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  • Writer's pictureWill von Behr, MA

A Brief History of Queen’s House in Greenwich, London

What is Queen’s House?

Queen’s House in Greenwich is a former royal residence and 17th century classical masterpiece commissioned by King James I for his wife Anne of Denmark that now holds an impressive collection of 18th and 19th century art.

Queen’s House in Greenwich

Queen’s House History

In the early 17th century, King James I swore in front of his wife, Anne of Denmark, when she accidentally killed one of his favourite dogs during a hunt. As an apology, the king commissioned the acclaimed architect Inigo Jones (who would go on to design Banqueting House in Whitehall) to construct The Queen’s House in Greenwich.

This perfectly proportioned classical masterpiece, which breaks the tradition of Tudor style red-brick buildings, was inspired by Jones’ influential last trip to Italy and was the first fully classical building in England.

The Queen’s House is no longer reserved for royalty, but rather showcases to the public an extraordinary collection of art from 18th and 19th-century masters such as Gainsborough, Hogarth, Reynolds, and Turner.

The building’s connection with art dates back to the late 17th century, when King Charles II provided a studio here to brothers Willem and Adriaen van de Velde, the famous Dutch marine artists.

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