About the Painted Hall

In the Painted Hall

When I first visited Greenwich in 2008 I was very disappointed to find the Painted Hall closed for an event. So, the first opportunity I had after we moved here I went to see it. It is indeed a very impressive building that brings together some very important artists in British history: Christopher Wren, Nicholas Hawksmoor and John Thornhill. Wren, famously known as the architect of the St Paul’s cathedral, together with Hawksmoor, put the basis of the buildings that today form the Old Naval College. The history of the Hall starts in 1698, when they submitted the design for the buildings, split so that they would still allow the Queen’s House direct view towards the river.  The painting was done by Thornhill over 19 years. His paintings include George I with his vast family, Queen Anne, King William and Queen Mary. The Hall was meant to be an eating place for naval veterans but once the painting was finished it was considered too grand for the purpose! A very useful description of the paintings in the hall is given here.

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