Sculpture


The V&A’s sculpture collection contains approximately 22,000 objects and concentrates on Western European Sculpture from the 4th century to the end of the 19th century. Highlights of the collection include masterpieces from the Italian Renaissance, ivory carvings of all periods, Northern European wood and other sculpture, commemorative medals and plaster casts.

Learn about the hidden stories behind these masterpieces.

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Guest Post: Echoes of Michelangelo – Personal Observations on Drawing David’s Nose

The first attempt slightly further along. Image, Kurt van der Basch.

Kurt van der Basch is a freelance storyboard artist. His film credits include Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Cloud Atlas, and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. I was experiencing a Michelangelo mini-obsession when Victoria & Albert museum conservator Johanna Puisto e-mailed me about her blog project on the cast of David’s nose asking if I’d like […]

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Follow your nose – Brucciani’s plaster casts of the face of Michelangelo’s David as object lessons for art education

Brucciani 1906 Catalogue Detail

Dr. Rebecca Wade is an Assistant Curator of Sculpture at Leeds Museums and Galleries/Henry Moore Institute The plaster reproductions of the fragmented features of Michelangelo’s David may appear strange to our eyes, but as highly portable reproductions of perhaps the most recognised sculpture of the Italian renaissance they occupy an important place in the history […]

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How David’s nose left his face and multiplied

Plaster cast of David's noseby Brucciani & Co. London. Image, George Eksts © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

One day while I was searching the V&A’s collections database of Michelangelo’s art, I stumbled upon a peculiar item – a solitary plaster nose from the statue of ‘David’. Since I’d had first-hand experience in cleaning and examining the nose of the Museum’s full-scale replica of David (which still has a nose!), I wondered who […]

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Striking the Scaffolding in 46A: Zone 2

This week the team from Coventry Scaffolding have moved onto zone 2 of the scaffolding in Room 46A, having taken only four weeks to remove the scaffolding from zone 1. The first zone was particularly complicated as it included a complex maze of scaffolding around the cast of the Portico de la Gloria, as well […]

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Inside Trajan’s Column

When Room 46A re-opens to the public in autumn 2018, visitors will be able to enter the door in the base of Trajan’s Column, and for the first time will be able to sit and marvel at the cast’s immense size and construction.   In 1864 Monsieur Oudry made this cast from the original, which […]

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Casts In Focus: Rosslyn Chapel

As we prepare for the re- opening of the west Cast Court in autumn 2018, this blog will take a closer look at ten key casts on display in the gallery, exploring the object’s history and providing insights into recent conservation work. The first post in this series is about the cast of part of […]

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Striking the Scaffolding in 46A

On the 29th August the first section of the scaffolding in Gallery 46A was struck, and the team from Coventry Scaffolding began the enormous process of removing the hundreds of scaffolding boards and poles from the gallery. The scaffolding is split into three zones, and the team have started dismantling Zone 1 at the North […]

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Guest Post: David at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Full view of PAFA’s David. Image courtesy of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Author Professor Al Gury is Chair of the Painting Department at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts In 1805, a group of gentlemen in Philadelphia founded what is now America’s first and oldest art museum and art school, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA). Their first action, even before having a beautiful […]

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Cast Courts Revival: Stage 2

As regular visitors to the museum will know, the project to conserve the V&A’s two grand Cast Courts is now well under way. The conservation of Gallery 46B is complete, and the gallery has been open again for nearly 3 years. Since then phase 2 of the Future Plan project has commenced, and the neighbouring […]

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Under the skin of the Spirit of Gaiety – Part 4

Head and bust of the Spirit of Gaiety during its conservation treatment

  This series of blog entries is about the scientific examination of the gold finish of the Spirit of Gaiety, the angel which once graced the dome of the Gaiety Theatre in London. Raman analysis Over the past few weeks I have been looking at the thick golden paint the covers the Spirit of Gaiety […]

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