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This painting shows an idealised view of the Temporary Elgin Room at the Museum in 1819, with portraits of staff, a trustee and visitors. The room was designed by the Museum’s architect, Robert Smirke, for the temporary display of the sculptures from the Parthenon brought from Athens by Lord Elgin, purchased by the Government and deposited in the British Museum in 1816. The donor, Dr J. E. Gray, Keeper of Zoology, 1840–1874, identified those present from personal recollection.
oil on canvas
H 94 x W 132.7 cm
gift from Dr John Edward Gray, 1872
The artist, Archibald Archer is seated at the right hand corner of the painting, his name on the portfolio at his feet. The date  appears in the lower left hand corner.