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Oil painting - William and Mary Presenting the Cap of Liberty to Europe (sketch for the painted ceiling of the Great Hall, Greenwich Hospital)
  • William and Mary Presenting the Cap of Liberty to Europe (sketch for the painted ceiling of the Great Hall, Greenwich Hospital)
    Thornhill, James Sir, born 1675 - died 1734
  • Enlarge image

William and Mary Presenting the Cap of Liberty to Europe (sketch for the painted ceiling of the Great Hall, Greenwich Hospital)

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1710 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Thornhill, James Sir, born 1675 - died 1734 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on canvas

  • Museum number:

    812-1877

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Object Type
This is a preliminary study, in effect a design, for part of the decorative scheme in the Painted Hall at Greenwich Hospital, London, newly designed by Christopher Wren. This sketch is not highly finished, and the painting technique is relatively crude but very vigorous.

Subjects Depicted
The monarchs, William and Mary, are shown attended by the figures of Concord and the Cardinal Virtues. The King presents the personifications of Peace and Liberty to Europe and tramples on Tyranny and Arbitrary Power. The figure of Architecture holds a drawing of part of the Hospital (which was erected partly as a memorial to the Queen). Time rescues Truth; Wisdom and Virtue destroy the Vices; and Apollo and the Hours are seen in the Heavens. The Signs of the Zodiac, presided over by the Seasons, are grouped around the oval frame. The present ceiling, executed in 1708/9-1712 varies in some respects from this design.

People
Thornhill and his assistants worked intermittently on the Painted Hall at Greenwich Hospital for l9 years, completing two vast ceiling paintings and five murals that celebrate the Protestant succession of English monarchs from William and Mary (reigned 1689-1702) to George I (reigned 1714-1727).

Physical description

Design for the Painted Hall, Greenwich - William and Mary Presenting the Cap of Liberty to Europe

Place of Origin

London (made)

Date

ca. 1710 (made)

Artist/maker

Thornhill, James Sir, born 1675 - died 1734 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

Height: 96.5 cm unframed, Width: 66 cm unframed

Object history note

Purchased, 1877
Commissioned by the Governors of The Royal Hospital for Seamen, Greenwich.

Descriptive line

Sir James Thornhill, painting, design for the Painted Hall, Greenwich - William and Mary Presenting the Cap of Liberty to Europe

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Rubens and his legacy London : Royal Academy of Arts, 2014. ISBN: 9781907533778

pp. 116-7

Labels and date

British Galleries:
Thornhill painted the walls and two vast ceilings in the Painted Hall at Greenwich Hospital, London, newly designed by Christopher Wren (1632-1723). In this preparatory oil sketch William and Mary present Peace and Liberty to Europe. Thornhill was the only English painter to compete successfully with foreigners for large-scale commissions. [27/03/2003]

Materials

Oil paint; Canvas

Techniques

Oil painting

Categories

Paintings

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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