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Alexander Creswell (b. 1957)

Windsor Castle: The State Dining Room 1998

Watercolour and bodycolour over pencil | 56.0 x 76.0 cm (image) | RCIN 933494

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  • The fire at Windsor broke out in the morning of 20 November 1992 and was finally extinguished fifteen hours later. One hundred and fifteen rooms were destroyed or very badly damaged by the fire and over a million gallons of water were pumped into the fabric of the building. The process of clearing, drying out, rebuilding and redecorating the damaged structure was completed exactly five years later, in time to mark the Golden Wedding anniversary of Her Majesty The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

    Alexander Creswell, who specialises in architectural watercolours, was commissioned to record the principal rooms as they were in the aftermath of the fire early in 1993, and again in 1998 when the restoration was complete. The two series of Creswell views contain eleven and ten drawings respectively. The State Dining Room, contained in the Prince of Wales's Tower at the north-east corner of the Upper Ward, was among the most seriously damaged rooms. After the fire nothing remained of the elaborate plaster decoration in the Gothic style, introduced by Wyatville for George IV in the late 1820s. However, with the exception of the large sideboard at the west end of the room, the furniture made for the room - by Morel & Seddon, to the designs of A.C. and A.W.N. Pugin - had survived, and the decision was therefore taken to put the room back to its original appearance. This work was supervised by Donald Insall & Partners. At the same time new and richly decorated curtains were made, to the designs of Pamela Lewis, in order to re-create the sumptuous effect originally intended by George IV, and a new carpet was woven to the original pattern.

    The room is shown prepared for one of the lunches given by Her Majesty The Queen in June at the time of the Royal Ascot race meeting.

    Catalogue entry from Royal Treasures, A Golden Jubilee Celebration, London 2002
    Provenance

    Commissioned by Queen Elizabeth II

  • Medium and techniques

    Watercolour and bodycolour over pencil

    Measurements

    56.0 x 76.0 cm (image)

    89.8 x 108.7 cm (frame, external)

  • Other number(s)
    Alternative title(s)

    Windsor Castle: the State Dining Room, after restoration