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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
23rd March 1933 Born today: Geoffrey Leigh, CEO (Allied London Properties)
23rd March 1905 Born today: Ralph Perring, Lord Mayor (London)
23rd March 1889 The free Woolwich ferry service was launched by Sir Joseph Bazalgette.
23rd March 1861 London's 1st tramcars, designed by Mr Train of NY, begins operating
23rd March 1743 George Frideric Handel's oratorio Messiah premieres in London
23rd March 1729 Celebrated satirical painter William Hogarth married Jane Thornhill, daughter of artist Sir James Thornhill.
The Chelsea copy of Rembrandt's Amsterdam House.
Location: 28 Mallord Street, Chelsea, SW3 6DU
Description: This splendid grade-II listed house was designed and built in 1913 for Welsh artist Augustus John (1878-1961).
It was a copy of Rembrandt's Amsterdam house and as such a Dutch cottage form.
The architect was Robert van t'Hoff after he met Augustus John in a pub. It was t'Hoff's third house.
Augustus was educated at the Slade School of Fine Art but was said to be unpromising until he was knocked out in a swimming accident and on his revival he found a new artistic lease of life.
He was a brilliant painter specialising in portraits, such as those of Shaw, Hardy and Dylan Thomas.
He is best remembered for his portrait of Queen Elizabeth, wife to George VI. He scandalously failed to attend the first sitting, citing was suffering from the influence.
He held many wild parties here, and his studio/gallery was/is towards the rear of the property.
He sold it in 1935 to singer Gracie Fields.
It was sold for 5.4m in 2009.