James Thornhill

Sir James Thornhill
James Thornhill self portrait.jpg
Self portrait, detail of a painting in the Painted Hall of the Greenwich Hospital, Greenwich, London
Born25 July 1675
Died4 May 1734(1734-05-04) (aged 58)
BuildingsMoor Park
Sketch for the Painted Ceiling of the Great Hall, Greenwich Hospital: William and Mary Presenting the Cap of Liberty to Europe, about 1710, Sir James Thornhill V&A Museum no. 812-1877
West wall, Painted Hall, Greenwich
Sabine bedroom, Chatsworth House, 1706
The staircase Hanbury Hall, murals completed c.1710
Dome of St. Paul's Cathedral, London 1714-17
Portrait of Sir Isaac Newton in old age by James Thornhill, 1709-12.

Sir James Thornhill (25 July 1675 or 1676 – 4 May 1734) was an English painter of historical subjects working in the Italian baroque tradition. He was responsible for some large-scale schemes of murals, including the "Painted Hall" at the Royal Hospital, Greenwich, the paintings on the inside of the dome of St Paul's Cathedral, and works at Chatsworth House and Wimpole Hall.


Thornhill was born in Melcombe Regis, Dorset, the son of Walter Thornhill of Wareham and Mary, eldest daughter of Colonel William Sydenham, governor of Weymouth. In 1689 he was apprenticed to Thomas Highmore (1660–1720), a specialist in non-figurative decorative painting. He also learned a great deal from Antonio Verrio and Louis Laguerre, two prominent foreign decorative painters then working in England. He completed his apprenticeship in 1696 and, on 1 March 1704, became a Freeman of the Painter-Stainers' Company of London.

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