- Museum number
- Object: Lacunar Procaetonis Cubili Regis
An allegory of the restoration of the monarchy, after the ceiling painted by Verrio at Windsor Castle. c.1682/6
Engraving printed from two plates on two joined sheets of paper
- Production date
- 1682-1686 (c.)
Height: 673 millimetres
Width: 955 millimetres
- Curator's comments
(Text from Antony Griffiths, 'The Print in Stuart Britain', BM 1998, cat.169)
The Italian Antonio Verrio arrived in England in about 1672 and was commissioned to paint many decorative schemes on the staircases and public rooms in the houses of English grandees. The largest group of work was commissioned by Charles II for the north range of Windsor Castle from 1675-84, most of which was destroyed in 1824 during the alterations by George IV (see E.Croft-Murray, 'Decorative Painting in England 1537-1837', I 1962, pp.53-6). Three of these rooms were etched on large plates by Vandrebanc. One is of the ceiling of the King's Presence Chamber. This plate, The Restoration of the Monarchy, from the King's Withdrawing Room, was so large that it needed two plates that had to be joined together after printing. The third, of Leda and the swan, was in the King's Closet. All these paintings were completed before 1677, and none survives.
The etchings stand apart from anything else in English printmaking of the period. They are the only plates made after any of the many decorations made by Verrio and his successor Louis Laguerre. They are very large, and they are etched rather than engraved. In this they descend directly from a tradition of printmaking in France that had been established by Simon Vouet in France in the second quarter of the century. He had had most of his decorative schemes etched by his son-in-law Nicolas Dorigny, and the publication of these plates became a large family business. Even if Vandrebanc's prints had no influence in England, they made their mark in France, where 'The Restoration of the Monarchy' served as the model for Le Brun in his 'Passage du Rhin' in the Grande Galerie at Versailles (Croft-Murray p.55).
Although this plate does not carry the name of the publisher, The Restoration of the Monarchy bears the joint addresses of Richard Tompson and Edward Cooper. They were among the few print publishers in London at the time who had the understanding of Continental print production to sponsor these outsize, and (one suspects) unsaleable plates. Impressions now seem to be excessively scarce. There are two clues to date these plates: Cooper set up in business in 1682, while in 1686 he was granted a royal privilege, of which no mention is made here.
See 1865,0610.1266 for 18thC republication of the plate
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1998, BM 'The Print in Stuart Britain', cat. 169
2010 Mar-June, Toulouse, Musée des Augustins, Antonio Verrio
2020 4 Feb-19 Apr, London, Tate Britain, British Baroque: Power and Illusion
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number