Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Gandy, Joseph Michael

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

GANDY, JOSEPH MICHAEL (1771–1843), architect, elder brother of John Peter Gandy-Deering [see Deering], and also of Michael Gandy [q. v.], was a pupil of James Wyatt, and a student of the Royal Academy, where in 1790 he obtained the gold medal for his design for a triumphal arch. From 1793-9 he travelled, and in 1794 was at Rome, where in 1795 he received the pope's medal in the first class for architecture. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1789 as Wyatt's pupil, sending a 'design for a casino,' and was from that time a frequent exhibitor up to 1838; he was elected an associate in 1803. In 1811 Gandy became connected with Sir John Soane [q. v.], and executed numerous drawings for him. His imagination and genius, which were of the first order, were now chiefly employed on works for which Soane got the chief credit. Certain drawings of great excellence exhibited at the Academy in Soane's name after he had become blind were no doubt the work of Gandy alone. Gandy, though an excellent draughtsman, seems to have been of too odd and impracticable a nature to insure prosperity, and it is said that his life was one of poverty and disappointment, ending, according to some accounts, in insanity. He died in December 1843, leaving a son, Thomas Gandy, who practised portrait-painting. Gandy was an excellent architect of the neo-classical school. Perhaps his best known work is shown in the Phoenix and Pelican Insurance offices at Charing Cross. He was largely employed on domestic architecture. Among his designs may be noted a 'Design for a National Institution appropriated to the Fine Arts, the Sciences, and Literature of our Kingdom;' this was embellished with busts and figures by Thomas Baxter, and engraved by John Le Keux. Gandy published in 1805 'Designs for Cottages, Cottage Farms, and other Rural Buildings, including entrance Gates and Lodges,’ and ‘The Rural Architect, consisting of various designs for Country Buildings, &c., with ground plans, estimates, and descriptions, &c.’ A number of his drawings remain in the Soane Museum, Lincoln's Inn Fields. Some of the illustrations in Britton's ‘Architectural Antiquities’ are by him.

[Dict. of Architecture; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Leslie and Taylor's Life of Sir Joshua Reynolds, ii. 589; Sandby's Hist. of the Royal Academy, i. 400.]

L. C.