Today we visited Sir John Soane’s Museum. It was fantastic! First we discussed who John Soane was, and who he lived with. We know he was a very talented architect.
We visited the library and dining room and discussed the different light sources. There was natural and artificial light. We spotted mirrors around the room which reflected light and so spread it around the room. We also saw a model of Elizabeth’s tomb. It was the inspiration for the Tardis in Doctor Who as it looked so much like a telephone box!
John Soanes liked to collect things. We observed his Roman frescos which were beneath stained glass windows. The yellow and orange filters were reminiscent of Italy.
In the Domed area of the Museum there was lots of natural light which was used like a spotlight. Above the statue of Apollo, yellow light entered the room as the window was filtered. This is to reflect his status as a God.
In the Breakfast room we learned there are over 100 mirrors! We also learned that John Soane’s dog, Fanny, was looked after by Britain’s very first vet. The window faced the east because this is where the sun rises.
The crypt was very dark because John Soanes used to go down there to think about life and death. He put a sculpture in the garden so that the light could not reach this area of his house. We loved looking at the Sarcophagus from Egypt! It cost as much as the house and John Soane was so pleased that he had a party for three days! Even the British Museum could not afford this. We learned that the sarcophagus is translucent because some light could travel through the limestone.
We then saw the Monks room which had stained glass windows. We learned that churches have stained glass windows because many people could not read a long time ago and so followed Biblical stories in this way.
During the Workshop, we shone torches over different coloured palettes. We loved seeing the different colours these made. We looked at how different objects affected the light. Plastic is transparent so the light shone through. Tracing paper is translucent so the light came through slightly. The book was opaque so the light could not bend around it (it travels in straight lines) and it created a shadow.
What a fantastic trip! Thank you to our parent helpers, too.