With Ware’s imposition of a symmetrical north–south and east–west axial plan, the staircase was moved in 1815–18 to take up the central position that it occupies today. The Council Room was created out of the upper half of the original staircase compartment to complete the link through the enfilade.
Joseph Wilton, RA (1722-1803), Council Room Fireplace, ?1780-86. 15620 X 1930 mm
Two new access doors were created by Ware, a fireplace inserted (it was replaced in 1867 by one carved for New Somerset House by Joseph Wilton RA, a Foundation Member - see above) and the ceiling raised to match the coved ceilings of the Saloon, the state dining room and the ballroom.
Sebastiano Ricci, Cupid Before Jupiter (from the ceiling of the Council Room), 1713-15. Oil on canvas. Photo: Marcus Leith
The ceiling painting was retained in situ, although it was reduced in size to be accommodated by the newly created cove. Two of Ricci’s wall paintings were, however, inserted on the new main staircase, and the central Triumph of Bacchus was reused as a ceiling painting in the state dining room (now known as the General Assembly Room).