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Look up in London

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 16:45
London, a city which is structurally stunning, bursting with beautiful architecture, coupled with equally mesmerizing interiors. With enough to keep us aesthetically inspired, it is easy forget that if we crane our necks the beauty continues with some of the most imposing and striking installations and pieces of arts. From gallery’s to museums, churches to colleges there is an abundance of amazing ceilings to behold in the capital, so cast your eyes upwards, appreciate the artistry of some of these member venues and find a unique and inspiring backdrop for your next event.
 
Old Royal Naval College
 
The ceiling of the Painted Hall, designed and executed by Sir James Thornhill, is one of the most important and spectacular Baroque interiors in Europe, and London’s largest painted ceiling. Taking nearly 20 years to complete, it’s easy to see why it’s often referred to as the Sistine Chapel of the UK.
 
Luxurious and ornate, the vast sight above tells a story of political change, scientific and cultural achievements, naval endeavours and commercial enterprise against a series of magnificent backdrops.

Originally intended as a dining hall for the Naval pensioners, on completion the room was deemed too grand to eat in, instead becoming one of London’s first tourist attractions. Until September 2018, visitors can ascend 60 feet and take a closer look at this vast masterpiece.
 
Leighton House Museum
 
With its rich colours, elaborate paintwork and mosaics, the opulent Arab Hall at Leighton House is a feast for the eyes. Designed to display Leighton’s priceless collection of over 1000 Islamic tiles, the room is an eccentric fusion of Middle Eastern design and Victorian decadence.

A golden mosaic frieze encircles the room, elaborate decorative paintwork illuminates the domed ceiling, coloured marbles clad the walls and in the centre a fountain adds a calming murmur to the sumptuous atmosphere.
 
Banqueting House
 
The world-famous ceiling at Banqueting House, painted by Flemish artist Sir Peter Paul Rubens, is a masterpiece from the golden age of painting. The only surviving in-situ painting by the artist, the three main canvasses depict The Union of the Crowns, The Apotheosis of James I and The Peaceful Reign of James I. Commissioned by Charles I in 1629-30 and installed in Banqueting House’s Main Hall in 1636, this ceiling was one of his last sights before he lost his head.