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Archive for the 'Sculpture' Category

The Local Past - Barcelona

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

By Glyn Davies

Facade of Casa Amatller, BarcelonaOne of the things that the curators tried to incorporate into the V&A’s Medieval & Renaissance Galleries was the idea that the past survives, often in evocative fragments, all around us in the modern city. At various points since, artists and designers have chosen to go back and take inspiration from those fragments. And one of the most interesting things that I find while travelling around Europe is to see the very different ways in which that inspiration has manifested itself. Works inspired by gothic art, or medieval buildings here in Britain look very different from medieval-inspired architecture in France, or Spain.

This trend was especially noticeable in the late nineteenth century, when artists were especially keen on developing ‘national’ styles that reflected local traditions and techniques. Often, artists working in this style had close links to the literary scene, and to nationalist and localist politics, both left wing and right wing. One of the best examples is Catalunya. I was recently in Barcelona, and while of course I had to go and see the wonderful medieval and renaissance art displayed at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (a long walk uphill to the area called Montjuic), I ended up spending most of the holiday doing walking tours around the city to see the buildings of the Modernista period, roughly contemporary with the Art Nouveau style throughout the rest of Europe.

Casa de les Punxes, BarcelonaThe artists and architects of Barcelona, concerned with their Catalan, rather than Spanish, identity, had a particularly intense relationship with their local historic building styles. The buildings of the Eixample district in Barcelona often display fanciful references to medieval building styles, but at the same time, they are eclectic, and usually built using the most up-to-the-minute engineering and construction techniques. The medieval look is only skin deep!

The first photo here shows you part of the street facade of the Casa Amatller, one of the more prominent Modernista buildings in the city. It was designed by Designed by Josep Puig i Cadafalch, with ironwork designed by Manuel Ballarín, sculptural reliefs by Alfons Juyol, and stained-glass windows by Eduard Amigó. Puig i Cadafalch was one of Barcelona’s leading architects, and this apartment building, constructed at the turn of the century, was designed to resemble a medieval palace. In the photo, you can see that the facade is entirely covered in tiles, a pointed reference to local Catalan building techniques.

The second photo is of one of Puig i Cadafalch’s rather more austere buildings. Whenever I look at this, I’m reminded of its cousin in London, Saint Pancras station. Both buildings take their inspiration from fifteenth-century northern European castles, particularly in the round towers with their pointed roofs. In this case, though, the spectacular ironwork is a strongly Catalan element. This building is known as the House of Spikes (Casa de les Punxes)!

The last image is one of my favourites. Everyone has heard of Antoni Gaudi, who’s become probably the most famous of Barcelona’s turn of the century architects. But among aficionados, another name is often mentioned: Lluís Domènech i Montaner. This architect’s undoubted masterpiece is the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, not far from the Sagrada Familia church. The site has been closed for ages now, but recently, work has started on restoring the buildings, and as a result, limited guided tours are available. If you get the chance, then I can heartily recommend it. Even in a degraded state, the Hospital is hugely impressive. The photo below shows you just one of the ward pavilions. And immediately, you get a sense of how the architect was throwing together ideas from a whole variety of medieval and renaissance building styles to create something new. The tiled onion dome looks Byzantine. The arches are inspired by romanesque churches, while the tall columns and window forms come from a variety of gothic architectural sources. More subtly, I think, the integration of architecture, sculpture and pictorial representations on the outside of the building reflects the inspiration of the unashamedly ‘multi-media’ approach of medieval buildings. Walking around this hospital complex, I had a real sense of how the past could be used creatively to make beautiful and useful buildings and objects for the future.

Hospital Ward, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Barcelona

   

   

The Role of the Catalogue

Monday, July 19th, 2010

By Glyn Davies

You may be wondering why this post is accompanied by a photo of a party. Where is the art, you say? What does this have to do with the Medieval and Renaissance periods? Have I stumbled on someone’s Facebook page?

