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Review : The Queen’s House in Greenwich

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Greenwich is a favourite destination for visitors who come to admire its many delights. One treasure that is often overlooked is the Queen’s House located near the National Maritime Museum.

The House’s has recently been closed to allow the Royal Museums Greenwich the opportunity to refurbish galleries and introduce new displays and colour schemes, bespoke lighting and new interpretation. It will be reopened on October 11th 2016 to celebrate its 400th anniversary featuring paintings that illustrate its Royal connections and work from the National Maritime Museum’s outstanding art collection.

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The Queen’s House has a remarkable history and is considered one of the most important buildings architecturally in the country.  The famous architect Inigo Jones was commissioned to design the building in 1616 by King James I’s wife, Anne of Denmark , although she never saw Inigo Jones’s Classical design completed because she died in 1619 when only the first floor had been built. In 1629, James’s son Charles I gave Greenwich to his wife Henrietta Maria and work on the Queen’s House resumed to be finally completed around 1636. The house is considered one of the first fully Classical building in England and marked a distinct   break from the traditional, red-brick Tudor style of building.

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The Civil War in 1640’s meant that Henrietta Maria had little time in the house before she went into exile and her husband was executed, although she did eventually return after the restoration in 1660. The house was then used by members of the royal family and for other purposes until 1805, when George III granted the Queen’s House to a charity for the orphans of seamen, called the Royal Naval Asylum. This remained until 1933, when the charity moved to Suffolk. It was taken over by the National Maritime Museum in 1934.

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As part of the new refurbishment Turner Prize winner Richard Wright has created a new artwork for the ceiling of the Great Hall which is inspired by the remarkable Tulip Stairs.

Visitors to the re-opened house will also be able to see Orazio Gentileschi’s Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife displayed in this iconic building for the first time since 1650. The painting, which is part of the Royal Collection, was one of a sequence commissioned for the Queen’s House by King Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria.

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The King’s Presence Chamber and Queen’s Presence Chamber have been used to house paintings illustrating the kings, queens, consorts and courtiers associated with the House and Greenwich during this period. This helps to bring the history of the Queen’s House to life and illustrates the connection with the Tudor Placentia Palace that once stood near the site.

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Walking around the remarkable house provides plenty of evidence of how Greenwich was at the centre of Royal life for centuries and how little remains to remind us of its Royal connections. Rather strangely, the entrance to the house is via the colonnade and not through the front and back of the building. From the house you can enjoy great views of Greenwich Park and the Naval College.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information, visit the Royal Museums Greenwich website here

Entrance is Free to Queen’s House

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide.com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Greenwich Music Time Festival – August 20th to 23rd August 2014

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Set within the grounds of the iconic Old Royal Naval College, the first Greenwich Music Time concert series in 2014 offers an eclectic mix of music over the August Bank holiday  weekend.

With all 5000 attendees seated it will a few nights  to remember next to the Thames ,  the event opens on Wednesday 20th August running until Saturday 23rd August 2014.

The final concert will feature local boy Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra.

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The Australian Pink Floyd Show
Wednesday 20th August

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Goldfrapp
Thursday 21st August

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Proms on the Thames:
Russell Watson
with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
and special Guests Rhydian & Kerry Ellis
Friday 22nd August

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Jools Holland & his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra
and very special guests MELANIE C and MARC ALMOND
Saturday 23rd August

 For more information or Book Tickets , visit the GMT website here
London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Exhibitions – War Artists at Sea – Queen House Greenwich 15th Feb 2014 – Feb 2015

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WAR ARTISTS AT SEA

Location Queen’s House, Greenwich

15 February 2014 – February 2015

The Royal Museums Greenwich’s collection of First and Second World War art is bought together for  this new programme of displays in the Queen’s House includes visually arresting and moving portraits, battle scenes, and depictions of everyday life during conflict, by artists including: Leslie Cole, Eric Ravilious, Richard Eurich, Norman Wilkinson, Stephen Bone, William Dring, John Worsley, Gladys E Reed, John Kingsley Cook and Charles Wheeler.

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Paintings and Sculpture

15 February 2014 – February 2015

Charged with the task of revealing a ‘truth’ that went beyond the simple recording of events, official war art served the purposes of commemoration, instruction, documentation and propaganda as well as raising morale at home and on the front line. These four rooms examine the home front, action at sea, life above and below deck and the faces of war though exemplary works by Eurich, Wilkinson, Bone and Wheeler, among others.

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Works on Paper: William Dring, Gladys E Reed, John Kingsley Cook and John Worsley

15 March – 15 July 2014

Two rooms are devoted to sketches, pastels and watercolours, all of which tell a personal story of war. William Dring was a portraitist and an official war artist to the Admiralty and Air Ministry; his works predominantly in pastel captured the faces of distinguished war heroes and young naval servicemen with the same psychological intensity. The highly talented but as yet unknown Gladys E Reed provides a contrast to the well-documented Dring, and her intimate sketches, made throughout her service as a Wren on her ‘off-watch’ time reveal what life was like for women working during the war.

Works on Paper: Everett and Ravilious

15 August – 15 December 2014

The themes of Modern British Art and the War at Sea make up the focus of two rooms displaying works by First and Second World War artists. The first room is devoted to John Everett, an official First World War artist and a practical deep-water sailor. Everett’s work showcases his interest in, and interpretation of, the military’s use of ‘dazzle’ – a colourful camouflaging technique used to disguise ships. At his death in 1949, he bequeathed all remaining maritime works in his possession to the National Maritime Museum which holds the most important collection of his paintings and works on paper in the world. The second room concentrates on Second World War artists’ responses to modernity, among them Eric Ravilious, one of the few official war artists to be killed whilst on duty.

Exhibition information for visitors:

Venue:                          Queen’s House, Greenwich

Dates:                           15 February 2014 – February 2015

Opening times:           every day, 10.00 – 17.00. The Queen’s House occasionally closes for private events, please call or check online before making your journey

Visitor enquiries:       020 8312 6565

Admission:                  Free