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Archive for the 'Architecture' Category

Charlemagne and Aachen: On Location Part Two

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

By Stuart Frost

Front Cover of the Lorsch Gospels, Aachen, about 810. Museum no. 138-1866.I promised regular updates on progress with the development of six gallery films and so here is the first of several. Location filming for the Charlemagne and Aachen gallery film took place in Germany earlier this week. This film is part of a series that aims to contextualise key objects in the V&A’s collection by reuniting them with the places they were most associated with before they entered the Museum’s collections.

It seems fitting given the European scope of the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries project that work on the films began in Aachen, a city now in Germany but which was once the imperial centre of a great European empire ruled over by Charlemagne (768-814). Charlemagne’s empire included much of modern Germany, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, France and much else besides. His influence was felt far beyond the borders of the territories over which he had direct authority. Charlemagne continues to loom large over European history, both ancient and modern. 

Aachen Cathedral, September 2008.Charlemagne established a palace at Aachen, the original chapel of which still survives today at the centre of the cathedral. The chapel was the main focus of the first day’s filming. Some of the greatest artists and intellectuals of the age were drawn to the palace where they served the emperor. Under Charlemagne there was an artistic revival, Latin was restored as a literary language and many great books were produced. I wonder how different the later history of Europe would have been without the revival or renaissance that took place under Charlemagne and his Carolingian successors?

The five ivory panels you can see here were once part of a magnificent Gospel book made in Aachen around 810. The panels formed part of the front cover. They highlight the artistic heights reached by Carolingian artists but also their debt to late Roman art. Charlemagne intended Aachen to be a second Rome. The Palatine Chapel was based on late Roman models. The columns displayed inside, framed within round arches, were brought from Rome and Ravenna. Bronze casting was revived in order to produce the magnificent doors and railings which still survive. Charlemagne himself was buried within a sarcophagus originally carved in the second century AD and brought from Rome to Aachen.

Aachen Cathedral, September 2008.Filming inside the chapel was a fascinating experience. The cathedral authorities were remarkably helpful, providing us with a guide who was extremely informative and accomodating. There were challenges which the film crew worked hard to overcome. On arrival we discovered that one of the bays of the octagon was enclosed in scaffolding and hoarding as part of a long-term conservation project. However thanks to the ingenuity of the camera-man and director no one will know from the final film that the hoarding was there.

The efforts that the film crew went to to get the best shots are exemplified by the photograph illustrated here. The director, John Wyver, managed to persuade the owner of a ferris wheel (only present for two days a year) to start it up early in the morning to allow cameraman Ian to get some great footage of the cathedral from the air. After Aachen the team moved onto Lorsch Abbey, the home of the Lorsch Gospel covers from the early 800s until 1563.

Further photographs of the filming that took place at Aachen and Lorsch are available via the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries site on Flickr. Click on one the images above if you’d like to see additional pictures and find out more. Further updates will follow at fortnightly intervals.

Find Out More

The Lorsch Gospel covers are on display at the High Museum in Atlanta until 4th January 2009.

Click here for more information about Aachen Cathedral. The 360 degree panorama on this official cathedral website gives an excellent impression of the interior of the octagon as it appears today.

Tintagel Castle and Arthurian Myth

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

By Stuart Frost

Tintagel Castle, May 2008.

The pictures that I’ve reproduced here are of the ruins of Tintagel Castle, the remains of which cling perilously to the north Cornish coastline. Tintagel is linked intimately with the legend of King Arthur. Given the popularity of Arthurian Romance in north European medieval culture, especially literature, I’m surprised that I haven’t written about Arthur before. In my defence there are only a small number of objects in the V&A’s medieval and Renaissance collections that have a connection with the legends that developed around King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Most of those relate to the story of Tristan and Isolde.

The reason for addressing the subject of Arthur now is simply because I’ve been looking at some photographs I took of Tintagel Castle during a recent visit to Cornwall. I’ve reproduced a couple here to give a sense of the ruinous state of the remains and to try and reflect the romance of the location. 

If castles are viewed as purely military structures then Tintagel makes little sense. It is on a site that could be easily isolated and starved into submission. However castles were always far more than just military structures. The site of Tintagel was associated only with the conception of Arthur (Camelot that was King Arthur’s own fortress). The historical associations of the site of Tintagel were probably as important as its defensive qualities.

