The New Jacobean Order

The Whitehall Banqueting House

The Banqueting House at Whitehall, with a large interior space flanked by Doric and Ionic columns, was erected at Whitehall in 1606, to be used as a ceremonial hall and a hall for festivals and masques. It was destroyed by fire in 1619, and Inigo Jones designed its successor, along the lines of a Roman basilica by Palladio. Rubens was approached to supply the ceiling panels in 1621, but he worked on them only after James's death, taking as his theme the glorification of the earthly deeds of a "King by Divine Right," who found his reward at death when he ascended into the empyrean. The panels were put in place in 1635, but they were soon damaged by the smoke from torchlights used in King Charles's masques.

The images show Jones's sketch for the exterior of the Banqueting House, the (often-restored) great hall with the Rubens ceiling, and King James standing before Whitehall.

[Click on image to enlarge]


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