The Education Department of the Corporation of London commissioned me to write a guide to the unique 17th century Painted Room which once adorned the walls of a large merchant’s house in Botolph Lane. The house no longer exists but the paintings were saved and relocated to the Board Room of the Sir John Cass’s School Foundation. The guide was published in 2000. An article was also published in Country Life :'Round the World in 33 Painted Panels, the story of the Sir John Cass Painted Room', Country Life, 29 July 2004.
The work on the Botolph Lane Painted Room lifted the veil over the art patronage of City merchants. I investigated this little known topic in a series of conferences financed by the Corporation of London’s Education Department. The project culminated with the publication of City Merchants and the Arts (Oblong publications). It drew the attention of Dr Nat Alcock from Warwick University: he was convinced the elusive history of the merchant’s house in Botolph Lane could be reconstructed. He proposed a collaborative project and the outcome was duly published in the London Topographical Record (see Publications).
(c) Mireille Galinou