5 October 2006 -
7 January 2007

At Home in Renaissance Italy

Christ's Charge to Peter

Raphael, Christ's Charge to Peter, 1515-16
Bodycolour on paper mounted onto canvas (tapestry cartoon), 304 x 503cm
V&A Images/The Royal Collection

Students drawing in the Cast Courts

Students drawing in the Cast Courts

Student in the Cast Courts

Student in the Cast Courts

Learning Resources

Information for Schools and Students

This website contains lots of useful information that will help you with planning a visit to the exhibition. In addition to the material on the website, this section suggests other relevant areas of the Museum that you could explore with your students before or after a visit to the exhibition. We have also provided links to other teachers' resources you can access.

The Renaissance at the V&A

Acts of the Apostle cartoon by Raphael, 1516-1516. On display in Room 48.

The V&A has one of the finest collections of Renaissance art & design in the world. The V&A was founded in 1857 (as the South Kensington Museum) and Renaissance objects from Italy and northern Europe were amongst the first to be collected by the Museum.

The V&A holds the largest and most important collection of Italian sculpture outside Italy. There are original works by Donatello and Giambologna on display. The V&A's extraordinary collection of casts and electrotype copies includes some of the most famous Renaissance works such as Michelangelo's 'David' and Ghiberti's 'Gates of Paradise'. The decorative arts are also well represented. The collections include examples of luxurious textiles, vast tapestries, beautiful glass vessels, exquisite metalwork and prints and drawings. Italian Renaissance furniture is another strength with an abundance of beautifully carved, painted and gilded chests as well as chairs and examples of intricate wood inlay. You and your students can explore the collections in the following spaces in the museum:

Rooms 17-20 (Level 1): Renaissance 1400-1600
These four rooms include highlights from the V&A's Italian Renaissance collection including sculpture, furniture, paintings, glass, ceramics and metalwork.

Room 48a (Level 1): Raphael
This room features the world-famous Raphael Cartoons, enormous painted designs for tapestry, on loan from the Royal Collection.

Rooms 25-27 (Level 1): Northern Renaissance 1500-1700
The displays in these rooms focus on the Renaissance in northern Europe. Objects range from large altarpieces to stained glass and small exquisitely carved statuettes. A highlight is the 'Burghley Nef', a large metalwork salt cellar in the form of a ship.

Rooms 46a and 46b (Level 1):
The Italian Cast Court is in Room 46B, casts from northern Europe are in Room 46A.

Rooms 58 and 58b (Level 2): British Galleries 1500-1760
These galleries include displays that show the impact of the Renaissance in the British Isles. Highlights include a bust of King Henry VII made by the Florentine sculptor Pietro Torrigiani.

Rooms 95-101 (Level 3): Textiles Study Collection
A selection of luxurious textiles from the Renaissance can be found in these rooms.

Room 131 (Level 4): Glass
The pre-eminent Renaissance centre for glass was Venice. This room has a wide range of Venetian glass, from delicate filigree work to brilliantly coloured and gilded pieces.

Prints and Drawings Study Room (Level 4)
Prints, paintings and drawings from the period can be studied in this room which gives access to fifteenth- and sixteenth-century works on paper in the V&A's collections.

The Renaissance and the V&A Building
The admiration of the V&A's founders for Renaissance art and design is reflected in the original decoration of the Museum. The painted panels outside the National Art Library are some of the original designs for mosaics commissioned during the 1860s intended to decorate one of the galleries. Of over 30 artists commemorated many are from the Renaissance, for example the sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti (1378-1455) who is shown holding a rather undersize version of his most celebrated work, the 'Gates of Paradise' from the Baptistery in Florence. There are other references to Renaissance artists on the ceramic staircase and the original entrance to the Museum in the John Madejski Garden.

Renaissance Resources for Teachers

Visit www.vam.ac.uk/schools for information about booking and planning a visit to the V&A and to access teachers' resources. The following resources will be particularly useful: The Raphael Tapestry Cartoons at the V&A. Search the Collections.

Coming in 2009: The Medieval and Renaissance Galleries

A new sequence of 10 rooms will open in November 2009. We would like to know what you and your students thought of your visits to the V&A to see the 'At Home in Renaissance Italy' and/or 'Leonardo da Vinci: Experience, Experiment and Design' exhibitions. Your feedback will be invaluable in helping us plan events and resources to accompany the new Medieval and Renaissance Galleries. Please email s.frost@vam.ac.uk with your comments. We would like to hear from you if you are willing to be contacted about your visit. Find out more about the new Medieval and Renaissance Galleries here.