Joseph Nash (1809-78)
Windsor Castle: The Waterloo Chamber, 5 June 1844 dated 1844
Watercolour and bodycolour over pencil | RCIN 919785
A watercolour showing the Queen entering the Waterloo Gallery, wearing the red ribbon of the Order of St Catherine. The Emperor Nicholas I of Russia, in a dark blue uniform, is wearing the Garter. The genesis of the idea for a 'Waterloo Gallery' goes back to George IV's earliest plans for rebuilding Windsor, evolved during discussions with his principal artistic adviser Sir Charles Long, later Lord Farnborough. In Jeffry Wyatville's various schemes for the Upper Ward of the castle, submitted in 1824, provision was made for such a space in a number of alternative locations, but the room was not created until the 1830s, during the reign of George IV's brother and successor William IV. The new room, with its pierced and fretted timber ceiling and panelled walls embellished with Gibbons carvings (salvaged from the former chapel), occupies the central area of the building on the north side of the Upper Ward. It was constructed in what had hitherto been an open space known as Horn Court. The series of full- and half-length portraits by Sir Thomas Lawrence, for the display of which the room was created, was begun as early as 1814 when George IV had formed the idea of commissioning Lawrence to paint the allied sovereigns, military commanders and statesmen most closely associated with the overthrow of Napoleon. This great project, delayed by the escape of Napoleon from Elba, was resumed in 1815 after the victory of the allied forces at the Battle of Waterloo. Between 1818 and 1820 Lawrence travelled round Europe to complete the series, which included his masterpiece, Pius VII. Further embellishment of the upper walls (which are shown plain in this drawing) and of the roof was undertaken by the decorating firm of J.G. and J.D. Crace in 1860.
Wyatville's remodelling of the State Apartments had created a series of rooms very well suited to the elaborate rituals of a State Visit and from the 1840s Queen Victoria put them to regular use for this purpose. To left of centre Queen Victoria leads the Emperor Nicholas I of Russia in to dinner, in the course of his State Visit. The larger rooms, including the Waterloo Chamber, continue to be used in this way to the present day.
Signed and dated Joseph Nash 1844
ProvenanceCommissioned by Queen Victoria (£17 10s.)
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The Queen dining with the Emperor of Russia in the Waterloo Gallery, 5 June 1844