Study Afternoon

Grinling Gibbons Study Afternoon

Celebrated seventeenth century wood carver Grinling Gibbons was born in 1648 in Rotterdam. The child of English parents, he trained in the Netherlands but moved to Deptford, South East London around 1667. There he embarked on a spectacular career, which reached its apex in the creation of the Quire at St Paul’s Cathedral. Gibbons was famed for his extraordinary style of realistic carvings in limewood, and for transforming the style of English woodwork in the late seventeenth century. Horace Walpole wrote of Gibbons, ‘There is no instance of a man before Gibbons who gave wood the loose and airy lightness of flowers.’

Join leading experts for an introduction to Grinling Gibbons and discover how he worked with Sir Christopher Wren on the design of the St Paul’s Cathedral Quire, and how his masterpiece has been used, altered and maintained over 300 years since its installation. The study afternoon will conclude with a visit to Gibbons’ carvings in the Cathedral Chapels and Quire.


Event Information:

• Tuesday 16 November 2021.

• 13:30 Welcome from St Paul’s Cathedral and the Grinling Gibbons Society.

• 13:40 ‘Grinling Gibbons and the Golden Age of Wood Carving’: Dr Ada De Wit.

• 14:20 ‘Wren, Gibbons, Hawksmoor and the design of the Quire of St Paul’s, 1693-94’: Dr Gordon Higgott.

• 15:00 ‘Living with Gibbons’: Jonathan Hellyer, Object Conservator at St Paul’s Cathedral – On the past use and future treatment of the Gibbons woodwork in the Cathedral.

• 15:45 Visit to the Quire and The Chapel of St Michael and St George to see Gibbons woodwork.

This event is hosted by St Paul’s Cathedral. Learn more and book your tickets here.

Upon booking you will receive a confirmation email containing your event tickets. Tickets can be printed or shown on a mobile device. Entry to the Cathedral for event participants is via the North West Crypt Door, leading down from street level into the Crypt. A step free entrance is also available; please follow signage. Please sign in at the registration desk outside the Wren Suite.