The Hawksmoor International Lecture Series 2016-2017 :: Anya Matthews A Great and Noble Design – Sir James Thornhill’s Painted Hall, Greenwich

  • Thursday 27th October 2016, 6.30pm
  • Tessa Blackstone Lecture Theatre [11_0003]


At the heart of the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, formerly the Royal Hospital for Seamen, stands the Painted Hall. Executed to designs by the artist James Thornhill between 1708 and 1727, this most spectacular of baroque painted interiors is currently undergoing an ambitious programme of conservation. As part of the conservation project, new research is being carried out on the preparatory sketches made by Thornhill for the scheme (now preserved in various art collections). In this lecture, which accompanies the exhibition in the Stephen Lawrence Gallery, the evolution of the Painted Hall’s design is traced through these extraordinary drawings.

Anya Matthews is an art and architectural historian and works as research curator for the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College, where a major project to clean and conserve the paintings is now underway. She is curator of the current Stephen Lawrence Gallery exhibition ‘A Great and Noble Design’ which explores the preparatory sketches made by the artist Sir James Thornhill for the scheme. She is a contributor to the book British Art and Architecture 1660-1735 (Yale University Press, 2016).


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