The Painted Hall

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The Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich is one of the most spectacular and important baroque interiors in Europe. Its ceiling and wall decorations were conceived and executed by the British artist Sir James Thornhill between 1707 and 1726 at the pivotal moment when the United Kingdom was created and became a dominant power in Europe.

The Painted Hall is a powerful synthesis of painting and architecture in which Thornhill’s decoration appears to emanate effortlessly from the interior of Hawksmoor’s imposing building. By turns extravagant, playful, thoughtful, naïve and politically-shrewd, Thornhill’s scheme (one for which he received a knighthood and payment of £6,685) presents a vivid and compelling picture of Britain’s place in the world according to those who governed it at the start of the eighteenth century. The Painted Hall has overawed and delighted visitors ever since.

Suitable for all ages.

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