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Charles Wild (1781-1835)

Windsor Castle: The Queen’s Drawing Room c. 1816

Pencil and watercolour with touches of bodycolour | 20.0 x 25.3 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 922102

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  • A watercolour depicting the Queen's Drawing Room, Windsor Castle, with wood-panelled walls and floor, large landscape pictures by Zuccarelli hanging on top of tapestries, a sumptuous painted ceiling by Verrio and two chandeliers. Prepared for one of the plates in William Henry Pyne's History of the Royal Residences (1816-1819). Engraved by Sutherland, the print published 1.8.1816.

    As was the case with many of the ceilings in the State Apartments, the original Verrio painting was removed during renovations made to the Castle by Jeffry Wyatville in the 1830s and replaced with a decorative plasterwork ceiling; however, the original Grinling Gibbons cornice was retained. During the 1830s alterations the tapestries depicted in this watercolour were also removed, but the Zuccarelli paintings remained hanging. The Queen's Drawing Room was known as the Zuccarelli room until c. 1910, at which point it became a picture gallery with works by many Old Masters on display. A number of significant pieces of furniture and works of art have traditionally been sited in this room.

    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.

    The Queen’s Drawing Room is at the northern extremity of the Queen’s Apartments and is bounded to the east by the King’s Closet and to the west by the Queen’s State Bedchamber. Verrio’s ceiling (replaced by Wyatville) depicts the Assembly of the Gods.

    The paintings visible here can be confidently identified. Prominent are six upright landscapes of the story of Jacob by Zuccarelli, purchased by George III with Smith’s collection in 1762 (reading clockwise - 406008, 406009, 405347, 405938, 405329 & 404010), two of them framing Zuccarelli’s huge Finding of Moses (405358 on the right wall). The set of six seem to have hung at Windsor from an early date, but were first recorded in the Queen’s Bedchamber before being transferred to this room. Here they are hung against a series of Mortlake tapestries of the Seasons. The overmantle is Van Dyck’s allegorical portrait of Lady Venetia Digby (406103); the overdoors from left to right are De Bray’s Family Portrait (404756), Lely’s Magdalen (406084); the so-called ‘Man in Red’ (405752); a Bolognese Judith (403947, hardly visible) and Van Dyck’s famous double portrait of Thomas Killigrew and a friend (407426, cut off by the right margin).

    The furnishings include two of the five silver chandeliers from Hanover, temporarily housed at Windsor during the Napoleonic upheavals. The set of painted seat furniture was part of the late eighteenth-century refurbishment of the State Apartments. The ship models in glazed cases may have been transferred from the library at Buckingham House, where some were described earlier in the reign.
    Provenance

    Probably acquired by George IV

  • Medium and techniques

    Pencil and watercolour with touches of bodycolour

    Measurements

    20.0 x 25.3 cm (sheet of paper)

  • Other number(s)
    Alternative title(s)

    Queen's Drawing Room, Windsor Castle.