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Published on : Saturday, February 6, 2016
This will be the first time an artist has worked on the ceiling of the Great Hall, one of Britain’s most important historic interiors, since the Florentine artist Orazio Gentileschi created a series of nine paintings, in 1639.
Wright will be working closely with a team of five assistants, in the same manner as Renaissance and Baroque fresco-masters.
The technique is intricate and painstaking; Wright initially draws a cartoon on paper which is then transferred to the surface by pouncing (piercing cartoon holes and running chalk through it), creating ‘the ghost of a work’ on the wall or ceiling. The mark is then painted with size (adhesive) and covered with gold leaf. Working on a series of scaffold flat beds, Wright and his team will be installing for nine weeks from the 29 February to the 14 May 2016.
The remarkable artwork will be revealed to the public when the Queen’s House re-opens in July 2016 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of its commissioning and design.
Designed by Inigo Jones in 1616 for the wife of James I, Anne of Denmark, the Queen’s House was the first classical building in the country and is an acknowledged masterpiece of 17th-century architecture.
The closure gives Royal Museums Greenwich the opportunity to refurbish galleries, including the King’s Presence Chamber and the Tulip Stairs, as well as introducing new displays and colour schemes, bespoke lighting and new interpretation.