovation and the building had been adapted to provide temporary initial accommodation for the art school. It also accommodated the sappers from the Royal Engineers who were employed in clearing the site and constructing the Museum, one of whom is seen in this watercolour in their red and blue uniform. The east end of the building was dismantled ca. 1865; later plans suggest that it was not rebuilt (see E.1350-1979). Bordering Exhibition Road, the south edge of the Museum plot was the last to be filled with purpose-built permanent buildings. Excepting its far eastern end, Brompton Park House therefore appears to have survived until 1899, the year in which Aston Webb’s plans for completing the Museum began to be carried out.

Physical description

Watercolour on paper. This view of Brompton Park House from the east shows the building on a sunny day, surrounded by large trees, and with its eastern end partly demolished. The asymmetrical east front of the house consists, on the left, of formerly internal wall surfaces of a three-storey house now exposed to the open air. The central position of a former fireplace is visible on each level; a bricked-up doorway is seen on the first floor; and small sections of the floors belonging to the first and second storeys are still in situ. Positioned at an angle, a supporting wooden strut extends from the ground to the top of the gable end. The intact, right-hand part of the east front of the house is partly obscured by a tree. Shown in less detail, it is faced partly with brick and partly with wood cladding, with a large rectangular first-floor window and a small window tucked beneath the eaves. The north façade of Brompton Park House, seen at an oblique angle, has a giant, pedimented arch at the west end, a roughly central pedimented porch and walls covered with creepers. In front of the north façade stands a man in red and blue uniform with a child and a black dog. Three large chimney stacks are visible above the building. Signed OM.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1865 (made)


Morris, Oliver (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour on paper


Height: 28.2 cm, Width: 40.1 cm

Descriptive line

View of Victoria and Albert Museum by Oliver Morris, Brompton Park House from the east (with eastern end partly demolished), 1865

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Physick, John. The Victoria and Albert Museum: The History of Its Building. London: The Victoria & Albert Museum, 1982.
F. H. W. Sheppard, ed. Survey of London Volume XXXVIII: The Museums Area of South Kensington and Westminster. London: The Athlone Press, 1975.


Watercolour; Paper


Watercolour painting


History of the V&A; Paintings; Architecture


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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