The Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace is a permanent space dedicated to changing exhibitions of items from the Royal Collection, the wide-ranging collection of art and treasures held in trust by The Queen for the Nation. Constructed forty years ago on the west front of Buckingham Palace out of the bomb-damaged ruins of the former private chapel, the Gallery has recently been redeveloped. It was reopened by The Queen on 21 May 2002 and is now open to the public on a daily basis.
Amazing Rare Things: The Art of Natural History in the Age of Discovery
The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace
14 March – 28 September 2008
The Scotsman ***** 'an imaginative projection into the world around us'
This extraordinary exhibition, recently shown in Edinburgh at The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse, has been selected from the collections of the Royal Library by curators of the Royal Collection in collaboration with the distinguished naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough. It brings together the works of four artists and a collector who have shaped our knowledge of the world around us.
Leonardo da Vinci, Cassiano dal Pozzo, Alexander Marshal, Maria Sibylla Merian and Mark Catesby are diverse figures who shared a passion for enquiry and a fascination with the beautiful and bizarre in nature. All lived at a time when new species were being discovered around the world in ever increasing numbers. Many of the plants and animals represented in the exhibition were then barely known in Europe. Today some are commonplace, others are now extinct.
There is a common denominator that links all these artists. It is the profound joy that all feel who observe the natural world with a sustained and devoted intensity.