There’s a large scale model of St Paul’s Cathedral dome in the Guildhall Art Gallery at the moment, as part of an exhibition marking the 300th anniversary of Sir Christopher Wren’s death.
The scale model, taller than a person, is also made from cardboard, giving the stone building a sense of vulnerability as it stands in the middle of a space that’s been decorated as if it’s a workshop where Wren might have worked.
Dotted around are a load of facsimile drawings from Wren, and his contemporaries working on the cathedral and the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire. The notes next to the drawings are quite fascinating in how they reveal the way drawings are aged — such as one showing a wall that’s slightly different to how it was built, so they can date the drawing to an earlier design.
Another shows St Paul’s front towers with two clocks, when it ended up with just one.
The artist / cartographer Adam Dant has created a specially commissioned map which describes all the aspects of Christopher Wren’s life and times, and it sits in the middle of a collection of drawings by modern architects creating a nice contrast with the older drawings on the other walls.
Unquestionably though, it’s the large model of the dome in the middle that gets the attention.
Note – if you haven’t been yet, that the London painted on a grand scale exhibition will close at the end of July, so you can take in both at the same time.
The gallery is open every day from 10:30am to 4pm, with the last admission at 3:45pm.