Creating the new Europe 1600–1800 Galleries

The V&A’s collection of 17th- and 18th-century European art and design is unrivalled in its range and quality. The Europe 1600–1800 Project will see the renovation, redisplay and reinterpretation of the seven prime galleries dedicated to this period. In these posts, the Project Team take you behind the scenes, providing an insight into the challenges, developments and discoveries involved in a major gallery project.

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Born on This Day: Queen Christina of Sweden

This post will be taking a look at Christina, Queen of Sweden from 1633 to 1654, who was born today in 1626 (O.S. 8th December). The daughter of Gustav II Adolph (Gustav Adolphus of Sweden) and Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg; following her father’s death at the Battle of Lützen in 1632, Christina took the Swedish throne […]

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Are you sitting comfortably? – or, plumping up a 17th century Dutch cushion

With the weather getting that bit nippier out there, it’s rather nice to turn our thoughts to home comforts. However in this case it is the home comforts of a 17th century Dutch household. This tapestry cushion cover will feature in our Dutch Domesticity display. In 1648, after a long military struggle, the Dutch Republic […]

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Curating Crucifixes

On the festivities front it may be the wrong time of year for it, but we have recently been discussing how to display The Crucifixion. This wonderfully detailed ivory group will feature in one of our displays looking at Catholicism and, whilst others are deciding how to display their nativity scenes, we have been deciding how […]

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Born on This Day: Bernini – leading light of the Baroque

A prolific sculptor, architect, painter and draughtsman; Gianlorenzo Bernini was celebrated for his astonishing ability to produce ‘living’ marble sculpture. He is regarded today as the most important early exponent of the Italian Baroque style. Bernini was patronised by a succession of popes and other important patrons as a sculptor, an architect and a designer […]

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Born on This Day: Sophia Eleonore of Saxony (‘lover of books’)

Sophia Eleonore of Saxony (23 November 1609 – 2 June 1671) was a Duchess (Herzogin) of Saxony by birth. The daughter of John George I, Elector of Saxony and Magdalene Sibylle of Prussia, she was one of ten children. This charming wax portrait of her will be on display in the new Europe Galleries next year. Nothing is […]

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The King Vulture & White Gold

Listening to BBC iPlayer this week, Neil MacGregor from the British Museum reminded me of a vulture! I should quickly clarify that this is not some museum-rivalry based insult, but rather that I was enjoying listening to him in an episode from the series Germany: Memories of a Nation. In the episode Porcelain: The White Gold […]

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Selecting Furniture & Sculpture Part III

Suitable for Inclusion? – Some Practical Considerations So you’re a curator with your eye on an extraordinary, dazzling furniture or sculpture object (which perhaps handily belonged to someone famous!) that you would like to include in your galleries. Now you need to consider further practical aspects that might determine whether or not it is suitable […]

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Detail from 'Snyders and his wife', by Anthony van Dyck, Kassel

Born on This Day: Master of the Animal Still Life

Frans Snyders (11 November 1579 – 19 August 1657, Antwerp) is considered to be the first specialist in what was a new Flemish form of still life – the animal still life. Regarded as one of the finest animal painters of his day, Snyders had a particular knack for creating large, well-balanced compositions in which he […]

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Selecting Furniture & Sculpture Part II

 Continuing on from the previous post … Sculpture The V&A’s sculpture collection is designated the National Collection of Sculpture. It concentrates on Western European Sculpture from the 4th century to the end of the 19th century and comprises of approximately 22,000 objects intotal. Highlights of the collection include masterpieces from the Italian Renaissance, ivory carvings of all […]

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Welcome to Hell!

Looking at the V&A blog page this morning, I can see that Halloween has caught the imagination of a number of fellow Museum bloggers. However, I can’t pass up such an apt occasion on which to introduce you to two of the most gruesome and macabre objects going into the Europe Galleries. Both, fittingly, will […]

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