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Windsor watercolours

These nineteenth-century watercolours depict the magnificent decoration of the new State Apartments at Windsor Castle, executed between 1675 and 1684. The dramatic, illusionistic frescoes were the work of the Italian artist, Antonio Verrio, with elaborately carved and gilded cornices by Grinling Gibbons and Rene Cousin. Verrio's paintings celebrated Charles’s achievements and the peaceful restoration of the Stuart dynasty, depicting him as a great saviour. This work coincided with the decoration of Versailles for Louis XIV and was the first scheme of its kind in England. Only three of the 22 wall and ceiling decorations survived the remodelling of Windsor by George IV in the 1820s.

Cats 101–4