The ruins that we can see today are largely the work of Richard Earl of Cornwall  (born 1209 – died 1272), a man whom we know to have had imperial ambitions. By associating himself with the legend of the great King Arthur by building a castle at Tintagel was he trying to present himself as Arthur’s true heir, and therefore entitled to the full support of the Cornish people? It is even possible that the castle Richard had built was deliberately anachronistic, that it consciously reflected an older mythological Arthurian age. What people believed to be true is as important as what was really the case.Tintagel Castle, May 2008.

The Arthurian legend has remained a potent source of inspiration for poets, playwrights and filmmakers.  Perhaps the greatest and most influential version of the story is Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur, first published by William Caxton in 1485 and still in print today. In the nineteenth century Arthurian Romance influenced figures such as the designer William Morris, the artists Aubrey Beardsley and Sir Edward Burne-Jones and writers of the stature of Alfred, Lord Tennyson. 

In more recent years actors such as Sean Connery, Richard Gere and Keira Knightly have starred in films with an Arthurian theme. I’m sure that we will have a film season as part of the programme of events that will support the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries in November 2009. I’m equally sure that one of the films is bound to be a swashbuckler related to King Arthur, Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table. If anyone has a favourite swashbuckling film do let me know! Likewise it is always useful to know if there are films that should be avoided at all costs!

Tintagel Castle is now under the care of English Heritage.  If you are interested in finding out more about the castle or would like to plan a visit their website.

Big Brother Medieval (and Renaissance) Style

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

By Stuart Frost

Even when I’m off-duty I find it hard to avoid getting engaged with something that has a connection to medieval and Renaissance history. A couple of weekends ago I made a rare foray out of London to visit some friends who live in Pickering, North Yorkshire. I accompanied them and their vintage car to Ryedale Folk Museum in Hutton-le-Hole on the Sunday. I was happy to wander around the village where I used to stay over the summer holidays when I was a young boy. Crofter's Cottage, Ryedale Folk Museum.

It was fascinating to explore Ryedale Folk Museum and to see how much I could remember of my childhood visits. I think because I’m so removed from rural life I really enjoyed visiting the farm areas and looking at the different breeds of pigs, hens and so on. I also found it fascinating to explore the reconstructions of period homes and interiors and to try and imagine myself living in the past. Needless to say I spent most of my visit exploring a modern reconstruction of a medieval crofter’s cottage (of around 1450). I’ve included some photographs here. 

Perhaps it was because it was a hot and sunny day but the longer I looked at the cottage the more appealing a late medieval crofter’s lifestyle seemed to be. The crofter’s cottage had a greater floorspace than the flat I rent in south-east London. It also had more character, personality and charm: oak beams rather than plasterboard, natural surfaces with rich textures rather than bland modern finishes.The view, looking out onto wooded hillsides rather than grey pebble-dash walls and urban sprawl, was also substantially better. Other plus points included a small but attractive garden filled with practical herbs. In south-east London almost everyone who is fortunate enough to have a garden seems to have covered it with concrete or tarmac.Crofter's Cottage, Ryedale Folk Museum.

The design of the house must have encouraged a very close knit and sociable lifestyle: the open fire at the heart of the home, for example, would have a been a focal point for social interaction. Everyone shared the same space.

The late medieval crofter had a lifestyle much more in harmony with nature than our own. They used fewer of the earth’s non-renewable natural resources, created much less pollution and lived a far more sustainable lifestyle. Work was only a short walk away: no two-hour daily commute to cope with. Perhaps if everyone who commutes has a small holding instead there’d be less long faces on the trains and tubes? 

The downside of rural life in the fifteenth century are probably fairly obvious and I’m sure visiting the Crofter’s Cottage in the middle of January when food was running low would have led my imaginative flight-of-fancy into a completely different direction. Nevertheless I think it would be fascinating to try and live like a 15th century crofter for a couple of months and to see how the experience compared to modern living. I think the next batch of Big Brother contestants should be asked to live a medieval lifestyle in a reconstructed village: perhaps that really would be a social experiment worth watching?

Click here to find our more about Ryedale Folk Museum.

