Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017 | Licence: All Rights Reserved
Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017 | Licence: All Rights Reserved

A performance of Macbeth in the Rubens Room, Windsor Castle

4th February 1853

Louis Haghe

From the collection

Title

A performance of Macbeth in the Rubens Room, Windsor Castle

Date

4th February 1853

Artist

Description

A watercolour depicting the Queen, Prince Albert, the Duchess of Kent and Princess Ada of Hohenlohe-Langenburg with the royal children seated below their dais in the King's Drawing Room, Windsor Castle, watching Lady Macbeth (Mrs Charles Kean) in the sleep-walking scene of Shakespeare's play Macbeth (Act V, sc. ii). Other guests seated. Signed and dated lower left: L. Haghe / 1853
Complaints in the press concerning the Queen's obvious delight in foreign opera and theatre resulted in the institution of annual theatricals performed by the British company of the actor Charles Kean. This depiction of the company's Macbeth in the Rubens Room at Windsor Castle was commissioned by Queen Victoria. The Queen was delighted by the play and attended the London performance on several occasions.
The King's Drawing Room was originally decorated with an elaborate ceiling by Antonio Verrio, which illustrated Charles II driving through the sky in a triumphal car (reflecting the restoration of monarchy). After Jeffry Wyatville remodelled Windsor Castle in the 1820s and 30s, this room was hung primarily with works by Rubens, leading to it being referred to as the Rubens Room into the twentieth century. The paintings documented in this watercolour were hung against a red fabric woven with what appears to be a coat of arms design and include: 'Portrait of Don Roderigo Calderon on Horseback', 'Winter', 'Portrait of the Artist', 'The Holy Family with St Francis' and Studio of Rubens, 'Philip II, King of Spain'. The furniture of the King's Drawing Room/Rubens Room was kept minimal during the early years of Queen Victoria's reign as the space was used for both important ceremonial occasions and leisure activities, such as the staging of plays as shown here.

Disclaimer

TWW try to keep the information on this page up to date. However, for the most accurate information you should always consult the owning collection

From the Watercolour World

Location

Windsor Castle, Berkshire, England

Country

Continent

Location Accuracy

Pinpoint

Medium

Category

Credits

Image Credit

Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

Image Licence

A comment or a correction? We're always pleased to know more: [email protected]