The King’s Staircase, Hampton Court Palace, Richmond upon Thames, London.
It was in 1689, England had two new joint monarchs, William of Orange and his wife, the daughter of James II, Queen Mary II. Within months of their accession they embarked on a massive rebuilding project at Hampton Court. The intention was to demolish the Tudor palace a section at a time, while replacing it with a huge modern palace in the Baroque style retaining only Henry VIII’s Great Hall.
Installed in early 1700, The King’s staircase was decorated with frescos by Antonio Verrio and delicate ironwork by Jean Tijou.
The frescos show William III in triumphal mode, dominating a group of Roman emperors who represent the King’s Catholic enemies, as well as a banquet of the Gods denoting the peace and plenty William had brought. The balustrade is mahogany with wrought iron panels of scroll and acanthus leaf.