One of the highlights of the art collection at Banqueting House, besides of course the magnificent ceiling paintings by Rubens, is the painting of King Charles I (1600-1649) by Daniel Mytens (1590-1647). Part of the Government Art Collection it hangs above the grand staircase leading into the Banqueting Hall. Charles I wears splendid blue stockings. The painting is hung co-incidentally very close to the site of the former window, through which the unfortunate king stepped onto a scaffold and was beheaded. A second painting of Charles I hangs on the wall half way up the main staircase. It is from the school of Sir Anthony Van Dyck and is on loan from the National Portrait Gallery.
A bronze bust of James I is positioned above the door into the Banqueting Hall. James looks very regal, and is depicted wearing his crown. The bust was commissioned by Charles I to celebrate his father, and was made by the sculptor Hubert Le Sueur in 1639. When Charles sat on his throne, he could see this bust facing him across the room. Le Sueur also made the statue of Charles I on horseback, which is on Whitehall near Trafalgar Square.
Join Siobhan Clarke at the Banqueting Hall for an exclusive tour of this revolutionary building.
27 October (fully booked) and 4 November (fully booked)
Lose yourself in the Hampton Court Maze - the most famous maze in the world. Commissioned around 1700 by William III, it is still baffling visitors today.