Well, I thought you might like to see one of the less obvious results of our work preparing for the new Medieval & Renaissance Galleries. While the galleries were being designed and built, there was a huge amount of research going on behind the scenes to re-assess some of our greatest treasures. One of the curators carrying out research was Dr Paul Williamson, the head of the Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics and Glass department, who is one of the world experts on medieval ivory carving. Paul spent a year researching and writing a new catalogue of our early medieval ivories - one of the most important parts of our earlier collections. We weren’t able to publish it in time for the opening of the new galleries in November, but the advance copies have now arrived, and the book will be going on sale to the public soon. Paul, by the way, is the man with the glasses and dark jacket sitting towards the front.

Medieval Ivories Book Launch

I’m often asked why we didn’t issue a catalogue to accompany the new Medieval & Renaissance Galleries. The answer to this is simple - we issue catalogues to accompany temporary exhibitions, but not permanent displays. The permanent collections are catalogued according to media type, and we have been issuing catalogues of different areas of the collection every few years for a long time now!

Paul’s new book is the first of a series of three which will completely catalogue all the V&A’s ivories, a collection of about 500 objects. Ivory may today seem an odd sort of material to be a major art form during the middle ages, but it enjoyed periods of real popularity during the period. It’s hard to know why exactly this was, but it is noticeable that most of the luxury arts of the medieval period used raw materials that were exotic and hard to obtain - think of silk, gold and silver, or the lapis lazuli pigment used for the finest blue details in paintings. The whiteness of ivory, its durability, and the very tactile nature of ivory carvings (you have to really restrain yourself from touching them) were all probably part of its appeal.

The picture shows a little reception that Paul held to celebrate the completion of the book. I say ‘little’, but even with a single-author book like this, you can see that a large number of people ended up contributing to it! In the photo are staff from the V&A Conservation studios, who carried out scientific examination and testing on the objects; staff from the Photo Studio, who took the wonderful photographs that fill the book; experts from other parts of the Museum, like Rowan Watson, the curator responsible for our medieval manuscripts; the editors and staff of V&A Publications; and many more. Paul is having a more official launch party this week - but it was lovely for all those closely involved in the project to come together to mark its completion.

But of course, it’s never complete. No catalogue is truly the last word on the subject. And now Paul and I have started work on Volume II, which will take up where this catalogue leaves off, and go from 1200 to 1550, covering another 300-odd objects. Volume III is also in the process of being written, by Marjorie Trusted. This kind of scholarship on the collection may not be of any obvious significance for many of our visitors. But in reality, it decisively shapes the ways in which the objects are presented and discussed within the galleries. Many people who would never read Paul’s academic catalogue will certainly see our objects differently because of his research. For instance, one of our greatest treasures, the ivory crozier telling the story of Saint Nicholas, has always been described as English (have a look at it on http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O70467/staff-head-the-st-nicholas-crozier/). Paul convincingly demonstrates that it is French, and this will transform the ways in which it is presented in the future.

Vikings and Bishops

Monday, June 7th, 2010

By Glyn Davies

One of the great things (or perhaps one of the curses) of working in the history of art is that holidays always have a work edge. If you are travelling in Europe, you are almost never too far from a medieval or renaissance site that needs seeing. I’ve recently spent some time in Denmark, and while I was there I couldn’t resist taking the train out to the small town of Roskilde, once the capital of the Viking kingdom of Denmark.

Roskilde boasts an impressive cathedral, which for anyone used to English or French buildings of the same date is something of a surprise. Take a look at the photo, and you’ll see what I mean. It’s built almost entirely of brick - and Roskilde claims to be the first cathedral ever to have been built using that material. It was mainly constructed in the early thirteenth century, and already shows signs of responding to the gothic style that had developed in the area around Paris in the previous forty or fifty years. This new brick-built style was so influential in Denmark that many of the nineteenth and twentieth-century churches there still refer to Roskilde in their basic appearance.

Inside, the church is surprisingly small for a cathedral and burial site of kings, but there are interesting traces of medieval and renaissance wall painting surviving. This thirteenth-century painting caught my eye. The saint on the right is Olaf, the eleventh-century king of Norway who was an important saint throughout Scandinavia - it’s hard to make him out in the photo at this size, but you can see a much larger version on our Flickr pages.

The V&A doesn’t possess much material from medieval Scandinavia, but we do have one important piece that also depicts Olaf. It is a fourteenth-century crozier, and is almost certainly Norwegian - a piece that is very close to my heart, and forms part of a display looking at the international penetration of the gothic style in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries in our new galleries (Gallery 9). You can take a look at it by clicking here: http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O65808/crozier-head-crozier/.

