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James Thornhill

c. 1676-1734 England/Baroque


Brief Biography-Sir James Thornhill was born in Melcombe Regis, c. 1676. His uncle Sydenham, a renowned physician, put him under the instruction of Thomas Highmore, Sergeant Painter to William III. He visited the Netherlands and France before being commissioned to paint the cupola of Saint Paul’s Cathedral. He later painted at Hampton Court, Blenheim Palace, and many other estates. However, his fees were less than that of his foreign contemporaries for such works. His paintings contained historical and symbolic content, and one of his most renowned works was at Greenwich Hospital, where he painted what became known as the Painted Hall. Thornhill accepted a knighthood and was made Sergeant Painter in 1720. He became a member of Parliament in 1722 and a fellow of the Royal Society in 1723. He died in Weymouth in 1734. His daughter, Jane, married William Hogarth.


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Allegory of
the Power

Allegory of the Power of Great Britain by Land


Jacob's Dream

Allegory of
the Power

Allegory of the Power of Great Britain by Sea

Sir James

Known as Sir James Thornhill by John Closterman

Sir James

Sir James Thornhill by Jonathan Richardson

Sketch for-
The Last Supper-

Sketch for-The Last Supper-Saint Mary's Weymouth

Sketch for the
Painted Ceiling-

Sketch for the Painted Ceiling of the Greet Hall-Greenwich Hospital

Saint Paul
Before Agrippa

Saint Paul before Agrippa

Sketch of

Sketch of Gratitude Crowned by Peace

Painted Hall-

Self-portrait-The Painted Hall of the Greenwich Hospital-Greenwich-London

Sir Isaac

Sir Isaac Newton

Sir Richard

Sir Richard Steele


Allegorical Group Representing London-Justice-Prudence-Temperance and Fortitude