James II

In coming out of the Sainsbury Wing, I was struck by how prominent the statue of James II appears, as if framed by William Wilkins’s columns. It was commissioned from Grinling Gibbons’s workshop, but is unlikely to be by Gibbons himself as full-scale bronze statuary was not his forte: more likely by Artus Quellinus III who was in the workshop at the time that it was commissioned, together with one of Charles II, by Tobias Rustat. It was originally erected in the old Whitehall Palace in March 1686, later moved to outside the New Admiralty, and only arrived in its current location after being stored in Aldwych tube station in 1947:-

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