Victoria and Albert Museum
Introduction
Museum, collections and their histories
The idealist enterprise and the applied arts
The Victoria and Albert Museum
Industrial arts and the exhibition ideal
Teaching by example
An encyclopedia of treasures
The empire of things
National consciousness
Collecting the Twentieth Century
Bibliography
a grand design the art of the Victorian and Albert museum
 
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An encyclopaedia of treasures

An Encyclopedia of Treasures: The Idea of the Great Collection

Timothy Stevens and Peter Trippi

In assembling, displaying, and interpreting its collections, the Victoria and Albert Museum has constructed a comprehensive canon of Europe’s greatest applied arts and their makers. Like other canons, this one has been reconfigured over time to reflect new discoveries and shifting ideas as to what deserves prominence. What makes this canon unique is the fact that it has been shaped almost exclusively within the context of a single institution. Rather than “falling from the sky” fully formed—as visitors often assume of museum collections—the V&A’s canon has been considered and reconsidered by Museum curators and administrators who, despite their expertise and methodologies, bring to the enterprise their own predilections. The perspectives of these individuals have been especially relevant at the V&A because this unique institution did not start with a “founding collection,” as did the National Gallery and the British Museum.1

Unlike European painting, for which a canon was established by Giorgio Vasari in 1550, the applied arts had not inherited by the 1850s a “road map” of excellence for practitioners, connoisseurs, and laymen to consult. Since then, the V&A has grown to universal stature by transforming itself into an encyclopedic “treasure house” of “masterpieces” that illustrate its canon. The visitor absorbs this achievement through countless visual messages, ranging from the shrinelike setting of the Medieval Treasury to the imperial grandeur of the rotunda.

The Museum has built the canon and its collections through four intersecting factors: the connoisseurship of influential curators stretching from Sir John Charles Robinson (1824–1913) to Sir John Pope-Hennessy (1913–1994) to those of today; the emergence of opportunities to acquire objects and collections; the prominence bestowed on particular pieces through Museum installations; and strategic publication of its artworks. The interweaving of these factors is perhaps best demonstrated through the growth of the Museum’s medieval and Renaissance holdings, the centrality of which has predicated consideration of all other European material.

A commitment to Italian Renaissance art—long perceived in England as the “highest” period in the history of art—can be traced to two early acquisitions made by the Government School of Design at Somerset House. The School had been encouraged by Parliament in 1836 to collect “casts and paintings, copies of the Arabesques of Raphael . . . every thing, in short, which exhibits in combination the efforts of the artist and the workman . . .”2

Among the gifts made during the School’s inaugural year of 1837–38 was a set of engravings of Raphael’s pilasters and lunettes from the Vatican Loggia.3 In 1843, headmaster C. H. Wilson mounted reproductions of these renowned decorations on “quadrangular pillars” for students’ reference.4 (These were subsequently displayed in various ways at South Kensington; fig. 81, and see figs. 23, 26.) Fig.81. The Raphael Cartoons

These copies—together with Queen Victoria’s loan to the Museum in 1865 of Raphael’s cartoons for tapestry from the Sistine Chapel—demonstrate how this artist was put forward as personifying the link between the fine and applied arts. As a “canonical” painter whose compositions were also used in ornament, Raphael helped legitimize the applied arts, extending to them through his stardom the status of masterpiece, even when the objects in question were reproductions or studies. Through the 1840s, the School continued to acquire applied arts from the Renaissance—such as majolica—though its emphasis remained squarely on modern manufactures.

