British Museum Building Works, London, 1845-1852
Artist: Scharf, George senior
Medium: Pencil on paper
This drawing illustrates work being carried out during the first phase of the new British Museum. The museum building, designed by the architect Sir Robert Smirke, had to be large enough to accommodate the growing collections.
The first phase of building was completed in 1852, and consisted of the majority of the quadrangular structure with its grand classical facade. The magnificent Reading Room was added five years later, and was home to the British Library for nearly 150 years.