The Da Vinci Code

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

By Stuart Frost

Plaster cast of an effigy of William Marshal. Museum no.  REPRO.A.1938-7I’ll confess immediately. This blog entry has very little to do with Dan Brown or the Da Vinci Code.  I simply thought that if I mentioned the Da Vinci Code in the title I might increase my chances of picking up a few more hits. The real subject here is Temple Church. Dan Brown aficionados will know the church does feature in both his book and the film based upon it.

From time to time I’ve been using this blog to highlight temporary exhibitions elsewhere to which the V&A has loaned objects from its medieval and Renaissance collections. I suspect that people might be surprised by the number of loans the V&A makes to other museums around the country and globally. Some objects travel vast distances. Others travel only a few miles.

Plaster cast of an effigy of Robert de Roos. Museum no. REPRO.A.1938-10The photographs here are of two nineteenth century plaster copies of tomb effigies taken from originals in Temple Church, London. Click on the pictures to find out more about them. In total there are four plaster casts effigies from originals in Temple Church in the V&A’s collections. The two photographs used here were taken in the V&A’s spectacular Cast Courts, one of the most striking museum spaces anywhere in the world. At the moment only one of the four plaster cast effigies is in its usual home. The other three can be found alongside the originals in Temple Church in a temporary exhibition, The Temple Church 1185-2008: History, Architecture and Effigies.

I’d imagine that some of you may be wondering what is to be gained by placing the plaster casts alongside the stone effigies? However the originals were damaged in 1941, long after the casts had been taken.

The casts of the effigies are not the only connection between the V&A and Temple Church. The picture below shows the wonderful west doorway of the church. This was restored during the nineteenth century. Several carved blocks were removed and replaced during the work, and four original weathered blocks came to the V&A via the collections of the Architectural Association. These architectural elements from the doorway will be displayed in the new Medieval and Renaissance Galleries, three in a new day-lit gallery space and one in a display about the Romanesque style.Temple Church, London.

Although you’ll have to wait until November 2009 before you can see the blocks, the three plaster cast effigies are on display at Temple Church until Sunday 15 June. After the exhibition closes they will return to the Cast Courts to be reunited with Robert de Roos. Temple Church is renowned for its circular knave and, like the Cast Courts at the V&A, is well worth a visit.

Click here to find out more about the Temple Church and the exhibition there.

Click here to find out more about the Cast Collection at the V&A.

King Alfred the Great?

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

By Stuart Frost

Reliquary Cross, about 1000. Museum no. 7943-1862.It is the nature of history that only the names of a comparatively few people are remembered after their deaths. For the medieval period the people we know most about tend to be the most powerful, exceptional or notorious figures. 

Medieval chroniclers were fond of adding an adjective after an individual’s name. Some rulers were more fortunate than others in the label posterity gave them. Charles the Great, William the Conqueror and Richard the Lion Heart are all at the acceptable end of the spectrum, but who would want to be known as Louis the Fat, Charles the Bald or John Soft-sword?

The word great is arguably over-used today. Such and such is a great singer, footballer or actor. It is difficult to really assess someone’s merits without the perspective that the passage of time brings. However if there is one English figure who truly deserves the epithet great then it is Alfred of Wessex (849-899), ruler of the only Anglo-Saxon kingdom to survive the Viking onslaught in the ninth century. 

If you need convincing about Alfred’s credentials then I’d recommend visiting Winchester to see the exhibition: Alfred the Great: Warfare, Wealth and Wisdom. The exhibition closes on 27 April 2008. The display is small but it includes some beautiful objects which are also of immense historical importance. The V&A has loaned the remarkable Anglo-Saxon reliquary illustrated above to Winchester for the duration of the display. Click on the object to find out more about the object and its link with Alfred’s achievements.

The legacy Alfred left his sucessors allowed them to consolidate the Anglo-Saxon kingdom and eventually bring all of England under the control of one monarch. The origins of modern England can arguably be traced back to Alfred’s reign. Winchester became Alfred’s main city and throughout the middle ages the city was extremely important. There is enough evidence around the modern town to give a sense of just how impressive medieval Winchester was.

Alfred’s achievements ensured that he would never be forgotten. The photograph illustrated below shows 19th century remodelling at Arundel Castle. The relief sculpture is difficult to see but it shows ‘King Alfred instituting Trial by Jury on Salisbury Plain’, evidence of Alfred’s enduring reputation as a model monarch.North Side of Quadrangle, Arundel Castle, 1852-54, Benjamin Brecknell Turner. Museum no. PH 44 1982

Click here to find out more about Alfred the Great: Warfare, Wealth and Wisdom.