The first builder of the Museum’s canon was Henry Cole, whose familiarity with industrial arts was balanced by the expertise in historical artworks he had developed during his celebrated reforms of the Public Record Office. More recently Cole had helped organize the Society of Arts’s large 1850 loan exhibition of ancient and medieval art in London.5 Inspired by French precedents such as the Musée de Cluny as he set up the Museum at Marlborough House in 1852, Cole opted not to focus exclusively on the numerous modern manufactures at his disposal, but to display applied arts of earlier periods. Thus—before the hiring in August 1853 of John Charles Robinson, the Superintendent of Art Collections usually remembered as the Museum’s sole advocate of earlier art—Cole was already combining historically diverse objects, enough to make him change the name of the modern-sounding “Museum of Manufactures” to “Museum of Ornamental Art.” Indeed, in its first report (1853), the Museum was described as a place where “all classes might be induced to investigate those common principles of taste, which may be traced to the work of all ages.”6

Initially satisfied to borrow from dealers, Cole soon began to purchase historical objects—among them the Museum’s first medieval ivory, from the estate sale of his friend A. W. N. Pugin in February 1853—also before Robinson’s arrival.7 Such acquisitions show Cole moving on a parallel track to that of his friend, the connoisseur A. W. Franks (1826–1897), who had joined the British Museum in 1851 to begin collecting medieval objects.8

Robinson became the canon’s second key builder by accelerating the drive to acquire large numbers of older artworks, regardless of their national origin. Sixteen years Cole’s junior, Robinson was a native of Nottingham who had trained as a painter in Paris, where visits to the Louvre laid the groundwork for his profound understanding of the Renaissance (fig. 82).Fig.82. John Charles Robinson He came to the Museum after six years as headmaster of the Government School of Art at Hanley, Staffordshire, the heart of England’s ceramics industry. The Hanley school’s engagement with “art potteries” such as Minton & Co. helps to explain Robinson’s lifelong passion for aesthetic and technical excellence in ceramics and sculpture. It also suggests that Robinson was not entirely hostile—as is often thought—to the Museum’s original mission of applying art to industry. In keeping with this mission, Robinson worked with Cole to create in 1854 a system of circulating artworks to provincial institutions, where more students, designers, and laymen could learn from them.

Robinson’s early publications at the Museum include such educative titles as A Manual of Elementary Outline Drawing (1853), A Collection of Examples of Coloured Ornament (1853), An Introductory Lecture on the Museum of Ornamental Art (1854), and The Treasury of Ornamental Art (1857). The second and fourth of these reveal Robinson’s quasi-antiquarian commitment to an eclectic range of contemporary designers inspired (but not constrained) by earlier art—Albert Carrier-Belleuse (who had lectured at Hanley), Owen Jones, Pugin, Henry Shaw, and Antoine Vechte. Citing these and other men, Robinson could legitimately show how modern designers are inspired by historical masterpieces, particularly the sculpture he loved so passionately. In 1862 he highlighted

. . . the two-fold aspect under which sculpture is represented in this Museum, viz. as a “fine art,” and also . . . as a decorative art or industry. . . . It is not more certain than unfortunate, that in our times an imaginary . . . line of distinction has been drawn betwixt these two aspects. The idea has gradually grown up, especially in this country, that it is scarcely the business of an artist-sculptor to concern himself with anything but the human figure, and as one result of this short-sighted view, when any architectural or ornamental accessories are required, an unfortunate want of power is too often manifested; whilst, on the other hand, no ornamentist sculptors, worthy of the name, are likely to arise from amongst the . . . skilled artizans, to whom ornamental sculpture has been virtually abandoned.9

Though he justified his acquisitions to Cole, Redgrave, and the Department of Science and Art by using their rhetoric, Robinson’s eloquent descriptions suggest that he valued them primarily as masterpieces of art. Criticized (especially by Redgrave) for spending too much on originals when reproductions were available, Robinson successfully defended his decisions by citing “that natural feeling of the human mind, which attaches the highest value only to original works,” and by describing reproductions as “imperfect” and useful only to “supply missing links in the series.”10 Robinson praised Adrian de Vries’s 1609 bronze relief Emperor Rudolf II (cat. 69) as “a masterpiece of bronze casting and chasing,” yet its ostensibly supplemental merit—“excellence in point of art”—reflects just as accurately his reason for acquiring it in 1860.11

