The £8m Painted Hall Project will be the largest ever conservation of the Painted Hall, one of the most magnificent parts of the Old Royal Naval College, Sir Christopher Wren’s riverside masterpiece. The Painted Hall was decorated by English artist Sir James Thornhill between 1708 and 1727.

Funding bodies supporting the project include the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Garfield Weston Foundation, the Fidelity UK Foundation, the Foyle Foundation, Sir Siegmund Warburg’s Voluntary Settlement, the Pilgrim Trust, the Headley Trust and the 29th May 1961 Charitable Trust.

Over 3,700sqm of the painting will be cleaned and conserved over two years. As part of the project, visitors will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up close to the painting and see the conservation work in detail, via Painted Hall Ceiling Tours.

The project also involves the installation of a state of the art lighting and a sophisticated environmental system to protect the painting for future generations and ensure no further conservation work is required for another century.

The vaulted King William Undercroft, designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor and Sir Christopher Wren, will be brought back to its original form and include a new gallery, reception and café. Here visitors will learn more about the history of the Painted Hall as well as the life and work of Sir James Thornhill, transforming the public’s understanding of this masterpiece.

Work is scheduled to begin in September 2016 and is due for completion in early 2019.