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Charles Wild (1781-1835)

Carlton House: The Blue Velvet Room c. 1816

Watercolour with touches of bodycolour and gum arabic over pencil | 20.1 x 25.2 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 922184

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  • Like most of the rooms at Carlton House, the Blue Velvet Room and the adjoining Closet underwent a considerable number of changes of decoration and nomenclature from the time that George IV took up residence in 1783 to the time he abandoned the house to the demolition contractors in 1826. The two rooms lay next door to each other on the south (garden) side of the principal floor, at the beginning of a series of six interconnecting reception rooms facing St James's Park.

    This room and the Blue Velvet Closet, painted for Pyne's Royal Residences, were recorded by Wild in their final incarnation, by which time the larger room - the Blue Velvet Room - was generally in use by the Prince Regent as an audience room. The Garter blue velvet panels on the walls were installed c.1806 under the direction of the decorator Walsh Porter. Enrichments to the gilt frames round the velvet were added between 1811 and 1814 by Edward Wyatt and Fricker & Henderson. Seat furniture, upholstered in blue and gold fleur-de-lis satin, was supplied in 1812 by Tatham & Co., who also provided Brussels carpets of the same pattern in 1813.

    Other alterations included the installation in 1810 of the Vulliamys' white marble chimneypiece, originally made for the adjacent Bow Room. This, together with many of the carved ornaments, was reused by Wyatville at Windsor in the late 1820s. In the centre of the room stood a magnificent desk by Tatham, probably given away by William IV to the second Marquess Conyngham, son of George IV's favourite, Elizabeth, Marchioness Conyngham. The room contained some of George IV's most important Dutch paintings: Rembrandt's The Shipbuilder and his Wife (405533) hung on the west wall and Cuyp's The Passage Boat (405344) was paired with St Philip and the Eunuch by Jan Both (405544) on the north wall.

    This is one of a series of views of the interiors of the royal palaces made at the instigation of William Henry Pyne between 1816 and 1819. The views were published by subscription, under the title History of the Royal Residences. A set of the views, some original watercolours, other heavily-coloured prints, were acquired by George, Prince Regent, for his library at Carlton House.

    Catalogue entry from Royal Treasures, A Golden Jubilee Celebration, London 2002

    Presumably acquired by George IV for the library at Carlton House, c.1819

  • Medium and techniques

    Watercolour with touches of bodycolour and gum arabic over pencil


    20.1 x 25.2 cm (sheet of paper)

  • Other number(s)
    Alternative title(s)

    The Blue Velvet Room, Carlton House