Entirely different in temperament and character, Robinson and Cole nonetheless collaborated by traveling regularly across Europe to take advantage of strategic opportunities offered by dealers, collectors, and estate sales. The redevelopment of historic city centers (such as Paris) and the Continental passion for church restoration helped create a ready supply of artworks. Robinson used his unparalleled knowledge—all the more remarkable given the paucity of literature available—to assemble a collection of Italian Renaissance sculpture, majolica, metalwork, textiles, and furniture that remains unmatched. He told The Times in 1883 that “the noble masterpieces of sculpture now at South Kensington . . . are now the envy of the most celebrated museums of Europe. . . . [A]s a collective series [they] have no parallel, even in Italy.”12

Like the National Gallery’s Director, Sir Charles Eastlake, Robinson capitalized upon Italy’s political troubles through the 1850s and early 1860s to secure the best objects. His fortunate timing was enhanced by a virtual withdrawal from the market by Berlin’s acquisitive curators, though the Louvre was still active during these decades. In view of its status as a government agency, the Museum’s competitive collecting overseas can be seen as an expression of Britain’s imperial ambitions, comparable to the Foreign Office’s search for new colonies.

In 1855, the Museum’s photographer visited Toulouse to record the Soulages collection of 749 objects—the first known use of this new medium to reinforce an acquisition proposal (fig. 83)Fig.83.  Part of the collection of Jules Soulages.13 Robinson then catalogued the collection (rich in French Renaissance material) and showed it at Marlborough House (fig. 84) and in the 1857 Manchester Art Treasures exhibition.14 These presentations familiarized the public—and the parliamentary leaders who could approve purchase funds—with this collection, which the Museum managed to buy with government support in the early 1860s.

The government was prepared to underwrite some, not all, purchases of historical art, as it was doing for the National Gallery. Although Cole’s arguments for government assistance always emphasized how a nationwide training scheme in design would benefit Britain’s economy by raising the standard of modern industrial products, the fact that a large proportion of these government funds were used to purchase historical objects suggests Cole had more sympathy with Robinson’s aims than his official statements reveal. Robinson’s acquisitions were treasures in their own right, and many fulfilled Cole’s educative objectives, too. Starting in 1854 with the Gherardini collection, for example, Robinson developed superb holdings in sculptors’ models that joined fine art criteria to Cole’s concern for processes of making (fig. 85).

At home, the Museum organized a loan exhibition of almost ten thousandFig.84. A watercolour rendering of Marlborough House medieval, Renaissance, and “more recent” artworks to coincide with the Inter-national Exhibition of 1862 occurring nearby.15 Although this massive display must have delighted him on aesthetic grounds, Robinson observed that these pieces also “show at all events what ample scope there is for the posthumous teaching of the great ceramic artists of the 15th and 16th centuries through their great work which still remains to us.”16 Visited by 1.2 million people, the Museum’s exhibition featured objects borrowed primarily from English dealers and collectors being cultivated by Robinson and Cole. By displaying and promoting these and other loans, the pair rapidly secured first-rate material it had taken other connoisseurs decades to gather.

Like Cole, Robinson was determined that the Museum’s canon should be rigorously taxonomic.Fig.85. A wax model of a slave Aware that the British Museum already held the field in ancient art, Robinson specified in his 1862 catalogue of Italian medieval and Renaissance sculpture where South Kensington’s emphasis should be placed:

It is the intimate connection of mediaeval and renaissance sculpture with the decorative arts in general, which clearly indicates this Museum as the proper repository for this class of the National acquisitions; consequently the present Collection should be regarded as part of a methodic series, following the antique sculptures of the British Museum, to be eventually continued down to our own time, so as to form a complete collection of what, in contradistinction to the similarly general term antique, may be fitly designated modern sculpture.17

If the Museum could not possess a great historical artwork or piece of architecture, it instead commissioned plaster casts, drawings, or photographs so that the entire canon could be represented in some form.18 This is demonstrated by a photographic series of the twelfth-century cathedral at Santiago de Compostela in Spain. The views were taken by the Museum’s photographer Charles Thurston Thompson in 1866 during a carefully planned campaign to cast the Portico de la Gloria, which still graces one of the V&A’s Architectural (Cast) Courts (see fig. 52). The images were published in London by the Arundel Society (established to make major artworks better known) in 1868, when the cast was unveiled. Together, the photographs and cast gave the hitherto unknown portal a prominence that Robinson—acting without encouragement from outside parties such as the British public or Spanish government—believed it deserved.19

