Tag: cast courts

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David's left eye

David revealed!

One of the most significant works of art in the Victoria and Albert Museum is the plaster cast of Michelangelo’s David (Repro.1856-161) by Clemente Papi (1803-1875). David has recently received an enormous amount of worldwide media attention around the removal of the protective shroud that he has worn while the Cast Courts have been renovated. […]

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Pencil drawing of Trajan in the Cast Court

Guest Post: Artist Natasha Lien on how the V&A Cast Courts inspire her work

I have always loved the V&A. It’s a vibrant, busy place which counteracts the stereotype of museums as stuffy, quiet and empty. I wanted to portray contemporary life by creating a narrative with the space itself and the diverse mixture of people that use it. The courts themselves are incredibly impressive to walk into and […]

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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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