Conservation of the Pórtico de la Gloria cast

The Pórtico de la Gloria (Portal of Glory) was created by Master Mateo in 1188 to adorn the main entrance to the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral in north-west Spain. Intricately carved with biblical scenes, prophets, saints and angels, it is one of the most remarkable monuments of Romanesque art.

In 1866, the South Kensington Museum (now the V&A) commissioned the Italian plaster maker, Domenico Brucciani, to journey to Spain to produce a copy of the Portico. Brucciani's enormous cast determined the dimensions of the Museum's Cast Courts, which were built in 1873 to display this and other monumental copies of architecture and artworks from around the world. This film tells the story of Master Mateo's original sculpture and Brucciani's cast, recently conserved as part of a major restoration of our Cast Courts.

Find out more about Cast Courts.

Background image: The Portico de la Gloria (detail), plaster cast, Domenico Brucciani, 1866, Spain. Museum no. REPRO.1866-50. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London