The Queen’s House, part of the Royal Museum’s Greenwich, will close down for a year from July.
The 17th century masterpiece, which usually showcases the museums’ art collection, will be refurbished in preparation for the the 400th anniversary of its commissioning and design in 2016.
When the house re-opens from July 4, 2016, it will exhibit Orazio Gentileschi’s Joseph And Potiphar’s Wife displayed there for the first time since 1650. The painting, which is part of the Royal Collection, was one of a sequence commissioned for the Queen’s House by King Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria.
Designed by Inigo Jones in 1616 for the wife of James I, Anne of Denmark, the Queen's House was the first classical building in the country.
The closure gives Royal Museums Greenwich the opportunity to refurbish galleries, including the King’s Presence Chamber and the Tulip Stairs, as well as introducing new displays and colour schemes, bespoke lighting and new interpretation.
The window-glazing and flooring of the Grade I listed building will also be upgraded, improving both the external and internal appearance of the House.
The ceiling in the King’s Presence Chamber will be restored, complementing the Queen’s Presence Chamber which was restored in 2013. Both rooms will have a new colour on the walls; bright blue for the King’s and bright red for the Queen’s.
These rooms will be adorned with paintings illustrating the kings, queens, consorts and courtiers associated with the House and Greenwich during this period, including Charles I and Henrietta Maria by Daniel Mytens, also from the Royal Collection.
The displays and interpretation will chart the changing relationship between the Queen’s House, the people who created it and those who lived and worked there, from royalty and courtiers to the Navy.