Video: Medieval & Renaissance Galleries
This film leads you on a short tour of the Medieval and Renaissance wing at the V&A. The Medieval & Renaissance wing houses the V&A collection of sacred and secular treasures spanning a period of 1300 years. The wing opened in 2009 and comprises of Ten galleries spread over three floors. The project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and a number of generous donors.
The Devonshire Hunting Tapestries
These four 15th-century tapestries with hunting scenes came to the V&A from the estate of The Dukes of Devonshire. They probably belonged to the celebrated Countess of Shrewsbury, known as 'Bess of Hardwick', and were probably from Hardwick Hall, one of her houses in Derbyshire
The War of Troy Tapestry
The War of Troy tapestry is part of one of the most important sets of tapestry still surviving from the latter part of the 15th century. The Trojan War tapestries were made in Tournai between 1460 and 1490 and are the only set of Medieval tapestries for which the original designs still exist.
The Gloucester Candlestick
The ‘Gloucester candlestick’, dating from 1104–13, belonged to the Church of St Peter in Gloucester (now Gloucester Cathedral). As metalwork was commonly melted down and reused, the survival of this candlestick is both remarkable and significant, showcasing techniques and craftsmanship in the Romanesque style which might otherwise have been lost. Even more exceptional are the three Latin inscriptions upon the candlestick, which reveal its history, meaning and provenance.
Apocalypse & the Book of Revelation
The apocalypse comes from the Book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible, which describes the final battle between God and Satan – Armageddon. During the medieval period, scenes and images from the Book of Revelation, and the idea of the Apocalypse had a widespread influence on many aspects of culture.
Champlevé Enamelling, 1100–1250
Between 1100–1250 specialist metalworkers flourished in the areas around Cologne (the Rhineland), Liège (the Meuse Valley) and Limoges (France). They supplied monasteries and churches with vessels essential for the rituals of the church, objects such as chalices, crosses, candlesticks, altarpieces and shrines.
Music from a Missal from the Abbey of Saint Denis
The Saint Denis Missal is a beautifully illuminated manuscript from about 1350, on display in the V&A’s Medieval & Renaissance galleries. It contains all the texts and music needed by a priest to celebrate Mass, including particular references to Saint Denis.
Christian monasticism developed in Egypt in the 3rd century when some Christians chose poverty and isolation as a way of getting closer to God. Communities copying the strict way of life of these holy men quickly spread across Europe and became an important part of medieval European society. By the mid-12th century, there were around 500 monasteries in England.
Study Room resource: Medieval writing and printing
The contents of this resource has been put together to illustrate book production from the hand-made manuscript to the printed page. The resource will be useful for teachers of KS2 children, and for teachers of History at KS3 and above. Teachers notes are also included.
Style Guide: Medieval Revivals
The Medieval Revivals style was inspired by architecture and decorative arts from 1000-1600. The interest in Norman, Gothic and Jacobean styles reflected a romantic nostalgia for Britain's past. By the 1790s it had become an important alternative to classical styles.
Medieval & Renaissance Galleries
The Medieval & Renaissance Galleries are home to one of the world's most remarkable collections of treasures from the period. Ranging from delicately carved ivories and intricate metalwork to Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks and powerful sculptures, they tell the story of European art and culture from 300–1600. These galleries have been made possible thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund and the generosity of many other donors.