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Thomas Philip (1781–1859), Earl de Grey, PRIBA

Photo credit: RIBA Collections

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In 1834, the infant Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) asked Britain’s most eminent architect, Sir John Soane to be its first President but when he refused, it turned instead to the aristocratic amateur architect, Thomas Philip Robinson, 2nd Earl de Grey (1781–1859). His overriding interest was architecture and he had the money to indulge himself. His masterwork was Wrest Park, Bedfordshire, one of the finest houses built in the eighteenth-century French style but without using imported paneling or building fragments, unlike so many other houses of the period.

The Royal Institute of British Architects





oil on canvas


H 141 x W 121.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

presented by members of the RIBA, 1860

Work type



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Normally on display at

The Royal Institute of British Architects

66 Portland Place, London, Greater London W1B 1AD England

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