The Painted Hall boasts one of the most spectacular Baroque interiors in Europe. The incredible ceiling and wall decorations were conceived and executed by British artist Sir James Thornhill.
The epic painting scheme, known as ‘Britain’s Sistine Chapel’ took nineteen years from the start of the commission to its completion in 1726. By turns extravagant, playful, thoughtful, naïve and politically shrewd, Thornhill’s scheme earned him a knighthood and payment of £6,685.
Thornhill used a variety of techniques such as trompe l’oeil (‘trick the eye’) and chiaroscuro (contrast of light and dark) to enliven his paintings. His use of illusionistic architecture and steep perspective was inspired by It...