House of Lords in session

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The earliest images of the House of Lords in Session in the Collection are engravings dating from the 16th Century. The earliest painting depicts the chamber from the period after the fire of 1834 when Peers sat in temporary accommodation. In 1847 Peers moved to their new House of Lords Debating Chamber, the first grand interior completed in the New Palace of Westminster. Extravagantly decorated with gilded and carved ornament, it visibly sparkled as a backdrop in paintings of the time depicting the House in session. Debates in the House remained a popular subject for artists throughout the 19th and 20th Centuries. The group portrait of the House of Lords Debating the Queens Speech in 1995 was painted from six different viewing points in the Chamber in order to capture the atmosphere of the debate.