Room 22: Sculpture in Britain - Portraits & 'Ideal' Sculpture

Room 22: Sculpture in Britain Portraits & 'Ideal' sculpture

The Dorothy and Michael Hintze Galleries

Many of the sculptures in this gallery represent mythological or allegorical subjects. These are sometimes known as 'ideal' sculptures, in contrast to historical subjects or portraiture. Made for display indoors, they became increasingly popular with British sculptors and patrons from the 1770s onwards. The portraits often show the sitters in the Neo-classical style, with cropped hair and loose drapery. Alternatively, the sitter might take on a role from a classical story. Mythological scenes may also include portraits of the patron's wife or children.

In the 18th and 19th centuries sculpture was often displayed in the orangery of a country house, or in a special sculpture gallery. This gallery, with views of the garden outside and daylight coming through the doors and windows, recalls those traditional methods of display.

Room 22 is on Level 1 of the V&A South Kensington.

Check the gallery closures page.

Objects you can find in this gallery:

The Château de Juvisy Appeal

We need your help to raise £500,000 to acquire the Baroque oil painting of the Château de Juvisy, by Pierre-Denis Martin, court painter to Louis XIV in time for the opening of the Europe 1600-1800 galleries.

Help us buy The Château de Juvisy

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British Sculpture 1470-2000

British Sculpture 1470-2000

A catalogue featuring the unrivalled collection of post-medieval British sculpture in the V&A. The collection encompasses marble portrait busts an…

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Event - The Art of Stucco

Sun 28 September 2014 11:00

DEMONSTRATION: Watch Geoffrey Preston demonstrate the techniques used in making Renaissance sculpture in relief in stucco.

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