Home » Museums and Art Galleries of London » A Short Guide to the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace

A Short Guide to the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace

The Queen’s Gallery is a public art gallery connected to Buckingham Palace. It exhibits mostly works of art from the Royal Collection on a rotating basis.

The gallery forms part of the south wing of the Palace and was built on the site of a chapel bombed during the Second World War. The gallery opened in 1962 and was an instant success attracting up to 5 million visitors, until it was closed between 1999 to 2002 for extension. In 2002, the gallery was reopened by Elizabeth II with a new Doric entrance portico and new rooms, more than tripling the size of the old gallery.

The gallery was established to make the Royal Collection more accessible to the public and there are often three art exhibitions arranged annually at the gallery.

The Royal Collection has been formed mainly since the time of Charles II in the mid-17th century. It includes a high quality collection of oil paintings, watercolours, drawings, and prints, as well as items of gold, silver, jewellery, furniture, and other decorative art. Many pieces in the collection are loaned to different national museums and art galleries.

Recent exhibitions have included Russia: Royalty & the Romanovs, Shadows of War: Roger Fenton’s Photographs of the Crimea, 1855, Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing and George IV: Art & Spectacle.

Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace bought together some of the most important paintings in the Royal Collection from the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace. Usually on public view during the annual Summer Opening of the Palace, the paintings were shown in The Queen’s Gallery while works are carried out to protect the historic building for future generations.

The Picture Gallery was originally designed by the architect John Nash for George IV to display his collection of Dutch, Flemish and Italian Old Master paintings. Artists that were represented in the exhibition include Titian, Guercino, Guido Reni, Vermeer, Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Rubens, Jan Steen, Claude and Canaletto.

The Queen’s Gallery is one of the best smaller galleries in London and the quality of the artwork and decorative art is of the highest quality. The exhibitions are often quite eclectic with items that often have a fascinating history of their own.

For more information and tickets, visit the Gallery website here

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