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CIS:A.8-1967

Born on This Day: ‘The Winter Queen’ Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia

This day in 1596 saw the birth of Princess Elizabeth Stuart. Daughter of Anne of Denmark and James VI of Scotland (later James I of England), Elizabeth was the sister of Charles I of England and later became Queen of Bohemia. Elizabeth will have a visible presence in the new Europe Galleries in the form […]

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Detail of St. Louis of Toulouse © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

St. Louis of Toulouse

What do discarded crowns, Barcelona and Zac Efron all have in common? The answer is St. Louis of Toulouse (1274-1297). This former bishop was a holy man of impeccable saintly lineage, who could count King St. Louis IX of France, St. Elizabeth of Hungary and St. Margaret of Hungary among his hallowed family tree. He […]

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706-1890, gilt leather altar frontal showing SS. Roch (L) and Sebastian (R), © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

St. Roch

Many saints’ lives are dull affairs full of praying and fasting, proselytising and general do-gooding. St. Roch’s vita has all of these elements plus a good amount of gruesomeness, mysticism, and a faithful animal friend. Born near Montpellier around 1295, his chest was miraculously marked from birth with the sign of the cross. The infant […]

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Unpacking the angels

Save the Wolsey Angels – Isabel Hardingham, Gallery Assistant

‘The reunion of the Wolsey angels is a miraculous event; they deserve to be celebrated together at the V&A as works of art.’ Tell us about yourself: My name is Isabel Hardingham. I have been a Gallery Assistant at the V&A for 2 ½ years. I work on an occasional basis; my full-time job outside […]

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Newly photographed, following the completion of conservation work © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Grotesque Faces

When visiting the Metalwork Conservation studios the other week I came across this familiar face in the midst of treatment. It is a gilt-bronze ‘mask’ which will feature in our display about the influence of Louis XIV’s court on European art and design. Referring to it just as a mask is perhaps slightly misleading as, measuring […]

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1198-1893, medal showing Pope St. Sixtus II, Italy, 16th century (C) Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Pope St. Sixtus II

Here we have another medal with another pope on it. This familiar line continues when I tell you that Sixtus II was also the immediate successor to Pope Stephen, who we covered in the previous post, and that he was probably martyred in the same way, and as part of the very same crackdown by […]

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IMAG0589

An Unknown Soldier? The V&A’s First World War Memorial

Simple and solemn in cream Hopton Wood stone, the V&A’s monument to its 1914-18 war dead sits unobtrusively in the main entrance hall. Designed in 1919 by the sculptor and typographer Eric Gill, it was commissioned by the Museum with the dual aims of commemorating the fallen and acquiring an example of Gill lettering. As […]

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Detail of crozier showing St. Olaf, A.1-2002 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

St. Olaf

Saint Olaf (Eng: Olave; b.995, d.1030), or to give him is full name, King Saint Olaf II Haraldsson, was King of Norway, 1015-1028. Unusually for a saint (but not necessarily for a medieval king, or a Viking for that matter) he was an extremely violent man. Missionary attempts that he conducted in remote parts of […]

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Actor Paul Jesson who plays Cardinal Wolsey in the RSC productions of Wolf Hall and Bringing Up the Bodies

Save the Wolsey Angels – Paul Jesson helps launch the campaign

“The recovery of Wolsey’s angels is one of those miracles that historians pray for; something that seems irrevocably lost has been there all the time. To claim the angels for the nation would connect us to one of the liveliest eras of our history and one of its most remarkable men.” – Hilary Mantel   […]

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© The T/shirt Issue

Week 13: Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue

3D scanning is essentially taking a multitude of photos around an object, recording reality in a slightly reduced form. The direct visible result of a scan has a certain aesthetic appeal but can’t quite be compared to what you would achieve with a regular camera. The benefits of a 3D scan actually lie below the surface, in the […]

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