King William Quadrangle, Greenwich Hospital
The King William Quadrangle of Greenwich Hospital, showing the south facade of the Painted Hall looming to the left, and the colonnade in the background. The time is a late summer afternoon and the artist has used light and shade to create a dramatic effect, since the dark foreboding building is contrasted with the blue sky at the top, the bright colonnade pavilion to the right and the light through the columns themselves. Most of the figures depicted have been positioned in the shade. In the foreground to the left, the figure sitting in shadow surrounded by building materials wears a blue uniform and tricorn hat, indicating his status as a Greenwich pensioner. Other groups of pensioners, women and children are arranged in a line below the colonnade. In the right foreground a figure wearing a tricorn hat stands with his back to the viewer, facing the colonnade. He is also pensioner but his yellow jacket with red sleeves indicates that he is a 'canary', temporarily forced to wear this distinctive coat as a defaulter against Hospital rules (often for drunkenness).
- Image reference: BHC1832
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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