Museum at Home

24 May 2021

The Queen's Bower

David Bomberg, «The Queen’s Bower, St Hilarion», 1948, Oil Painting, Costas and Rita Severis Foundation Collection

1. The queens bower - museum at home - David_Bomberg.png

In 1948 British-Jewish artist David Bomberg visited the island of Cyprus, just a few years after the end of a great war that shook the world. He was so enchanted by the Cypriot landscape that he painted some of his most beautiful paintings here.

Bomberg’s favourite place on the island was St Hilarion’s castle. He painted it from many different angles. The colours he chose made the ruins of what used to be a strong and invincible castle look like part of the scenery.

Activity one: Colours and emotions

Try to ‘read’ Bomberg’s painting as you would read a book, beginning from the upper left corner, slowly moving towards the right and then moving lower.

  • What can you see?
  • Would you like to visit this place and explore it?

Take some time to observe the colours.

  • What colours does the artist use?
  • How would you describe them? Are they light or dark?
  • In which season did the artist visit the castle and how was the weather like?

Now, close your eyes. Imagine you are entering the painting.

  • What emotions do these colours evoke?
  • How did the artist feel while he was creating this painting?
  • Imagine you are standing behind this window. What can you see?

Activity two: Colours and brushstrokes

Have a look at the painting below. Another travelling artist, E. Balfour, chose a different colour palette to paint the same part of the castle.

1. The queens bower - museum at home - David_Bomberg.png

4. The queens bower - museum at home - PNT-00044-10 E. Balfour-Allan Castle of St. Hilarion March 4 1938 Watercolour 25 x 33 cm.jpg

What are the differences and similarities between the two paintings when it comes to:

  • The colours
  • The brushstrokes
  • The little details

Have a look at these photographs of the castle. Imagine that you are there at the moment and create a painting of the scenery using any materials you like.

2. The queens bower - museum at home - pht_00287g.jpg

3. The queens bower - museum at home - pht_00287i.jpg

Send us your creations at using ‘Museum at home’ as the subject line.

Activity three: The castle

There are castles throughout the island of Cyprus

  • Do you know some of them? Have you visited any of them?
  • Where did the use to build these castles? Why did they choose these places?
  • What were they made of?

Now, look at some other paintings of castles from the museum’s collection.

  • Can you recognise some of them?

5. The queens bower - museum at home - PNT-00264 Matthew Gosset 1839-1909 Kolossi Castle 1889 watercolour 12 x 21 cm.jpg

6. The queens bower - museum at home - PNT-00333 Arthur Legge 1859-1942 The Castle Kyrenia Cyprus. 1930 watercolour 25 x 35 cm.jpg

7. The queens bower - museum at home - PNT-00815 F.Milrerton Drake Othello Castle Etching c.1935.jpg

8. The queens bower - museum at home - PNT-00894 Tessa Henderson Limassol Castle. 1985-88 pencil drawing 21.5 x 35.5 cm.jpg

9. The queens bower - museum at home - PNT-00936_Tessa Henderson_The fort at Paphos 1986 -88_Pencil drawing_40 x 475 cm.jpg

Imagine that you are a person living in a medieval castle –a queen or a king, a knight or a lady-in-waiting, a cook, an archer or a court jester.

Send us your creations at using ‘Museum at home’ as the subject line.


Go outside in the yard or on the balcony on a sunny day. Close your eyes and feel the warm rays of sunshine. Think about a warm place you love visiting. What images and what colours come to mind?

Let’s go to the museum!

We would love to welcome you and your family to the museum!

  • There are many paintings of the castles of Cyprus in the museum’s exhibition. Can you find at least ten of them?
  • Which one is your favourite?

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