Windsor Castle, Berkshire, England
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A watercolour view of the interior of the Queen's Audience Chamber, Windsor Castle, prepared for one of the plates in William Henry Pyne's 'History of the Royal Residences' (1816-1819). Engraved by W. J. Bennett, the print published 1.2.1818.
The Audience Chamber is at the south-west corner of the Queen’s Apartments, between the Presence Chamber and the Ballroom. The ceiling painting by Antonio Verrio depicts Catherine of Braganza (Queen Consort of Charles II) being pulled in a chariot by swans towards the Temple of Virtue, and there is an original cornice and overmantel frame by Grinling Gibbons. The decoration of the room is very similar to that in the Presence Chamber. However, in 1807 the original overmantel was replaced with Edward Wyatt’s remarkable carved panel, intended at once to blend with and to emulate the seventeenth-century work. Edward Wyatt was a cousin of the King’s architect, James Wyatt, through whose influence he was in 1798 appointed carver and gilder to the Office of Works.
This watercolour records a number of paintings hanging in the Queen's Audience Room, including Vansomer, 'Anne of Denmark' (401177), Studio of Van Dyck, 'Henrietta Maria' (405663) amd Lely, 'Anne Duchess of York' (402852). It also shows two large paintings by Zuccarelli - 'Isaac and Rebecca' (401454) and a landscape (401001) - which were acquired by George III with Consul Smith’s collection. They hung at Hampton Court before being transferred to Windsor, before 1813.
Pyne's 'History of the Royal Residences' was a three-volume publication which encompassed a number of royal residences, including Windsor Castle (vol. 1) and Buckingham House (vol. 2), presenting 100 hand-coloured engravings of exteriors and interiors accompanied by descriptive texts. The 100 watercolours which were engraved for the publication survive in the Royal Library; these watercolours are exactly the size of the image on the printed plates, and may perhaps have been intended as colour guides for the artists responsible for hand-painting the monochrome prints.
Alternate title: The Queen's Audience Chamber, Windsor Castle.
Descriptive Medium: 'Pencil, watercolour and touches of bodycolour'