Conservation and Research

Friday, April 4th, 2008

By Stuart Frost

Kuppelreliquiar V&A, Dach nach Abnahme der Beschläge mit GrubenschmelzA remarkable amount of work has been going behind the hoardings in the Museum and away from the public gaze elsewhere. In fact there is so much activity taking place that its impossible to mention it all here.

There is an increasing amount of effort going into the creation of new content for the website with a large number of colleagues across the V&A contributing. Much of this will only go online when the new Medieval and Renaissance Galleries open in 2009.

However we have just added three subjects to the website highlighting recently completed work on a trio of very different objects. These online-only subjects provide short summaries of projects that were extremely complex and which involved wide-ranging specialist expertise.

The deinstallation of the facade of Sir Paul Pindar's House, Museum no. 846-1890Stephanie Seavers, part of the curatorial team in the Metalwork department, has produced a summary of a collaborative research project that focussed on a beautiful twelfth-century enamelled container previously thought to be a reliquary from Cologne. The image I’ve used here, above and to the right, gives a wonderful impression of just how  rigorously and carefully the object was examined. Enamelled panels have been removed exposing the wooden core.

Nick Humphrey, a curator in the Furniture, Textiles and Fashion department focussed on the recent deinstallation of the vast timber façade of a town house built around 1600 for the wealthy merchant Sir Paul Pindar. Visitors to the V&A may remember the façade in its previous location in the old Museum shop. However I suspect that many people failed to notice its considerable presence due to the distraction of all the colourful merchandise at eye level. The façade will be reinstalled in a new daylit gallery which in itself will represent another significant technical achievement.

Zoe Allen, a specialist frames conservator in the Conservation section has written about work she undertook on a frame associated with a magnificent panel painting of the Virgin and Child by an artist known as Peregrinus (or Pellegrino di Giovanni). Here there were questions about whether the frame associated with the panel painting really belonged with it. There was also a significant amount of work needed on the frame which had become very fragile and warped over time. You can see the painting minus the frame in the image below.

Painting by Peregrinus (without frame), dated 1428. Museum no. 6559 and A-1860I’m very grateful for all the work that colleagues have contributed to the website. We’re hoping to add more online subjects to the website as the project develops. I’ll also continue to use this blog for more updates on object-based work taking place in the Conservation Studios and elsewhere.

Click here to see the recently added content about a Medieval Tabernacle from Cologne.

Click here to see the recently added content about the façade of Sir Paul Pindar’s House.

Click here to see the recently added content about a painting by Peregrinus of the Virgin and Child with Angels.

The Portico de la Gloria, Santiago de Compostela

Friday, July 27th, 2007

By Stuart Frost

I have to confess that I am guilty of claiming one particular object of being my favourite, and then next week I declare something else to be the greatest artefact in the V&A’s collections. Hopefully you’ll overlook my inconsistency. This week though I am writing about an object for which I do have unique affection, and it isn’t even the real thing!West facade of Cathederal of Santiago de Compostela, Charles Thurston-Thompson. Museum no. 62:598

The V&A collections include a vast nineteenth-century plaster copy of the Portico de la Gloria from the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.  Pilgrims entering the cathedral today via the main entrance in the west façade pass through the Portico de la Gloria, a masterpiece of late twelfth-century architectural sculpture. The photograph reproduced to the right shows the vast Baroque façade of the cathedral behind which the medieval masterpiece is now hidden. Click on the image for more information about the photograph.

The V&A’s plaster copy of the Portico was created in 1866 when casts were taken from the original by a team of specialists commissioned by the Director of the South Kensington Museum (as the V&A was then known). The Portico is now acknowledged as one of the great works of art of any time and place, but this wasn’t always the case.Plaster Cast Portico

Before 1865 detailed accounts of the Portico were not available and it had recieved little attention. The displaying of the plaster cast copy of the Portico at the South Kensington Museum, and the publication of a series of photographs by Charles Thurston Thompson, played a crucial role in raising public and scholarly awareness of this great work.  Where as a sculpture like Michelangelo’s David has long been admired and appreciated, the medieval Portico languished in relative obscurity for many centuries.