During the 1860s, the Museum moved to validate the canonical storehouse it was creating with the “Kensington Valhalla.” This was a series of fictional life-size portraits (painted and then created as mosaic murals in the South Court) of the greatest European artists and craftsmen, each holding a work already in the Museum’s collections. In its choices of Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello (cat. 52, holding the Martelli Mirror, cat. 54, then attributed to him), the Museum reflected current views of the canon. When, however, it included a representation of the little-known potter Maestro Giorgio of Gubbio with his lusterware vase (cats. 51, 53), South Kensington was not merely reflecting an existing concept of excellence but shaping and modifying the canon. The theme of a major artist holding his creation also surfaces in the Cafaggiolo dish (cat. 50) acquired in 1855 and displayed prominently thereafter. This strategy continued until 1905, when the sculpted figures of thirty-two British artists were “admitted” to the canon through placement on the grand facade of Aston Webb’s Main Building (see fig. 110).

During the nineteenth century, few qualities bestowed masterpiece status on an object more rapidly than its association with a historical, romantic, or notorious figure. Sometimes fictitious, such links often attracted other objects with similar provenances, effectively profiling not the people who created the artworks, but those who owned them. Among these pieces are the Holbein Cabinet (cat. 68) thought to have belonged to Henry VIII; the Boudoir of Marie Antoinette’s Lady of Honor, the Marquise de Serilly; and a group of pieces made for the Medici family (cats. 75–77). The treasures of past rulers have proven to attract and fascinate visitors, and, equally significant, possession of such talismanic objects both enhances the institutional owner and underscores Britain’s status as a leading world power.

Methods of display have been explored and exploited as a means for the Museum to bestow canonical status on its strongest acquisitions. After the Soulages collection was acquired in the 1860s, for example, its rare pieces by Bernard Palissy (see cat. 71) were showcased in the Ceramics Gallery, where Cole included this hitherto ignored figure among the leading potters depicted on the windows. (The collection’s comprehensiveness was underscored by the fact that most factories named on the Gallery’s frieze were represented by their products in the cases below.) Like the William Morris legacy nurtured by the Museum today, Europe’s craze for Palissy in the late nineteenth century bloomed largely due to South Kensington’s coordinated strategy of acquiring, displaying, and publishing his work (see fig. 28). The subsequent decline in Palissy’s popularity was reflected in his decreased visibility in the Museum, yet he remained in its canon, awaiting “rediscovery” in the 1960s.20

Intended to evoke objects’ original contexts, the device of period room displays emerged in the 1870s, confirming the Museum’s gradual shift from technical toward stylistic concerns. The elegant Serilly Boudoir, for example (fig. 86), Fig.86. The Marquise de Serilly's Boudoirserved as a key period room until 1882, when the Museum received John Jones’s enormous collection of eighteenth-century French applied arts (see figs. 41–44).21 At a single stroke, the bequest’s excellence lowered the Boudoir’s standing within the canon, though the room did not disappear from view immediately.

Despite its preeminence, the V&A has paid careful attention to its colleagues’ display techniques, as well. Wilhelm von Bode’s dramatic period installations at the Kaiser Friedrich Museum electrified Berlin from 1904, even as South Kensington had been moving in this same direction. However, the Committee on Re-arrangement’s pivotal decision in 1908 to reorganize artworks by material, rather than by period, radically diminished the visual impact of the galleries, and it was only in 1948 that director Leigh Ashton’s Primary Galleries returned key masterpieces to prominence in compelling historical contexts more appealing to the public. Since then, the excitement of collecting masterpieces has been conveyed through ever more striking displays and temporary exhibitions, a trend developed most clearly beginning in the 1970s under director Sir Roy Strong.

