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Design - Plan and elevation of 'Goose-Pie House', Whitehall
  • Plan and elevation of 'Goose-Pie House', Whitehall
    Vanbrugh, John Sir, born 1664 - died 1726
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Plan and elevation of 'Goose-Pie House', Whitehall

  • Object:

    Design

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1700 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Vanbrugh, John Sir, born 1664 - died 1726 (architect)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pencil, pen and ink

  • Museum number:

    E.2124:112-1992

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level D, case LD, shelf 42

On 22 July 1700 Vanbrugh was granted leave to build a house in the ruins of the home of the Vice-Chamberlain, Vanbrugh's friend Peregrine Bertie. It had been destroyed by the fire at Whitehall in 1698. Castle Howard was in the process of being built, but Vanbrugh's own house at Whitehall was his first visible work in architecture. There was much criticism at the time in pamphlets and occasional broadsheets. Jonathan Swift first referred to Vanbrugh's House as `Goose-Py' in a poem of 1703, 'Vanbrug's House'. Poets, says Swift, come looking for the house and cannot find it until `at length they in the Rubbish spy / A Thing resembling a Goose Py'. Vanbrugh's small bachelor house originally stood on a site of demolition and redevelopment unlike any other house. Street houses were normally part of a terrace and only very grand houses in the town centre would have freestanding side elevations. This house was a departure from the expectations of the time. The front elevation has as its origins the end of the north wings of Castle Howard. It was demolished in 1898.

This drawing is part of the Vanbrugh Album from the Library at Elton Hall. The Album contains 254 drawings and includes works by Sir John Vanbrugh, Sir Edward Lovett Pearce, William Talman, Nicholas Hawksmoor, Richard Castle and anonymous draughtsmen in Vanbrugh's office. It was created ca. 1945-54 and was purchased by Victoria and Albert Museum in 1992.

Physical description

Plan and elevation of Goose-Pie House, Sir John Vanbrugh's house in Whitehall, built in 1701. The central three bays of the seven bay front are rusticated and the two outer bays project on the ground floor only. Scale: 1 inch to 7 feet.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

ca. 1700 (made)

Artist/maker

Vanbrugh, John Sir, born 1664 - died 1726 (architect)

Materials and Techniques

Pencil, pen and ink

Marks and inscriptions

Inscribed in ink with scale.

Dimensions

Height: 32.4 cm, Length: 24.8 cm

Object history note

On 22 July 1700 Vanbrugh was granted leave to build a house in the ruins of the home of the Vice-Chamberlain, Vanbrugh's friend Peregrine Bertie. It had been destroyed by the fire at Whitehall in 1698. Castle Howard was in the process of being built, but Vanbrugh's own house at Whitehall was his first visible work in architecture. There was much criticism at the time in pamphlets and occasional broadsheets. Jonathan Swift first referred to Vanbrugh's House as `Goose-Py' in a poem of 1703, 'Vanbrug's House'. Poets, says Swift, come looking for the house and cannot find it until `at length they in the Rubbish spy / A Thing resembling a Goose Py'. Vanbrugh's small bachelor house originally stood on a site of demolition and redevelopment unlike any other house. Street houses were normally part of a terrace and only very grand houses in the town centre would have freestanding side elevations. This house was a departure from the expectations of the time. The front elevation has as its origins the end of the north wings of Castle Howard. It was demolished in 1898. See Downes (1987).

Part of the Vanbrugh Album, which was purchased in 1992 with the aid of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the National Art Collections Fund, The Monument Trust, The Sainsbury Trust, and an anonymous donor.

Descriptive line

Plan and elevation of 'Goose-Pie House', Whitehall; the Vanbrugh Album; circle of Sir John Vanbrugh; ca. 1700.

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

Lorimer, C. and Newton, C. (ed.), The collection of drawings by Sir John Vanbrugh and his circle in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London: V & A, 1996, p. 52, cat. 133.
Downes, K., Sir John Vanbrugh: A Biography, 1987, pp. 223-233.

Subjects depicted

Rustication; Plan; Elevation; Dome; Bays

Categories

Designs; Drawings

Production Type

Unique

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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