The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 57 From London To Windsor

State Apartments in Windsor Castle 1

Previous - Next

In the Lower Ward, just beyond the Lord Chamberlain's Office, is a gateway leading to the long North Terrace, commanding a View of the Home Park, Eton, and Stoke Poges church (in the distance). This ends at the East Terrace, with the sunk Italian garden. The South Terrace overlooks the Great Park. On the north Terrace is the public entrance to the State Apartments, which occupy the north wing of the Upper Ward. These are used mainly for royal visitors, and contain many fine pictures, valuable furniture, and other treasures. From the entrance we ascend to the Upper Floor by the GRAND STAIRCASE, on which is displayed a rich collection of arms and armour, including suits of boys' armour made for the sons of James I. (mounted figures). Halfway up are a statue of George IV., by Chantrey, and the colours of the Irish regiments disbanded in 1922, and at the top are two sedan chairs which were used by Queen Charlotte. In a room to the left of the Grand Staircase is the Queen's Doll's House, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens on the scale of an inch to a foot, and furnished and decorated on the same scale by 1500 of the most eminent artists and craftsmen (1922-23). The STATE ANTE-ROOM (badly lighted) has a ceiling by Verrio (Banquet of the Gods) and contains carvings by Grinling Gibbons, and four landscapes by Zuccarelli. In the KING'S DRAWING-ROOM or RUBENS ROOM is a series of noble works by Rubens (including portraits of himself and his first wife, Elizabeth Brandt) and a St. Martin by Van Dyck. The COUNCIL CHAMBER or GRAND BEDCHAMBER contains paintings by Canaletto, Guido Reni, Domenichino, and Zuccarelli. In the KING'S CLOSET are works by Breughel, Teniers, Berchem, and other Netherlandish masters; and in the QUEEN'S CLOSET are historical portraits, including those of Henry VIII. Edward VI., and Princess Elizabeth afterwards Queen), by Holbein (or his school), and of Prince Rupert, by Lely. The PICTURE GALLERY contains many important works, including the following: Holbein, Four fine portraits; After Correggio, John the Baptist; Andrea del Sarto, Holy Family; Titian, Himself and a friend; Guido Reni, Cleopatra (over the door); Franciabigio, Gardener; Claude, Campagna; Rembrandt, Portraits of himself and his mother; Marinus van Reymerswael (formerly ascribed to Matsys), The Money-changers. The QUEEN'S BALL ROOM or VAN DYCK ROOM contains what is perhaps the finest array in the world of Portraits by Van Dyck (22 in all). Among these are the familiar portrait of Charles I. mounted on a grey horse; groups of Charles I. and his family and of his children; four portraits of Queen Henrietta Maria; Head of Charles I., painted from three points of view for use in the execution of a bust, etc. The ceiling of the QUEEN'S AUDIENCE CHAMBER is decorated with a painting by Verrio (Queen Catherine of Braganza as Britannia), and its walls are hung with Gobelins tapestry representing the story of Esther (continued in the next room). The portraits, in frames carved by Grinling Gibbons, are Princes William II. and Frederick of Orange (by Honthorst) and Mary, Queen of Scots. The furniture includes a cabinet that belonged to that princess.