Greenwich Painted Hall Ceiling England’s Sistine – A Walk Through

Fantastic opportunity to view at close quarters the Greenwich Painted Hall Ceiling England’s Sistine.┬áLondon Old Royal Naval College.

Greenwich Painted Hall Ceiling England’s Sistine

Greenwich Painted Ceiling England's Sistine
Painted Hall Ceiling

The Greenwich Painted Hall Ceiling England’s Sistine was painted by Sir James Thornhill between 1708 and 1727. It┬áhas been described as ‘England’s Sistine’. It lives up to expectations.

Greenwich Painted Hall Ceiling England’s Sistine

 

Now that the Hall’s ceiling is being cleaned and restored, tonnes of scaffolding allow visitors to get close to the painting and view what a masterpiece this is.

I visited in early May 2017 and was able to gaze from inches away the outstanding contribution that Sir James Thornhill …

Greenwich Painted Ceiling England's Sistine
Sir James Thornhill

… was able to make to British art.

Thornhill and his assistants used oil on dry plaster applied by master plasterer Henry Dogood (so not a fresco).

The images reflect the thanks a grateful nation made to the power of the British Royal Navy in making the country supreme at sea. Gaining security, stability and commercial opportunities.

The principle image is of King William III and Queen Mary II.

Greenwich Painted Ceiling England's Sistine
King William III and Queen Mary II

William is handing the red cap of liberty …

Greenwich Painted Ceiling England's Sistine
Red Cap of Liberty to Europe

… to Europe and has his foot on the face of the French King Louis XIV. (Versailles!)

Greenwich Painted Ceiling England's Sistine
King Louis XIV

Protestant over Catholic. The King trampling over tyranny and arbitrary power.

Remember the period: this is only a few years after the Restoration of King Charles II and the celebration of Constitutional Monarchy. Britain had had its Civil War, now peace and prosperity were foremost.

Greenwich Painted Ceiling England's Sistine
Old Father Thames and The Isis at Oxford

Greenwich Painted Hall Ceiling England’s Sistine

 

Greenwich Painted Ceiling England's Sistine
Ceiling Viewing Gallery

The cleaning and restoration work is due to continue until late 2018, then all will be revealed in its true glory.

Time though is pressing to get up close and view this wonder for what it is. 67 scaffold steps – that’s all it takes. Breathtaking and breathtaking.

Greenwich Painted Hall Ceiling England’s Sistine

 

Greenwich Painted Hall Ceiling England's Sistine
Ceiling Tours