Publishing is fundamental to the validation of a subject’s importance, so Robinson and Cole developed their catalogues strategically. With his landmark 1862 catalogue, Robinson firmly secured names such as Andrea and Luca della Robbia (see cat. 56) and Giovanni Pisano (see cat. 44) in the canon. The campaign continued with a series of South Kensington Museum Art Handbooks and has been sustained by distinguished specialists such as C.D. Fortnum, George Birdwood, John Hungerford Pollen, Bernard Rackham, and Charles Oman—a tradition of curatorial scholarship still alive today. Collectively these connoisseurs can be described as the canon’s third builder. Generations of them have published the collections in their care to tell the story of a particular medium or style, implying that the subject can be traced adequately at South Kensington alone. For example, both the scale and encyclopedic range of the ceramics displays were noted in guidebooks from the 1880s onward. The collecting of contemporary ceramics—a tradition started by Cole—has been continuous, and he would probably be gratified by the collection’s ongoing influence upon ceramic production in Britain.

The Museum has often positioned an artwork as the type specimen by which examples from a particular group can be identified, much as species of plants are identified in the Natural History Museum across Exhibition Road. This is demonstrated, for example, by a panel with a scene of the Resurrection (cat. 49), around which has been assembled a large group of majolica decorated by the “Master of the Resurrection Panel,” or by The Girl-in-a-Swing figure (cat. 141) that has given its name to a distinctive group of English porcelains. By 1900 the size and quality of the V&A’s majolica collection, among other types, meant that serious study was effectively constructed around the Museum’s holdings.

Emphasizing acquisitions exclusively, however, gives a false picture of what visitors actually saw during the nineteenth century, when many loans enabled the Museum to highlight areas in which its collections were weak, and at the same time to encourage the eventual donation of these objects. This strategy had its own risks in that curators tended not to acquire in areas already represented by loans. As it turned out, the Museum gambled well by not acquiring Renaissance objects similar to those bequeathed by the Australian George Salting in 1910, yet lost when J. Pierpont Morgan sent most of his medieval treasures to New York in 1912. Like the Continental buying strategies of Robinson and Cole at mid-century, South Kensington’s bestowal of canonical status on the gifts of such donors as Jones and Salting must be considered not only in view of their quality, but also in light of the Museum’s fierce competition for private collections with Berlin’s museums and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others.

Throughout the twentieth century, important acquisitions have been made in many of the areas developed by Robinson and Cole. Curator (and ultimately director) John Pope-Hennessy built on Robinson’s achievement through his own purchases of Italian sculpture (fig. 87).Fig.87. John Pope-Hennessy The continuity from Robinson to Pope-Hennessy emerges most clearly, however, in their publications. Robinson’s 1862 catalogue set a new standard for scholarship in Italian sculpture. The Museum’s holdings in this field were further burnished by V&A curators when Eric Maclagan and Margaret Longhurst published their catalogue in 1932, followed three decades later by magisterial volumes from Pope-Hennessy and Ronald Lightbown (1964) that redrew the field’s map again.

Other twentieth-century acquisitions, such as the seventeenth-century ivory by Balthasar Permoser (cat. 82) and Pietro Piffetti’s eighteenth-century mother-of-pearl stand (cat. 83), illustrate how the Museum’s curators have molded the canon to respond to new interest in previously neglected areas. These shifts are often stimulated by individuals, such as the ivory specialist H. Delves Molesworth (on staff 1931–66) or the collector Dr. W. L. Hildburgh, who gave important metalwork and sculpture between 1916 and 1955. Reshaping of the canon was encouraged by Robinson himself, as in 1860 when he declared that recently acquired pieces of “Medici porcelain” were “henceforward a new feature in the history of the art.”22 This expansive, quintessentially Victorian brand of confidence—critiqued as arrogance whenever certain styles are excluded—has ensured both the constant growth of the V&A’s collections and their preeminence worldwide.

