When

  • Open daily until 29 October 2017. Closed 30 October 2017 until 1 June 2018.

Ticketing info

The Mantegna Gallery will be closed Monday 30 October 2017 until Friday 1 June 2018 while the Triumphs of Caesar are on display at the Royal Academy.

Included in palace admission

A great triumph

Andrea Mantegna made a special study of ancient architecture and sculpture to make his scenes as realistic as possible. They show an imaginary triumphal procession arriving in ancient Rome, complete with captured jewels, women and elephants.

The Triumphs of Caesar were described as ‘the best thing Mantegna ever painted’ by Giorgio Vasari in the 16th century, and their status as masterpieces has remained unchallenged ever since.

The series of nine paintings, probably commissioned by Francesco Gonzaga in about 1485, depict Julius Caesar on a triumphal chariot returning from his successful campaigns. He is in a procession of Roman soldiers, standard-bearers, musicians and the spoils of war including an assortment of booty (including arms, intricate sculpture and gold vases), exotic animals and captives.

Mantegna found inspiration for the scenes he created in written accounts of Caesar’s celebratory processions through Rome as well as surviving Roman antiquities.

The Triumphs come to Hampton Court Palace

The canvases were acquired by Charles I in 1629 when his agent Daniel Nys travelled to Italy and purchased works of art, including paintings by Titian, Raphael and Caravaggio as well as The Triumphs of Caesar. Soon after their addition to the Royal Collection they were brought to Hampton Court Palace, which has remained their permanent home ever since.

Mantegna ‘uses perspective to create the stage on which his figures seem to stand and move like solid, tangible beings’.

E.H. Gombrich, Art historian.

Explore what's on

Photograph of visitors in the main hall of the Banqueting House

Banqueting House is home to some important works of art and sculpture.

Open Daily

Banqueting House
The staircase was painted by William Kent and completed in 1724. The walls depicts an elaborate arcaded gallery with figures behind a balustrade. Many are identifiable as members of King George I's court. The wrought iron balustrade is by Jean Tijou

Wander up the King's Staircase at Kensington Palace - the opulent entrance to the King's State Apartments, lavishly decorated by William Kent.

Open daily

Kensington Palace

Join Siobhan Clarke at the Banqueting Hall for an exclusive tour of this revolutionary building.

23 September, 27 October and 4 November 2017

Banqueting House

Starting promptly in the Undercroft at 10:30 and 12:00

Browse more history and stories

Inspired by the delft ceramic collection of Queen Mary, this fine bone china tea for one set is perfect for afternoon tea.

Queen Mary delft bone china tea for one

The design of this tea for one set is inspired by the ceramic collection of Queen Mary II, a keen collector of Chinese porcelain and Delftware.

£75.00

Exquisite tea light holders in fine bone china, inspired by the ceramic collection of Queen Mary II.

The Triumph of Delft tea light holder

Exquisite tea light holders in fine bone china, inspired by the ceramic collection of Queen Mary II.

£50.00