Past Exhibitions

George Scharf: From the Regency Street to the Modern Metropolis

An exhibition in the Soane Gallery from the 20 March 2009 - 6 June 2009

George Scharf paintingThe work of artist and illustrator George Scharf has been described as the pictorial equivalent of the great literary chronicler of early Victorian London, Charles Dickens.

Having trained in Munich, Scharf settled in London in 1816. His vivid, detailed drawings capture every aspect of ordinary life in London in the first half of the nineteenth century, showing people going about the business of their daily lives in fine detail - from the boots on their feet to the buttons on their coats and the hats on their heads - recorded with an immediacy that is almost photographic.

This is the first exhibtion devoted solely to this artist and will draw primarily on material from the British Museum. Scharf's widow sold items to the museum's Department of Prints and Drawings in 1862 and his son George, the first director of the National Portrait Gallery, donated further items in 1900.

The exhibtion is accompanied by a fully colour-illustrated catalogue with essays by Dr. Jerzy J. Kierkuc-Bielinski, Sue Palmer and Dr. Caroline Arscott.