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QUEEN'S GUARD CHAMBER:
curiously wrought by Queen Elizabeth's own hand, is equalled, if not eclipsed, by the works of elegant taste produced by those PRINCESSES whose pursuits are an honour to their country.”*
Let us now survey the CASTLE, with its various Apartments,
We enter the Royal Apartments through a vestibule supported by Ionic columns. The Staircase leading to the different rooms was painted by Sir James Thornhill, pleasing specimens of whose skill may bé seen in Greenwich Hospital. It has undergone alterations by Mr. James Wyatt, which are deemed a considerable improvement. A few of the several Paintings decorating the Rooms shewn to the Public shall be mentioned (as I have already done at HAMPTON COURT) with brevity :
At the head of the stairs is the Queen's Guard Chumber, adorned on the ceiling with Britannia, in the person of Queen Catherine, consort to Charles the Second, seated on a globe, attended by deities presenting their respective offerings. The signs of the
* See an amusing publication, entitled An Account of Palaces, Castles and Public Buildings ; by James Norris Brewer. This gentleman is also author of several articles in that voluminous hut interesting work, The Beauties of England and Wales ; which, extending to upwards of Twenty Octavo Volumes, is at length completed. The volume on my native country, South Wales, written by my friend the Rev. Thomas Rees, F.A.S. is entitled to particular commendation.
Zodiac encircle the representation. Here are guns, bayonets, pikes, &c. disposed in beautiful forms, with a star and garter, &c. The apartment has been fitted up for a temporary chapel.
Queen's Presence Chamber is also adorned with the representation of Queen Caroline, attended by Religion and all the Virtues. In this room are two silver chandeliers, brought from Hanover. Charles the First, his Queen and Children, with two other pictures by Vandyke, are its chief embellishment.
Queen's Audience Chamber has its ceiling likewise adorned by the representation of Queen Catherine, attended by Ceres, Pomona, &c. Vandyke has here a picture of the Queen of Charles the First. The chandeliers and glasses in this room are extremely magnificent.
Ball-Room, whose ceiling exhibits Charles the Second giving freedom to Europe. On the cornice is the story of Perseus and Andromeda, so beautifully detailed in Ovid---the Four SEASONS, and the signs of the Zodiac, heightened with gold. Vandyke has a picture of the Countess of Carlisle, and Ramsay a painting of the Queen and part of the Royal Family. Here are four large glasses with massive silver frames, with four correspondent silver tables, and three chandeliers. The whole has a grand and impressive effect.
Queen's Drawing-Room, with a ceiling crowded with gods and goddesses, intermixed with Cupids and flowers, heightened with gold. Vandyke has here
ROOM OF BEAUTIES,
two portraits, of Lady Digby and of Killigrew; and here is also a beautiful landscape, representing Pharaoh's daughter taking Moses under her protection.
Queen's State Bcd-Chamber, lately much enlarged, the ceiling embellished by the story of Jupiter giving the bow to Diana. The paintings are numerous; besides Peter the Great, and the Duke of Marlborough, here are some charming pieces from the Heathen Mythology.
King's Closet, with St. George and the Dragon on the ceiling, by Mr. Wyatt; a recent embellishment. The pictures many, including St. Sebastian, by Guido ---Angel appearing to the Shepherds, by Poussin--Holy Family, by Titian---Lord's Supper, by Rubens ---with others, by modern artists, and taken from modern history. The room, hung with a beautifnl scarlet cloth, shews the paintings to great effect. Here is a beautiful Amber Closet.
The Room of Beauties, which have been engraved for the Memoirs of the Count de Grammont
-Beauty!—thou pretty play-thing,
These beauties are--
- Frances, Duchess of Richmond, whom Charles the Second meant to make his Queen; but Clarendon got her married to the Duke of Richmond, to avoid the evils of a disputed succession, which excited the royal indignation--- Lady Rochester, wife of Lawrence Hyde, Earl of Rochester---Lady Denham, at eighteen married to Sir John Denham,
of seventy-nine; supposed to have been poisoned through jealousy -- Lady Sunderland, daughter of Lord George Digby--- Miss Brooks, afterwards Lady Whitmore--- Mrs. Jane Middleton, very handsome, and of coquettish disposition ; a lover of splendour, and her admirers were obliged to gratify it; distinguished for her affectation of wit and prosing conversation---Countess of Northumberland, wife of Joceline, Earl of Northumberland--- Miss Hamilton, afterwards Lady Grammont, the brightest ornament of Charles's Court, surmounting its dangers, and preserving a spotless character amidst an overwhelming profligacy--Sarah, Duchess of Somerset---and, lastly, the Duchess of Cleveland, the most favourite of all Charles's mistresses. She was a woman of strong passions, and preserved her influence over the King by bearing him children. Bishop Burnet says, she was a woman of great beauty, but of as great depravity. She became mistress in 1661, and continued so till 1672; and in 1679 died of a dropsy. Sir Peter Lely drew these beauties of Charles the Second's Court.
King's Dressing-Room. On the ceiling, Jupiter and Danaë. Here are large oval glasses, which add to the beauty of the room. Among the paintings are, A Madonna, by Guido---Our Saviour, and Herodias' Daughter with the Baptist's Head, by Carlo Dolci--Countess of Desmond, by Rembrandt---St. Peter, by Guercino---and Prince George of Denmark, by Godfrey Kneller. The hangings, as in the former room, produce a similar effect.
The King's Old State Bed-Chamber, whose ceiling represents Charles the Second, with France at his feet, attended by Europe, Asia, Africa and America, paying obedience to him. Hangings of rich crimson, with gold mouldings, impart a grandeur to the whole. The paintings are few---with two Vandykes of the Charles's -and a portrait of Charles the Fifth, by Titian.
King's Drawing-room: the ceiling exhibits an allegorical representation of Charles the Second's Restoration. This apartment has been lately fitted up in a most elegant style, with brilliant chandeliers and a magnificent glass, of English manufactory. Here are two pictures by Rubens, and two by Guido, and others by foreign artists.
King's State and Bed-chamber, on whose ceiling may be seen the Banquet of the Gods! The room is hung with scarlet cloth. The visitor is here amused by a pictorial representation of a Piece of Still Life, a Brass Pan, and a remarkable painting of Titian, Religion driving Hyprocrisy from the Church, as well as the apotheosis of the iwo yoning deceased Princes, Octavius and Alfred, by West.
King's Audience-chamber, has its ceiling enriched with a lively representation of the re-establishment of the Church of England at the Restoration, in the character of England, Scotland and Ireland, attended by Faith, Hope and CHARITY! The furniture and embellishments of this room are in a superb style; indeed, the whole is executed with a peculiar splendour. Here are seven large paintings, by WEST,