© Royal Collection Trust | Licence: All Rights Reserved
© Royal Collection Trust | Licence: All Rights Reserved

Windsor Castle: The Queen’s State Bedchamber c. 1818

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From the Collection


A watercolour depicting The Queen's State Bedchamber, a large room with red walls and a ceiling by Verrio of 'Diana and Endymion'. Prepared for one of the plates in William Henry Pyne's 'History of the Royal Residences' (1816-1819). Engraved by J. Baily, the print published 1.4.1818. 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 Catalogue entry adapted from 'George III & Queen Charlotte: Patronage, Collecting and Court Taste' (London, 2004): The State Bedchamber lay immediately to the west of the Drawing Room; apart from small closet rooms to the west (accessible through the central door in the right wall), it was the last room in the Queen’s Apartments. It is unlikely that Queen Charlotte ever slept in this room: her private apartments were on the east front of the castle. However, in 1778 a magnificent new canopied bed was delivered for her State Bedchamber at Windsor, decorated with fine floral needlework. The bed, and the two armchairs and ten stools supplied at the same time, remain in the Collection. The room as shown in this view was created by James Wyatt as part of his work in the State Apartments in the early years of the nineteenth century. Before 1804 the space was occupied by the Bedchamber to the north and by an ante room and service staircase to the south. To complete the decoration, Verrio’s ceiling, depicting Diana and Endymion, was joined by a new area of ceiling, painted in a very similar style by John Rigaud - showing Jupiter presenting Diana with her bow and arrows. In the 1830s the room was substantially changed when the Royal Library was transferred to this room and the rooms to the west. As part of these changes a new plasterwork ceiling was introduced and the marble chimneypiece was moved to the Queen’s Ballroom. Queen Charlotte’s embroidered bed and suite of seat furniture were removed at the time of Wyatt’s changes. Among the contents of the room recorded for Pyne are Lely’s ‘Windsor Beauties’ on the right wall, and - at the far end - the painted chest-of-drawers, almost certainly acquired by Queen Charlotte.

Alternate title: The Queen's State Bedchamber, Windsor Castle.

Descriptive Medium: 'Pencil and watercolour with touches of bodycolour'

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© Royal Collection Trust

From the Watercolour World


Windsor Castle, Berkshire, England