Holbein Gate, Whitehall

  • About the work

    This 20th-century drawing is based on an illustration to John Thomas Smith’s 'Antiquities of Westminster', published in 1804. The book is concerned with the appearance of the Palace of Westminster before the fire of 1834. The plate depicting the Holbein Gate is titled ‘Whitehall Gateway with additions as intended to have been erected at Windsor’ and the accompanying text, written by Smith, explains that when the gateway was demolished in 1749 the Duke of Cumberland sought permission to re-erect it at the end of the Long Walk, in the Great Park, Windsor. The gate is shown here with additional arches and turrets to either side, illustrating the Duke of Cumberland’s planned additions to the structure. Sadly it was never reconstructed. It is thought that the materials were transported to Windsor but were then worked into other buildings in Windsor Park.

    Paul Sandby’s original drawing of the Holbein Gate, as it would have appeared in the Great Park, Windsor, is untraced. However, four drawings by the artist, showing the gate in its original Whitehall location (without the planned additions) and surrounded by buildings, are now held in the British Museum, Guildhall Library and Royal Collection (which has two examples).

  • About the artist
    Paul Sandby, painter, printmaker and drawing master, was born in Nottingham. He was taught by his elder brother, architect and draughtsman Thomas Sandby, and followed Thomas in working at the Board of Ordnance. In 1747, he was made official draughtsman to the military survey of the Scottish Highlands, following the 1745 Jacobite rebellion. During the Gordon Riots of 1780, he was employed to record the military encampments in London. He was chief drawing master at the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich from 1768 to 1796. Sandby was involved in the establishment of the Society of Artists and was a founder member of the Royal Academy. His made numerous views of Windsor Castle and Windsor Great Park, over a period of around 50 years.
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  • Details
    Title
    Holbein Gate, Whitehall
    Date
    Medium
    Watercolour on paper
    Dimensions
    height: 32.90 cm, width: 38.00 cm
    Acquisition
    Presented by Roland Wilkins, December 1931
    Inscription
    none
    Provenance
    Presented by Roland Wilkins, Assistant Paymaster-General, 1931
    GAC number
    0/610