July 2020 Art Quiz Answer

In our July group email, we pose the Art Quiz question:

St. Pancras, London was painted in 1927 by Paul Nash (1889-1946) and was acquired by the Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum in 1954.  For more details, click here.

Paul Nash was at different times in his career a landscape artist, a war artist and a surrealist. The title of this painting implies that it is about the building seen partially through the window but, stripped of its title, it appears to be simply a conventional ‘Still Life with a Vase of Flowers’. The colours of the earthenware pot and the flowers it displays are echoed by the colours of the building behind – or vice versa, depending on how we look at the picture.

Strictly speaking, the bulk of the building as seen through the window is not St. Pancras Station but the Midland Grand Hotel. Who was the architect of this Gothic Revival London landmark?

a) Augustus Welby Pugin      b) George Gilbert Scott

c) George Edmund Street     d) John Loughborough Pearson


Answer: (b) George Gilbert Scott.

Scott (1811-1878) began his career as a designer of workhouses and went on to design some of the most iconic buildings in London, among them the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Whitehall, the Albert Memorial and the Midland Grand Hotel, which opened in 1873 and closed in 1935. The hotel acts as a frontispiece to the station behind, the great single-span glass roof of which was designed by the architectural engineer William Barlow.

Highly recommended: Simon Bradley, St. Pancras Station (Profile Books, 2007, 2011)