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Charles II's Palaces

Vorsterman was a Dutch landscape painter, pupil in Utrecht of Herman Saftleven (1609-85), who came to England during the reign of Charles II. 

This is one of a pair of views of Windsor Castle (OM 418-9, RCIN 405265 and 406508), which are described as V

A View of Windsor Castle ©

In 1660 there was an urgent need to re-establish the palaces as a magnificent setting for court life. During the Commonwealth many former royal residences had been sold, demolished or used by the military and the majority of the furnishings and paintings auctioned to raise money for the new regime. Only Whitehall Palace and Hampton Court,
which had been occupied by Oliver Cromwell, retained their glory.

Charles II’s early building projects were constrained by a lack of sufficient finance. Whitehall was improved in a piecemeal fashion, while at Greenwich and Winchester, new palace buildings were left uncompleted. Significant improvements were carried out at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, the king’s official residence in Scotland, although Charles II himself never visited.

It was only at Windsor Castle that Charles II’s ambition to create an impressive and modern palace was realised. The new suites of State Apartments, St George’s Hall and the Chapel, completed between 1678 and 1684, transformed part of the medieval castle into a magnificent representation of royal authority.

Pierre Fourdrinier (active 1720-60)

The Royal Palace of Holyrood House

Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-77); published by John Ogilby (1600–1676)

The Citie of EDENBVRGH from the South