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Charles Eastlake

Letter to Prince Albert on the closing of the competition for fresco designs for the Houses of Parliament 7 June 1843

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One of Prince Albert's first forays into public life was as chairman of the Fine Arts Commission. This body was established partly to provide a stimulus to the development of fine art in Britain, but also with the specific responsibility for overseeing the redecoration of the Palace of Westminster, which had burnt down in 1834. Prince Albert took the opportunity to promote British history fresco painting, in the spirit of his interest in the Italian Renaissance. The Commission opened a competition for designs.

In this letter, Charles Eastlake, secretary to the Commission, reports that the competition has closed, with a very satisfactory 141 cartoons submitted.