The Westminster Retable is England's oldest altarpiece. It was most probably designed for the High Altar of the Abbey and is one of the most important surviving examples of panel painting from 13th century England. It is not currently on show to the public but will be included in the new Jubilee galleries at the Abbey from 2018.
The most important wall paintings in the Abbey are from the late 13th century i.e. the figure of St Faith in her chapel and the figures of Christ with St Thomas and St Christopher in the south transept. The series of 14th century paintings of the Apocalypse and the Last Judgement in the Chapter House are the most extensive.
The great pavement in front of the High Altar of Westminster Abbey is a unique and remarkable object. The complexity and subtlety of the design and workmanship can be seen nowhere else on this scale. It was laid down in 1268 by order of Henry III who had started re-building Edward the Confessor’s Abbey in the new Gothic style in 1245.
Several interesting oil paintings hang within Westminster Abbey or form part of its decoration - including the portrait of Richard II. Others are kept in official residences within the precincts. Photographs of all the paintings can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library.
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