In my last posting I wrote about the feast day of St James which was celebrated on the 25 July. The shrine of St James is in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela and the saint has a prominent position on the Portico de la Gloria welcoming pilgrims to the church. Vast numbers of pilgrims of all ages and from diverse backgrounds still tread along the long route to Santiago each year, a route which people have been following for over a thousand years and which shows no sign of waning in popularity. 

PORTICO DE LA GLORIA, SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, SPAINI confess that St James and Santiago de Compostela have been on mind recently because I’m looking forward to my next holiday, the flights for which I booked a few weeks ago. Later on this summer I’ll be meeting up with a few friends in St Jean-Pied-de-Port, before walking across the Pyrenees into Spain following the pilgrim route to Santiago. Unfortunately I don’t have enough leave to be able to walk all the way in one go.  So I’ll get as far as I can in ten days this year, and then pick up where I left off next year!

To search the V&A’s collections for objects which have a connection with St James or Santiago de Compostela visit Collections Online

If you’re interested in finding out more about following the pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostela you may find the website of the Confraternity of St James

Saint James and Santiago de Compostela

Monday, July 9th, 2007

By Stuart Frost

I wonder how many people in England today are aware that the 25th July is the feast day of St James?  This celebration of this feast day began in the middle ages and is still the focus of impressive celebrations in the Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela. I’m determined that at some point in the future I’ll be in the city to enjoy the festivities, hopefully after I walked all of the way to Santiago from the French side of the Pyrenees.Figure of St James, Museum no. 4845-1856

St James was a popular saint throughout the middle ages and his shrine in the cathedral of Santiago became a major focus of pilgrimage, giving way only to Rome and Jerusalem in terms of popularity. The donations of pilgrims helped turn the cathedral into a treasure house of religious art and architecture. Thousands of pilgrims still journey every year from St Jean-Pied-de-Port in France up into the Pyrenees down into Roncesvalles and Spain, through villages, towns and cities, across vast plains and over the Cantabrian mountains towards the shrine of St James. The scallop shell was adopted as an emblem by those who walked along numerous pilgrim routes to Santiago. 

The painted oak figure of St James above and to the left holds a scallop shell in his left hand. The garments of the figure were originally gold. This sculpture was once part of an altarpiece from the Johanneskirche in Lüneburg Germany and is testament to the popularity of St James outside of Spain.

The photograph to the right shows a detail of the tomb effigy of Don García de Osorio who died shortly after 1502. Dressed in armour and holding a sword, his hat is decorated with a scallop shell which in this instance indicates his membership of the Order of Santiago. Click on the image for a closer view and more information about the effigy.Effigy of Don Garcia de Osorio, Museum no. A.48-1910

There are a numerous other objects in the V&A’s collections that have a connection to St James and the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Many examples can be viewed via the V&A’s database, Collections Online. Click on the link below and enter an appropriate search term like Santiago or St James.

In my next update in two week’s time I’ll focus on what I think is one if the most impressive objects in the V&A’s collection, a vast nineteenth century plaster-cast copy of the Portico de la Gloria. Pilgrims entering the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela via the main entrance in the vast  west façade pass through the Portico de la Gloria, a masterpiece of later twelfth-century sculpture.

To explore many objects from the V&A’s collections online visit Collections Online

If you’re interested in finding out more about the pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostela you may find the website of the Confraternity of St James helpful.

Romantic Ruins

Monday, June 4th, 2007

By Stuart Frost

The surviving architecture of medieval Britain perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the age.  The ruins of castles and abbeys have provided inspiration for many generations of painters, poets and photographers. The photograph of Raglan castle reproduced below has been chosen for inclusion in a display I’m pulling together that will be installed late in 2009. We’ve recently confirmed a selection of twenty-five prints from the V&A’s vast collection of photographs, all of which feature nineteenth century views of medieval and Renaissance buildings. Click on the image of Raglan for a more detailed view.

Raglan Castle from Across the Moat

Raglan Castle is located in south-east Wales, not far from the town of Monmouth. I’ve been researching the background to the castle so that I can write an object label for it and a longer database entry. I last visited Raglan on 6 September 1992. The reason I can be so precise is because the admission ticket dropped out of my old copy of the castle guidebook when I opened it. Like many people who work in museums I’m not very good at throwing things away!

