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The Peaceful Reign of James I (The Wise Rule of James I)

Photo credit: The Banqueting House – Whitehall Palace, Historic Royal Palaces

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Positioned over the throne canopy, this canvas is intended to be viewed by the monarch's audience. James I sits in a splendid, biblical-inspired setting that suggests a comparison with King Solomon. Peace and Plenty embrace while the classical goddess Minerva fights down Mars. In the foreground Mercury, the messenger God, holds out his caduceus (or staff) like a king's sceptre, around which are entwined two subdued snakes, a symbol of peace.

The Banqueting House – Whitehall Palace, Historic Royal Palaces





oil on canvas


H 762 x W 549 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

commissioned by James I and Charles I, c.1621 and c.1629

Work type



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Normally on display at

The Banqueting House – Whitehall Palace, Historic Royal Palaces

Whitehall, London, Greater London SW1A 2ER England

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