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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
18th November 1905 George Bernard Shaws Major Barbara, premieres in London
18th November 1852 State funeral of duke of Wellington (London)
18th November 1836 Born today: William Schwenck Gilbert, London, composer (Gilbert and Sullivan)
Dulwich Picture Gallery
The biggest art collection in South London.
Location: Gallery Road, Dulwich, London, SE21 7AD
Description: The Dulwich Picture Gallery is one of South London's biggest art attractions. It was built by Sir John Soane as the world's first purpose-built art gallery (the Foundling Hospital, which contained a permanent art exhibition, being primarily for another purpose) and opened in 1817. The original collection was based on the personal collections of Sir Francis Bourgeois (1753-1811), originally from Switzerland, and his business partner, Frenchman Nol Desenfans.
Bourgeois and Desenfans, along with Desenfans' wife, who funded part of their work, are buried in a mausoleum that forms one wing of the museum. The mausoleum took a direct hit from a German bomb during World War II and, apparently, their bones were scattered across the lawn in front of the gallery. The three sarcophagi in the mausoleum now once again contain approximately a skeleton each, but nobody was quite sure which bones were whose.