Raglan was once an extremely impressive residence and fortress. Enough of the castle survives to give a vivid impression of the scale of the building and the comfortable accommodation it provided. Its architecture and furnishings reflected the wealth and status of its owners who included the Earls of Pembroke, the Earl of Huntingdon and the Earls of Worcester.  Most of the surviving structure dates from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. How did such a magnificent and costly castle become reduced to the impressive and romantic ruin that we can see in this photograph? 

The castle was held by Royalist forces during the English Civil War and was surrendered to Parliamentarians on 19th August 1646 after a siege which involved the use of mortars and cannon.  Shortly afterwards the castle was deliberately slighted to ensure that it couldn’t be used easily as a fortress again.  Further depredation occurred throughout the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as the castle buildings were plundered for building materials. This is story that rings true for many castles in England and Wales. It was only in 1938 that the castle was placed under the protection of the Commissioners of His Majesties Works and a programme of conservation was carried out.

Today many of us enjoy visiting castles like Raglan but this sort of leisure pursuit isn’t as recent as you might think.  A guide to Raglan was published in 1792 and was in its eleventh edition by 1829. Visiting castles is one of my greatest pleasure but I’d love to have been able to explore castle ruins as there were before they were tidied up in the twentieth century. The vegetation that you can see in this image taken in 1860 portrays Raglan as a romantic ruin, a victim of the relentless progress of time. Photographs like this became popular in the decades following the invention of photography and two other prints of Raglan by the same photographer were published in 1862 in a volume, Ruined Abbeys and Castles of Great Britain, that catered for this demand.

Early architectural photographs are a valuable record of the appearance of many great medieval buildings before the impact of organisations like English Heritage, CADW and the National Trust in preserving and interpreting them. These organisations, and others like them across Europe, play a vital and role in preserving the architectural heritage of medieval and Renaissance Europe. However part of the appeal of nineteenth century photographs like this one is that they evoke a sense of romance, discovery and mystery that I think is difficult to recapture when visiting a castle today. Personally I find that the more heavily interpreted a site is, and the more carefully manicured the surroundings, the less space there is for my imagination to wander.

For more information about Raglan Castle visit the CADW (Welsh Historic Monuments) website.

Anyone who has a passion for castles will find the Castle Studies Group website of interest.

Roodlofts and Candlesticks Part 1

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

By Stuart Frost

Roodloft from Hertogenbosch

There is a vast amount of work taking place behind the scenes to ensure that the new galleries are ready to open in November 2009. The project architects, MUMA, are about to commence detailed design. Curators at the V&A are researching the objects that will form the new displays and entering the information into the Museum’s digital collection’s database. Some of the curatorial team have even begun to write their object labels. The graphic designers, Holmes-Wood, are working on the gallery panel, object label and subject text formats. These are just a few examples of the diverse range of work that is underway away from the public gaze.

There is major construction work involved in creating the gallery spaces. Before building work can begin the areas that will become the new galleries need to be cleared of objects. This is an enormous task. The removal of objects needs careful planning and highly specialised skills, especially when many of the artefacts are large architectural pieces. The V&A is fortunate to have a very experienced team of technicians, conservators and curators.

Some objects are so large that it isn’t practical to move them. The roodloft (or choir screen) in Room 50 is a good example. This vast piece of architecture was once located in a cathedral. It is adorned with a variety of finely carved sculptures, including figures of saints and four smaller figures who are holding shields once painted with heraldic devices. When the object came to the V&A it was first located in the Cast Courts. Click on the image above for a better view of the roodloft in its previous location at the Museum.

Work in Progress - Choirscreen from HertogenboschSome of the figurative sculptures will be removed temporarily, so that conservation work can take place, and also so that they can be stored safely during construction work. Once the sculptures are removed the rest of the object will be enclosed with protective hoarding.  Scaffolding was recently placed around the roodloft as part of this programme of work. This gave the team here a rare opportunity to view the sculpture up close. It also allowed several of us to climb up onto the platform on top of the screen, and to assess the condition of the set of candlesticks which were originally attached to the balustrade. The image on the left shows staff taking the opportunity to view the object more closely than is usually possible.

I’ll provide a further update about work-in-progress on this object in next week’s blog entry.

Find out more information about the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries Project