Tag: cast courts

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Paula with the Angels

Save the Wolsey Angels – Paula Nuttall, Course Director of the Late Medieval and Early Renaissance (Year Course)

‘the Wolsey angels, one of the first works in the Italian renaissance style in England, must have seemed astonishingly novel and even exotic’ In this series of blogs we’re interviewing various members of staff who come in contact with the Wolsey Angels which we are currently trying to reunite, to try and find out just […]

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Uncovering Michelangelo’s David

The renovation of the V&A’s Cast Courts has given me the opportunity to study and conserve one of the V&A’s most iconic objects, Michelangelo’s David – albeit in cast form. It’s tempting to think of a cast of a sculpture as something of an inferior copy, but the V&A’s plaster cast of probably the most famous […]

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Trajan’s Column – the V&A’s ‘incongruous white elephant’?

The Cast Courts are still the most impressive spaces in the V&A and the plaster cast of Trajan’s Column is at once the most dominant and perhaps most surprising cast in the voluminous Western Cast Court, competing only with the Portico de la Gloria from Santiago de Compostella for attention. Aided by the vibrant original […]

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Trajan’s Column: 1900 years

This week the V&A and the Romanian Cultural Institute launch a programme of events to celebrate the 1900th anniversary of Trajan’s Column and 140 years of the V&A’s Cast Courts. Historian Dan Snow comments “There are few more wonderful treasures in the UK than the meticulously reproduced Trajan’s Column in the V&A. It’s a mine […]

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Cast of a roundel from the Madrasa of Sultan Hasan, Museum no.827-1884

A plaster cast from Cairo

Among the two-dimensional casts that will eventually be displayed in Gallery 46 – the corridor that runs between the two Cast Courts – is an interesting selection of architectural decoration from two major Islamic centres: the Alhambra in Granada, the palace built by the Nasrid rulers of Islamic Spain in the 14th century; and Cairo […]

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Update – Defining the Decorative Scheme

Continuing the process of revealing the ‘hidden gems’ of the Cast Courts, attention has recently turned towards understanding the original decorative scheme(s).  Tried and tested methods of paint sampling and analysis have been the principal tools for this work although it has also been possible to incorporate knowledge gained from contemporary reports from the 1870’s by […]

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Paintings Conservation – the treatment of Anton Raphael Mengs, Copy of Raphael’s School of Athens

Mengs’ copy of Raphael’s School of Athens was painted in 1755 as one of a series of exemplary works for the gallery at Northumberland House. It was damaged both by a fire there in 1868 and in the subsequent salvage operation. There is minute blistering of the paint surface in places particularly the upper right area […]

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The fountain in the Grottenhof of the Residenz in Munich

Contextualising the Casts

As an intern at the V&A my main task has been locating photographs of the original sculpture that has been cast and displayed in our magnificent Cast Courts. I have scoured the V&A, starting in the Sculpture section’s image bank and then moving on to the seemingly bottomless pit of the Prints and Drawing Study […]

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The trained eye of the sculpture conservator Sarah Healey

Conservation in progress

The practical work on this collection of objects is now progressing. This follows the initial assessments of the condition of each object. The conservation is split between: – a metal conservator, who looks at the electrotypes – an example is the great Baptistery doors known as the Gates of Paradise in gall. 46B, made of gilded copper: […]

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Storage Conversations

If you’ve recently been to the V&A and walked over the Gilbert Bayes Gallery of Sculpture which runs mid-height between the two Cast Courts, you will have seen that the Italian side has been cleared of the majority of its casts. This was done to both protect the objects from the renovation works and to […]

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