Robinson’s collaboration with Cole and Redgrave weakened over time: in 1863 his title was changed from Superintendent of Art Collections to Permanent Art Referee, and his authority began to ebb as his philosophical views diverged further from those of his colleagues. Robinson noted ironically in 1863 that “there is an implicit belief in the minds of most people, that someone else—entire classes, in fact—are making profound and earnest use of [museums] in directly practical ways.” He went on to observe that intuitive good taste comes only to “certain continental people . . . familiar from childhood with the most refined works of art. . . . But then London is not Venice.”23 After Cole forced him out in 1868, Robinson enjoyed an illustrious career as an author on art and Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures (1882–1901). In 1883 he wrote, “I relinquished the direction of the acquisitions to the South Kensington Museum years ago, when it became no longer possible for me to keep out a vast influx of trivial and useless matter, which, in my opinion, tended only to vitiate and vulgarise the collection.”24

Though Cole won his battle, it can be argued that he lost the war with Robinson’s values. The Museum’s gradual abandonment of contemporary acquisitions after Cole retired in 1873 (exemplified by the transfer of modern manufactures to Bethnal Green from 1880) suggests that Robinson’s vision of a three-dimensional encyclopedia of connoisseurship proved more attractive to subsequent curators than did Cole’s elusive objective of an accessible patternbook. In his annual report for 1854, Cole had argued:

A museum may be a passive, dormant institution, an encyclopedia as it were, in which the learned student, knowing what to look for, may find authorities; or it may be an active teaching institution, useful and suggestive. The latter has emphatically been the status of this museum from its origin.25

In 1880, however, he described the Museum as having too many “Virgins and Childs.”26 By the turn of the century, potential acquisitions were no longer assessed on whether they exemplified good taste or were suitable models for students and consumers. Instead, it could be argued that they represented styles, periods, or other categories that—no matter how objectionable—belonged in a collection showing the entire history of a particular type.

Increasingly, the Museum has been forced to use its limited purchase funds to acquire works threatened with export from Britain, such as Antonio Canova’s marble sculpture of The Three Graces (fig. 88)Fig.88. The Three Graces commissioned by the duke of Bedford. The widely publicized debate about acquisition of this object in the early 1990s not only raised issues about Britain’s “heritage” but also illustrated how the canon evolves. Seen by his contemporaries in the early nineteenth century as Europe’s leading artist, Canova was far less highly regarded a century later. Yet in acquiring The Three Graces in 1994, the Museum again marked Canova as a major figure in the history of art. The acquisition also built on the collecting tradition of Robinson and his successors by adding to the Museum’s holdings of work by Donatello and Bernini an outstanding example by the last great Italian sculptor of the premodern era. Two years later the Museum reinforced an aspect of the canon firmly established in the nineteenth century by joining in partnership with the National Heritage Memorial Fund to acquire a twelfth-century Limoges enamel casket associated with Saint Thomas à Becket.

Though its original didactic mission prompted the births of similarly chartered museums worldwide, the V&A’s encyclopedic aspirations and metamorphosis into a treasure house influenced an even greater number of institutions. By 1874—only a year after Cole retired—Murray’s Guide to London was praising South Kensington’s “very precious objects” and observing that “this truly national museum of Art, and of Manufactures allied to Art, has sprung up in short time to be one of the most considerable and important in Europe” (fig. 89; also see fig. 33).27 Within the V&A, where installations of selected objects arranged according to period complement the denser displays of particular materials, the well-known treasures tend to remain prominently on view and have become “destination objects” for countless visitors. Indeed, most applied arts museums today seek to engage and awe visitors by demonstrating through striking displays how distinctively their objects illustrate the widely accepted canon nurtured by the Victoria and Albert Museum. Though the validity and sociocultural implications of such terms as “prototype” and “masterpiece” continue to be debated, the canon still resonates.

