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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Cast Courts Update

The scaffolding in Gallery 46A has now been taken down, and so now once again it’s possible to view the whole gallery and some of the museum’s largest objects. This gallery will remain closed until November 2018, but can still be viewed from the balcony level in Gallery 111. Overall the scaffolding took three months […]

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3D Imaging in Cultural Heritage

On the 9th and 10th November, the British Museum hosted a conference about 3D Imaging in Cultural Heritage. The conference was supported by IPERION-CH (Integrated Platform for the European Research Infrastructure on Cultural Heritage), and explored the wide range of methods and applications of 3D imaging, as well as how 3D data can be used […]

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Rodin Centenary, November 1917-2017

Portrait of Auguste Rodin by John Lavery, 1913. P.18-1914 © V&A 2017 is the centenary of Rodin’s death, on 17 November 1917 at his country house (now a museum) at Meudon, just south-west of Paris. Concurrently with Rodin’s funeral in Paris, a memorial service was held in London, in St Margaret’s Church, Westminster, organised by […]

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Guest Post: Part 2 – The Florentine copies of Michelangelo’s David by Clemente Papi – The plaster cast of the Head of David at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence

Figure 4. Clemente Papi, Plaster cast of the head of David by Michelangelo, 1848. Accademia di Belle Arti, Florence. Photo credit: Gabinetto Fotografico degli Uffizi, 2012.

Giuliana Videtta is an art historian and the former Director of the Accademia di Belle Arti, Florence. In my previous blog I summarised the events relating to the history of the Florentine casts of Michelangelo’s David by Clemente Papi, and demonstrated the important cultural role that the Accademia di Belle Arti of Florence has had […]

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Guest Post: Part 1 – The Florentine Copies of Michelangelo’s David by Clemente Papi – The Plaster Cast at Istituto Statale d’Arte

Michelangelo’s David in the Tribuna of the Academy of Fine Arts, post 1903 – ante 1909. Note the plaster cast of the Head displayed on the right-hand side (Alinari Archives, published in L’Accademia, Michelangelo, l’Ottocento, cit., p.46, detail).

Giuliana Videtta is an art historian and the former Director of the Accademia di Belle Arti, Florence. Florence hosts the famous marble of David by Michelangelo (Figure 1) and there are numerous copies of this sculpture to be found across the city. In this blog I will try to illustrate briefly the main historical stages […]

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Uniqueness and Multiplication: The Cast Courts team go to Brussels

Last week four members of the Cast Courts Project team were fortunate enough to be able to attend a two day conference in Brussels entitled ‘Uniqueness and Multiplication: Plaster as an Art Material’. The conference was hosted by The Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA, Brussels), a federal institution committed to the inventory, scientific study, […]

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Guest Post: The Cast of David’s Nose – A Mould Maker’s Impression

David Nose Plaster Cast by FeliceCalchi - plaster casts & sculptures, Rome over an old Cast Catalogue by Domenico Brucciani, London. Image, Andrea Felice 2017.

Andrea Felice, is a third generation Italian mould maker at FeliceCalchi – plaster casts & sculptures in Rome The cast of David’s Nose has, over the centuries, been one of the most used casts in the teaching of academic drawing and in art classes. Along with the other anatomical details of the head, eyes and […]

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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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