The Royal Hospital at Chelsea was founded by Charles II in 1682 as a hospital for Army veterans. Designed by Christopher Wren, the Hospital was intended to rival Louis XIV's Hôtel National des Invalides in Paris. Pensioners were admitted from 1692 onwards. Haytley’s painting shows the Figure Court as seen from the Thames. The statue of Charles II, dressed as a Roman general, can be seen in the quadrangle in the distance. At the time Haytley was painting this view, Ranelagh House and Pleasure Gardens were also located on the Royal Hospital’s land. Edward Haytley was a portrait and landscape artist. He was elected a Governor of the Foundling Hospital in 1746. In the same year he gave two roundels to the Hospital, both of which were displayed in the Court Room.
Where to see this painting?
The Foundling Museum
40 Brunswick Square, London, Greater London, England, WC1N 1AZ
If you are planning a visit to see this painting, check with the collection first. Paintings can be moved at short notice.