Images from the redevelopment of gallery 100.
Godfrey Sykes and J. Emms, Model Drawing.
Model Drawing, 1863 by Godfrey Sykes, was the first of the Lunette paintings. Godfrey Sykes was employed at the V&A and designed much of its decoration.
Richard Redgrave, Freehand Drawing.</p>
'Freehand Drawing', designed by Richard Redgrave, was the last to be painted in 1874.It illustrates the famous legend about the 14th-century painter Giotto, who proved his unsurpassed skill to Pope Benedict IX by sending him nothing but a freehand drawing of a perfectly circular ‘O’.
Beattie, Allegory with Putti: Design and Manufacture.
The close relationship of the National Course of Art Instruction curriculum to manufacture is illustrated in this lunette. An Italianate putto on the left, holding a pencil or chalk, is matched by another on the right displaying ornamental tableware, illustrating the beginning and the end of the design process.
Val Prinsep, The Distribution of Art Prizes: Scholars Receiving Laurels.
Prize-giving ceremonies were depicted in two elongated lunettes, commissioned in 1869 when the gallery was extended. Val Prinsep’s painting The Distribution of Art Prizes even includes a portrait of the Museum’s first director Henry Cole, third from the right, in what is otherwise an Italian Renaissance setting – symbolic of the school’s ambitions.
David Wilkie Wynfield, Drawing from Still Life.
David Wilkie Wynfield’s Drawing from Still Life shows a 17th-century Flemish interior, with the still-life painter Frans Snyders (1579-1657) outlining a display of fruit and game of the kind for which he is best known.
Eyre Crowe, Modelling from Life, 1868.
Modelling from Life by Eyre Crowe, an honorary member of the St John’s Wood Clique, depicts Michelangelo at work on a sculpture while young students look on.
Francis Moody, Study of Anatomy.
Frank W. Moody, a teacher at South Kensington, painted Study of Anatomy. In the luneete, students watch while an anatomist dissects a corpse and on the left, a student compares the arm of the cadaver with that of a human skeleton.
Half-way through cleaning Sykes' Model Drawing.
Between 2009 and 2010 the lunettes were cleaned and conserved. Because they were painted over a considerable period of time by several artists, some of whom were inexperienced students, they presented various challenges to the conservators.
Accumulations of surface dirt had obscured the real colours of the paintings, which have now been revealed. The reinstallation of the lunette paintings has brought one of the Museum’s original decorative schemes back to life, and celebrates the period in which it was the centre of national art education.