The Royal Hospital for Seamen was designed by Sir Christopher Wren with assistance from Nicolas Hawksmoor. The design for the hospital included a Chapel & a large dining area (The Painted Hall). The young artist James Thornhill was commissioned to paint the hall. The agreed price was £1.00 per yard (roughly one square meter) for the walls & £3.00 per yard for the ceilings, after 19 year’s Thornhill had painted over 40,000 square feet earning him £6,685 & a Knighthood from King George I. The ceiling of the Lower Hall depicts “The Triumph of Peace & Liberty over Tyranny.” Historical characters including William III, Mary II & Louis XIV of France are depicted with mythological figures including Apollo, Hercules, Medusa & Aries inside a golden oval representing the heavens. The Lower Hall paintings depict the story of William & Mary’s victory over tyranny & arbitrary power (King Louis XIV). William is portrayed as a bringer of peace surrounded by kingly virtues. The Upper Hall depicts Queen Anne of Great Britain with her husband Prince George of Denmark. The painting is a showcase of British naval supremacy & depicts the four corners of the known world (America, Europe, Asia & Africa)
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