Two sculptural relief panels from the ‘Whitehall’ Altarpiece 

Creator(s):   Grinling Gibbons and Arnold Quellin

Date:    1686

Accession Number:   WA 0872.1,2

Materials:   Marble

Location:   Westminster Abbey, London, SW1 3PA

Credit Line (copyright notice for material) :   By courtesy of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster

By courtesy of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster


Two rectangular panels of relief sculpture. One depicts the head of Christ surrounded by swags of corn, grapes, roses and lilies. The other shows the head of the Virgin Mary, surrounded by swags of lilies, tulips, wheat and barley. The panels were apparently part of the Whitehall Palace altarpiece designed by Christopher Wren for King James II’s Roman Catholic chapel, which was re-erected under Queen Anne behind the high altar of Westminster Abbey and taken down at the coronation of King George IV.

The accompanying marble cherub and wings are also thought to be possibly from to the Whitehall Palace altarpiece, however, these are unprovenanced.