While I was in Roskilde, I also had to visit one other key site. In the 1970s, five Viking ships were salvaged from the fjord at Roskilde, and now form the centrepieces of a museum looking at the Viking relationship to the sea. The museum, which is also a working boat yard, is called the Vikingeskibs Museet. The display is very dramatic, as you are standing next to ships that are over a thousand years old. Outside in the harbour are authentic replicas, built using traditional techniques. Probably the most effective, and moving, part of the museum displays is the high-quality film showing a crew from Roskilde attempting to sail the largest of their ship replicas to Dublin. Why Dublin? Well, scientific testing has shown that the largest ship at Roskilde had been made there. The crew do succeed in making their way to Dublin, but not without being tested in appalling conditions. I felt very happy to be watching, rather than taking part!

 If you want to see some of the awesome footage for yourself, then click here: http://vikingeskibsmuseet.dk/index.php?id=1671&L=1.

I found the visit strangely moving. It was something to do with the fact that the ships are displayed so close to their find site, and in the context of practical archaeology. You’re encouraged to think about how the Viking community in Roskilde actually lived, and you come out of the museum with a sense of quite how adventurous these sea-farers were.

 

 

The Robert H Smith Renaissance Sculpture Programme

Monday, June 29th, 2009

By Stuart Frost

A  number of events have taken place at the V&A recently as part of the Robert H.Smith Renaissance Sculpture Programme, a ten-year programme of events generously funded by Mr Smith. The programme includes conferences, seminars, publications and two demonstrations of sculpture techniques a yearDemonstration of techniques used in Renaissance sculpture by Tom Clark..

The V&A holds the national collection of sculpture, including the most important collection of Italian Renaissance sculpture outside Italy, and the events supported by the Robert H. Smith programme create a forum where new ideas about the Renaissance sculpture and the V&A’s collection can be explored and discussed. The demonstrations, for example, encourage visitors to think about how the objects were made helping them to appreciate the process involved in producing finished works of art.

The first of the demonstrations took place in March and was led by sculptor Tom Clark. The demonstration showed how relief sculptures were produced using techniques employed by Renaissance sculptors. Tom chose to copy an Italian marble relief portrait of the poet, diplomat and humanist Francesco Cinzio Benincasa. The original relief will be displayed in the Medieval & Renaissance Galleries as part of a display that looks at portraiture and indentity.

As you can see in the pictures the public responded enthusiastically to the opportunity to have a go at carving, with visitors of all ages eager to take their turn. Click on the pictures to see larger images or to find out a little more information about what is shown. I didn’t have room to include all of the photographs related to Tom’s demonstration here. If you’d like to see them I have posted them on the Medieval & Renaissance - V&A site on Flickr.

In December there will be a different sculpture techniques session when you can come and watch another expert in action and perhaps have a go yourself. The second annual lecture will also take place in December, given by Nicholas Penny, Director of the National Gallery. I’ll post updates on other events via this blog and post extra pictures on Flickr.Demonstration of techniques used in Renaissance sculpture by Tom Clark.

The next Robert H Smith event is a one-day symposium on Leone Leoni: Sculptor to Princes, Emperors and Kings. The symposium marks the 500th anniversary of Leoni’s birth. Leoni worked primarily in bronze and attracted the attention of the wealthiest and most powerful patrons of his day, including the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V and King Philip II of Spain. The event will take place in the Hochhauser Auditorium in the Museum’s new Sackler Centre between 10.00-16.45. Tickets are free but if you are thinking of coming advanced booking is recommended.

If you would like to know more about any of these events please look on the What’s On area of the V&A’s website or contact Caroline Bulloch on c.bulloch@vam.ac.uk to be added to the mailing list.

Saint George’s Day

Monday, April 20th, 2009

By Stuart Frost

Scenes from the Story of St George, Museum no. A. 41 1954.St George’s day falls this week on Thursday 23 April. I have written about St George previously, in April 2007 in fact, so I’ll try not to repeat myself too much here. I noted then that although there are a large number of images of St George in the V&A’s collections most of them are not English. George was a very popular saint across medieval and Renaissance Europe. He is, for example, represented on works of art from Spain, Italy and Germany in the V&A’s collections.

