The Palace of Westminster was designed not just to be a working building for the Lords and Commons but also to offer a striking panorama of British history. Everywhere in the building there are statues, frescoes, murals and pictures connected with parliamentary history and famous politicians.
The paintings by William Dyce in the Robing Room illustrate the chivalric virtues of hospitality, generosity, mercy, religion and courtesy, as represented through scenes from the legend of King Arthur and his court. This theme is repeated in the frieze, with the shields emblazoned with the arms of the Knights of the Round Table. Dyce also intended to depict the virtues of fidelity and courage in his frescoes, but died before he managed to undertake the work.
Prince's Chamber, Peer's Corridor and Terrace Stairs
The Prince's Chamber is decorated with depictions of historical people and events from the Tudor period. These include attractive portraits of members of the Tudor dynasty by Richard Burchett and his pupils.
The Peer's Corridor, on the other hand, is decorated with scenes from the reign of the Stuart kings.
A series of reconstructions of the paintings which were found in the old St Stephen's Chapel in the early 19th century can be found on the Terrace Stairs.
The walls of the Royal Gallery are decorated by two enormous paintings by Daniel Maclise recording significant moments from the Napoleonic wars. One of them, 'The Death of Nelson', depicts the demise of Lord Nelson, who was shot aboard H.M.S Victory at the battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The fresco opposite, 'The Meeting of Wellington and Blucher', portrays the meeting of the Duke of Wellington and the Prussian Field Marshall Bl¼cher at the La Belle Alliance inn before defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
Many of the items of furniture and fittings of the Palace, in which the design and influence of the architect Pugin can be clearly seen, can be classified as works of art in their own right.