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Rubens Ceiling at the Banqueting House

You’ll want to look up while exploring the Banqueting House, the only surviving structure of the old Whitehall Palace. A masterpiece painting by Flemish artist Sir Peter Paul Rubens stretches overhead. Plop yourself on one of the cushy beanbags that dot the floor so you can admire the artwork without straining your neck.

Charles I commissioned the ceiling to both honor his father, James I, and glorify the divine right of kings. The three segments depict The Union of the Crowns, The Apotheosis of James I, and The Peaceful Reign of James I. Rubens set to work on the mural back in his Antwerp studio, creating the enormous murals that were later sent to London.

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