St George is believed to have died around AD303. His legend was popularised in western Europe through a text known as The Golden Legend. The book contains biographies of saints, Apostles and martyrs and was compiled in the thirteenth century by Jacobus de Voragine. The book was published in English in 1483 by William Caxton and is still in print today in various scholarly and popular editions.

Every year the press debates whether the English fail to celebrate St George’s day enough. Inevitably comparisons are drawn with St Patrick’s Day which is celebrated on a much larger scale by Irish communities around the world. This year the Mayor of London has adopted a more active role in promoting St George’s day. It remains to be seen how London will respond.Scenes from the Story of St George, Museum no. A. 41 1954.

My own contribution to marking St George’s day is to include a few pictures of a wonderful statuette carved with stunning virtuosity. Although the subject matter was obviously significant to the person who owned the piece originally, the sculpture must have been prized particularly for the quality of the artist’s work. It is a wonderful object to inspect carefully and rewards close and sustained attention. For a better view of the object, and to find out more about it, click on the image.

To find more images of Saint George search in the V&A’s collections visit Collections Online.

Palm Sunday Processions

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

By Stuart Frost

Palmesel Figure, 1470-1490, German. Museum no. A.1030-1910.The Easter weekend is almost upon us which means that Palm Sunday has already passed. Palm Sunday is an important date in the Christian calendar as it marks the beginning of the events which led up to the Crucifixion of Jesus and his Resurrection. The Gospel accounts tells us that Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on an ass and that he was greeted by a great crowd who spread palm branches before him.

There is a long tradition of the use of sculptures of Christ on an ass (known as Palmesels) in processions that commemorate Palm Sunday. The Palmesel figure in the V&A’s collection, shown in the pictures shown to the right here, was made around 1480 in Southern Germany. The locations of around two-hundred and seventy fourteenth-century Palmesel processions have been identified but only eight of the Palmesel figures from this time appear to have survived. There are more later figures in museums around the world, like the one at the V&A.

Most of the medieval Palmesels that have survived are no longer in active use but a number of Palmesel processions do still take place every year. Last Sunday I was fortunate enough to see one in the Austrian village of Thaur. Thaur is a few kilometres from Innsbruck and has a spectacular location, surrounded by snow capped mountains. I’ve illustrated this blog entry with a selection of photographs of the procession and posted others on Flickr. Click on a picture to find out more about what is shown.

Palm Sunday Procession in Thaur, Austria,  5th April 2009. The procession started just before 8.30am. The Palmesel figure was led from the main church in Thaur by two choirboys and processed to the smaller church of St Vigil. There the procession was greeted by the villagers who lined the streets, holding palm sticks decorated with banners, fruit and pretzels. After a blessing service outside the church of St Vigil the procession returned to the main church for Mass.

At 13.00 the procession left the main church and made its way up a steep pathway to the Chapel of St Romedius. The Palmesel was pulled by eight choirboys and watching the procession slowly climbing upwards to my vantage point was a spectacular sight. After a short service the procession returned back down the pathway and then turned towards the village of Rum.

Palm Sunday Procession, Thaur, Austria  5th April 2009.As the procession approached Rum the vicar and choirboys from the village church came out to meet the procession and followed into the church. After a short service the procession returned to Thaur where it arrived at around 3.00pm greeted by chiming church bells. Half-an-hour or so later I saw the Palmesel returning to the home of the family that own it and where it will stay until Palm Sunday 2010.

The procession was a remarkable experience which has made me think about the Palmesel in V&A’s collection very differently. It was fascinating to see the importance of the procession to the local community. The procession was filmed and the footage will be edited to create a short silent video for the  Religious Procession 1300-1500 display in the new Medieval and Renaissance Galleries. We are very grateful to the church and people of Thaur for allowing us to film the procession.

Treasures from the V&A 400-1600 in Sheffield

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

By Stuart Frost

Treasures from the V&A 400-1600AD at the Millennium Gallery, Sheffield.Regular readers will know that I’ve used this blog to provide occasional updates about a touring exhibition of highlights from the V&A’s medieval and Renaissance collections. The exhibition has been to five museums in north America and has now opened in its sixth and final venue before the objects return to South Kensington late in May 2009.

