The Picture Gallery

Visitors inside of the Picture Gallery during the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace

The Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace, one of the 19 State Rooms, displays some of the greatest paintings in the Royal Collection.  It was created by the architect John Nash as part of his transformation of Buckingham House into a palace for George IV in the 1820s.

The 47-metre room was designed as a setting for the King’s magnificent picture collection.  The theme of painting is echoed in the Picture Gallery’s four marble chimneypieces. Each incorporates a pair of female figures holding palettes and brushes, and has at its centre a garlanded medallion of a great painter: Titian, Leonardo da Vinci, Dürer and Van Dyck.

The Picture Gallery has always served as one of the Palace’s principal rooms for official entertaining.  Today it is the setting for receptions hosted by The Queen and members of the Royal Family to recognise achievement in a particular walk of life or sector in the community.  The room is occasionally used for dinners in support of charities or organisations with royal patrons.  It is also here that the recipients of honours assemble before being led into the Ballroom for their investiture.

The hang in the Picture Gallery is changed quite regularly, as The Queen lends many paintings to exhibitions around the UK and overseas.  The current display brings together Italian, Dutch and Flemish works mainly from the 17th century, grouped by subject and artistic nationality. Among the great artists represented are Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Dyck and Claude.

Highlights from the Picture Gallery

RCIN  405346 - A Lady at the Virginal with a Gentleman, 'The Music Lesson' RCIN 405776 - Andrea Odoni
RCIN 402824 - The Calling of Saints Peter and Andrew RCIN 404120 - Self-Portrait in a Flat Cap RCIN 405551 - Self-portrait as the Allegory of Painting (La Pittura)