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Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites

Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace

London Queen's Gallery

Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace

The Queen’s Gallery is an art gallery at Buckingham Palace, home of the British monarch, in London. It exhibits works of art from the Royal Collection on a rotating basis with about 450 works are on display at any one time. When not on display at the Queen’s Gallery, the masterpieces of the Royal Collection may be spread among many historic royal residences in the United Kingdom.

The gallery is on the west side of the Palace, on the site of a chapel that was bombed during the Second World War, and it is open to the public.

A Tour of the Queen’s Gallery and the Royal Collection

Highlights of the Queen’s Gallery and the Royal Collection

  • “Lady at the Virginal with a Gentleman”, ‘The Music Lesson’ by Johannes Vermeer
    • “Lady at the Virginal with a Gentleman” or ‘The Music Lesson’ by Johannes Vermeer depicts a painting of a young female pupil during a music lesson with a gentleman. Their relationship is no precise or clear from this painting. The composition uses perspective to draw the eye towards the figures who are in front of the virginal. The virginal is a keyboard instrument of the harpsichord family and was popular in Europe during the late Renaissance and early Baroque period.
  • “Massacre of the Innocents” by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
    • “Massacre of the Innocents” by Pieter Bruegel, the Elder, depicts the story from St Matthew’s Gospel when King Herod ordered the death of all children in Bethlehem under the age of two. Herod made this command after hearing from the wise men of the birth of Jesus. Bruegel re-imagined the scene into a 16th-century Netherlandish village, where Spanish soldiers and German mercenaries attack the Flemish villagers. This depiction served as a commentary on the occupying Spanish led troops in the prelude to the Dutch Revolt against Spanish rule, also known as the Eighty Years’ War.
  • “Courtyard in Delft at Evening: a Woman Spinning” by Pieter de Hooch
    • “A Dutch Courtyard” by Pieter de Hooch depicts two men seated at a table in the courtyard and a standing woman. The soldier who is wearing a breastplate is setting down the pitcher he has used to fill the glass, now held by the woman. The “pass-glass” the woman is drinking from was used in drinking games. Each participant had to drink down to the next line on the glass. If the drinker failed to reach the line level, the reveler would be required to drink down to the next ring. Only when the drinker had drunk successfully to the required line would the glass be passed on to the next participant. The little girl carries a brazier of hot coals so that the two soldiers can light their long-stemmed, white clay pipes.
  • Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting” by Artemisia Gentileschi
    • “Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting” by Artemisia Gentileschi was painted by the artist during her visit to London in 1638. Charles I had invited her. Artemisia wears a brown apron over her green dress and seems to be leaning on a stone slab used for grinding pigments. The brown space in front of her is a canvas on which she is about to paint. The position of the fingers of her right hand are different in the infra-red reflectography and x-radiography, it shows she chooses to lengthen her index finger.

Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace

  • Name:                  Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace
  • City:                      London
  • Country:              United Kingdom
  • Established:        1962
  • Type:                    Art Museum
  • Locations:           Buckingham Palace, London, United Kingdom

Explore London’s Museums and Heritage Sites

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“Great events make me quiet and calm; it is only trifles that irritate my nerves.”
– Queen Victoria

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Photo Credit: By By Photo: Andreas Praefcke (Own work (own photograph)) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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