The exhibition closed at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta on 4 January 2009 and opened at the Millennium Galleries in Sheffield on 29th January 2009.  As the exhibition title indicates the objects included in the display are some of the greatest medieval and Renaissance treasures in the V&A’s collections.

With a touring exhibition like this one there is a vast amount of work involved. The objects had to be carefully removed from the display cases in Atlanta, packed securely and then transported across the Atlantic to Yorkshire. The exhibition team at Sheffield have been working over many, many months to plan the exhibition and to link it with their own collections.

Unpacking the Lorsch Gospel Covers, Millennium Gallery, Sheffield 2009. My colleagues on the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries project have been involved in different aspects of the touring exhibition. Some have been involved in deinstallation of the objects at one venue, accompanying the artifacts as they travel between museums and then in helping with their installation once the objects have arrived at the next gallery. Others have been involved in giving lectures, gallery talks or in writing entries for the beautifully illustrated book that complements the display.

I had my first opportunity to visit one of the venues for the exhibition when I travelled to Sheffield during the last week in January. In September 2008 we travelled to Aachen and Lorsch Abbey in Germany to shoot footage for a short film about the Lorsch Gospel covers. These five ivory panels were carved around 810 in Aachen and attached to the front cover of a magnificent Gospel book.

The Lorsch Gospel covers have been part of the Medieval and Renaissance Treasures touring exhibition so we’ve had to wait until the exhibition returned to Britain to film them. The photograph above left shows the case containing the Gospel covers after its arrivial at the Millennium Gallery in Sheffield. The photograph was taken just before case was opened, the object checked and carefully unpacked. Now that the Lorsch Gospel cover has been filmed the first edit of the Charlemagne and Aachen gallery film can be produced.

Click here to find out more about Treasures from the V&A 400-1600 at the Millennium Galleries in Sheffield. The exhibition runs until 24 May 2009. If you have an opportunity to visit the exhibition I’d be delighted to hear your thoughts about it.  You can post your views and comments below. 

Byzantine Intrigue

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

By Stuart Frost

Roundel with the Mother of God, Museum no.  A.1-1927.What does the word Byzantine mean to you? If the answer is not very much I suspect that you’re not alone. The word was one of the period terms we tested with focus groups. These took place in the autumn of 2002 when we conducted research to feed into the planning for the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries. Byzantium was unfamiliar to almost all of the participants in the focus groups. This isn’t surprising as Byzantine history isn’t a subject that is widely studied in Britain. It isn’t, for example, included in the National Curriculum for England and Wales.

In 330 the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great founded the city of Constantinople on the site of Byzantium. The new city was to replace Rome as the capital of the Roman world and to become the centre of an empire that endured until 1453. The modern label for this empire is Byzantine although contemporaries described it as the Empire of the Romans. The Byzantine empire was finally brought to an end by the Ottoman Turks in 1453. Constantinople is now known better known as Istanbul. There are many reasons that help explain why an empire which endured for so long is not better known by the public.
 
The Byzantium 330-1453 exhibition at the Royal Academy provides a wonderful opportunity for those who are intrigued about Byzantine art to find out more. There are some stunningly beautiful objects in the displays. I’ve been looking forward to this exhibition ever since I heard about it for various reasons. I was particularly interested to see how the exhibition team would cope with the challenge of covering a chronological span as vast as 330-1453 in a comparatively small number of rooms. The Medieval and Renaissance Galleries have an equally challenging scope, covering all of Europe from 300-1600, so it is always illuminating to see the decisions that other institutions make when faced with a similar situation.Mosaic with Head of Christ,  Museum  no. 4312-1856.

Whilst the V&A’s own medieval and Renaissance collections don’t provide a comprehensive overview of Byzantine art history they do include a small but significant number of key objects. In fact a number of objects that will appear in the V&A’s new Medieval and Renaissance Galleries are on display currently at the Royal Academy.