Fig.80. Detail of cat.59n Antico's Meleager Fig.90. The Prince Consort Gallery Fig.91. Detail of Cellini's Perseus Fig.92. The Riemenschneider angels
Footnotes
We are grateful to Malcolm Baker, Anthony Burton, Paul Greenhalgh, and Clive Wainwright for their suggestions.
1
For notions of the changing canon, see Haskell, 1976; Gaskell and Kemal, 1991; and the essays by Michael Camille and others in Art Bulletin, 1996.
2
“Report from the Select Committee on Arts and Their Connexion with Manufactures,” 1836, p. v, cited in Rhodes, 1983.
3
Frayling, 1987, p.17.
4
Ibid., p. 23.
5
Hobhouse, 1950, p. 7; Altick, 1978, p. 456.
6
“First Report of the Department of Practical Art,” in British Parliamentary Papers, Reports and Papers Relating to the State of the Head and Branch Schools of Design, 1850-53, Irish University Press Industrial Revolution, Design, IV, p. 2, as cited in Purbrick, 1994, p. 77.
7
Wainwright, 1994, p. 96.
8
Ibid., Caygill, 1985, p. 199.
9
Robinson, 1862b, pp. viii-ix.
10
Ibid., p. xi.
11
Ibid., p. 167.
12
J. C. Robinson, letter to The Times, 1 October 1883.
13
Wainwright, 1989, p. 292.
14
Wainwright, 1988; Robinson, 1856.
15
Robinson, 1862a.
16
Ibid.
17
Robinson, 1862b, p. xi.
18
For these various forms of reproduction and their impact, see Baker, 1988; Fawcett, 1987; Galbally, 1988.
19
For Robinson's Spanish campaigns, see Oman, 1968; Baker, 1986; Trusted, 1996.
20
Jervis, 1983, p. 82. Beginning in 1852, when Henry Morley (1822-1894) published a two-volume biography of Palissy, the French potter's fame in England grew not only on account of his art, but also by virtue of his status as a persecuted Protestant.
21
Wainwright, 1989.
22
Art Journal, October 1860.
23
Robinson, "On the Art Collections at South Kensington, Considered in Reference to Architecture,” Building News 12, 5 June 1863. We are grateful to Michael Conforti, whose research in conjunction with A Grand Design has brought a great deal of significant material to our attention, including this commentary by Robinson.
24
Robinson, letter to The Times, op. cit.
25
Alexander, 1983, pp. 159-60.
26
Ibid., p. 161.
27
Murray, 1874, p. 172.
Catalogue Images 
cat.40. Symbol of St. John the Evangelist cat.41. Head of a Tau-Cross cat.42. The Virgin and Child cat.43. Casket
cat.44. The Crucified Christ cat.45. Saint John the Evangelist cat.46. Ewer Griffin  Aquamanile cat.47. Reliquary Chasse
cat.48. Hand Reliquary cat.49. The Resurrection of Christ cat.50. Plate cat.51. Maestro Giorgio
cat.52. Donatello cat.53. Vase and Cover cat.54. The Martelli Mirror cat.55. Winged Putto
cat.56. Virgin and Child cat.57. Lamentation Over Dead Christ cat.58. Narcissus cat.59. Meleager
cat.60. Virgin and Child cat.61. Head of Medusa cat.62. Illuminated Manuscript cat.63. Notebook
cat.64. Saint John the Evangelist cat.65. Two Angels cat.66. Christ Child cat.67.1. Beaker and Cover
cat.67.2. Cup cat.68. (Open) The Holbein Cabinet cat.68. (Closed) The Holbein Cabinet cat.69. Emperor Rudolf II
cat.70. Pair of Stirrups cat.71. Dish cat.72. Candlestick cat.73. Dish
cat.74. Lucrezia Borgia Mirror cat.75. Pilgrim Bottle cat.76. The Medici Casket cat.77. Cabinet on Stand
cat.77. (Detail) Cabinet on Stand cat.78. Ark Curtain cat.79. Esther Hearing of Haman's Plot cat.80. Saint George and the Dragon
cat.81. Saint John Nepomuk cat.82. The Entombment cat.83. Ornamental Stand cat.84. Pair of Vases
cat.85. The Five Orders of Architecture cat.86. Portrait of Madame de Pompadour