This room is 96ft long and was built in 1695 for William III and originally furnished with green velvet hangings and white damask curtains. It was intended to house the finest pictures from the Royal Collection here.

The King’s Gallery has been refurbished following the decorative scheme devised for George I. In 1725, the King commissioned William Kent to design and decorate a new gallery which had to incorporate the carved cornice and other decorative features designed for William III. The wind-dial above the chimneypiece, for example, was made for William by Robert Morden in 1694 but Kent was asked to design a new marble chimneypiece and carved overmantle around it. The points of the compass are marked round the circumference of a map of north-western Europe and the direction of the prevailing wind is indicated by the pointer operated by rods connected to a wind-vane on the roof. In the corners are painted scenes, probably by Robert Robinson, illustrating the four continents (Austalia was not discovered until the later 18th century). Above the wind-dial, set in a circular frame is a small fresco of the Madonna and Child, which was traditionally ascribed to Raphael and is not thought to be the work of the 16th-century Italian artist Annibale Carracci.

In the first picture you can just see a small portion of the very lavishly painted ceiling. The paintings are on canvas and depict scenes from the story of Ulysses.  The mythological scenes were painted by Kent himself whilst the surround work is that of his Spanish assistant Francisco de Valentia

The King's Gallery


Info from the official guidebook.

22 Comments CherryPie on Feb 16th 2010

22 Responses to “Kensington Palace – The King’s Gallery”

  1. MTG says:

    Designed to stultify any pride in a decent pleb entrance hall.

    • CherryPie says:

      I used to live in a big old house which had been converted into flats. I lived in the roof which obviously used to be the servants quarters. I always though of it as the penthouse suite ;-)

  2. Bernard says:

    Now that is unusual. I have never come across a remote wind direction indicator before. (except modern versions).
    I cannot imagine what possible use it might have had except to those at sea?

    • CherryPie says:

      I had never come across one at all before, I found it quite fascinating.

      Now you have got my all curious as to why they had one installed there!

  3. Now I’ve never been to Kensington Palce. I must change that

  4. such beautiful and elegant rooms! and the color is extraordinary! very nicely captured :)

  5. Claudia says:

    Somptuous! I’ve always wondered why, in those days, they painted the ceilings so lavishly. Maybe it’s because I’m short, and I can’t keep looking up for a very long time.

    • CherryPie says:

      I have no idea why they did that… The best way to view them would be to lay on your back just as you would in the green grass looking at clouds.

      Oh the bit about the clouds is something I enjoy doing ;-)

  6. Yvonne says:

    An amazing place…can you just image a) how much gossip was pass in that hall way and b) how much work it is to kept clean!

  7. Ginnie says:

    The compass is what mesmerizes me, CP. It’s worth a long stare!

  8. Christophe says:

    Magnifique demeure !

  9. jameshigham says:

    The richness of those tones is superb. I love such colours.

  10. Phidelm says:

    Wonderful, Cherie. I love these glimpses of the Palace – fabulous and luxurious, all of it. And your introductions are enlightening, too.

  11. That was really interesting, thank you. I often stay at a hotel in Kent then get the high speed rail up to London for day trips, so next time I go I will definitely have to visit Kensington Palace, your pictures make it look so beautiful.