It is endlessly fascinating to see how other institutions display and interpret objects from the V&A’s collections.  Seeing a familiar object alongside artefacts from different collections often generates new thoughts and ideas. I’ve illustrated this blog entry with pictures of a number of those V&A objects that can be seen in the Byzantium show. As always click on the image if you’d like to know more about the object.

Click here to find out more about the Byzantium 330-1453 exhibition at the Royal Academy, London.

Christmas is Coming

Friday, December 5th, 2008

By Stuart Frost

I have been posting a new blog entry here every two weeks since October 2006. The gap between this posting and the last one is the longest that there has ever been, a sign of how hectic things have been over the last couple of weeks.The Adoration of the Magi, Museum no. 2418-1856

Time seems to be running away rapidly. December seems to have come around extraordinarily quickly. I’m looking forward to Christmas this year and having a break with family and friends. In an attempt to get into the festive spirit I’ve decided to post an image depicting the Adoration of the Magi. Each of the three Magi (sometimes shown as kings) has brought a gift to present to the infant Jesus. It is an extraordinarily vivid and colourful image and one that is loaded with symbolic meaning. There are numerous Adoration and Nativity scenes represented on many other objects in the medieval and Renaissance collections.

The same Christmas stories always reappear in the newspapers every year in slightly different versions. There is always, for example, a story about some aspect of the Christmas festivities that has been cancelled due to concern about offending non-Christian communities. I haven’t read one of these yet, but I’m sure there’ll be one. These sorts of stories give incidents that are extremely rare a profile that is out of all proportion. This morning I opened the newspaper on the train on the way to work and was faced with a story about a school caretaker who’d carved a Nativity set from wood reclaimed from school desks. I’ll look forward to reading the plethora of other Christmas related stories that will emerge over the next couple of weeks. If anyone reads a particularly good one please do let me know.

The image posted above highlights the origins of gift-giving at Christmas.  There are nineteen shopping days left until 25 December 2008.  I haven’t done any yet so I’d better get started this weekend!

Rebuilding the Renaissance City

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Stuart Frost

Object installation in Gallery 50 at the V&AOn any project there are significant milestones, key dates by which critical stages on the road to completion have been reached. For the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries project one of these was reached on Friday 26th September. Regular visitors to the V&A will have become used to the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries hoarding in the Grand Entrance. The colourful facade, adorned with photographic details taken for some of the V&A’s greatest artworks, has masked the gradual transformation of one of the Museum’s grandest and largest exhibition spaces.

Behind this screen over a period of many months the objects that formed the old displays were painstakingly removed from the walls and the floor. The objects included several vast tomb monuments built into the Museum walls as well as numerous heavy freestanding sculptures.

Once all of the objects had been removed the site was then handed over to the contractors so that work could begin on preparing the space for the new displays. The original mosaic floor was revealed once again and carefully restored. A vast framework of scaffolding was erected which filled the volume of the room, facilitating essential work on the ceiling. Construction work has created several new vistas that will significantly enhance visitors’ understanding of the V&A’s architecture, establishing new connections between gallery spaces that are located on different levels and floors.

Stemma by Luca della Robbia and workshop. Museum no.6740-1860By the end of September 2008 the contractors had finished their work on the site and were able to hand Gallery 50a back to the V&A. This meant that the Museum’s technical services team were able to begin the installation of objects for the new displays. 

The pictures that I’ve provided here show two vast objects that are currently being installed. The one at the top of this page shows the installation of the Stemma of King René of Anjou in progress.  If you look carefully you can that the team have just begun to add the border that surrounds the central roundel. The stemma has a diameter of over three meters. The picture to the right shows what the object looks like when complete. Click on the image to find out more about the stemma.

The photograph below and to the right shows work in progress on the installation of a window frame which originally faced into the courtyard of the Château de Montal. Again click on the picture for more information about the objectObject installation in Gallery 50 at the V&A..

In November 2009 Gallery 50 will reopen to the public in its new guise as The Renaissance City 1350-1600. By the time the galleries open over two hundred objects will have been installed in Gallery 50 and almost one thousand eight hundred objects throughout the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries as a whole. Fortunately the majority of them will not have been quite as involved as the two examples I’ve provided here.

I’ll post a series of photographs that highlight the transformation of Gallery 50 to the Medieval and Renaissance Flickr site over the next week or so.