The Astronomers' Club

Queen's House closure

Visitor notice: On Sunday 4 February, the Great Hall, Tulip Stairs and some ground floor rooms will be closed. The rest of the house and galleries remain open including the Armada Portrait. Find out more about the Armada Portrait

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Queen's House

Smirke’s appealing painting shows the meeting of an archetypal astronomers’ club, meeting to look at and talk about the stars.

A group of men gather in a room filled with objects and instruments. They use a number of differently sized telescopes to observe the sky, while a stuffed crocodile looks down on the proceedings. Such crocodiles were the classic centrepiece of a cabinet of curiosities in which scholars and virtuosi met to discuss the latest astronomical discoveries of the day, and scientific matters more generally.

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