Display On now until Sunday, 8 August 2021

Renaissance Watercolours

+44 (0)20 7942 2000
  • On now until Sunday, 8 August 2021

  • Rooms 88 & 88A

  • Free

This display presents for the first time watercolour during the Renaissance as a unified art form, highlighting its versatility and pivotal role in understanding, interpreting and documenting the natural world. 

Display Highlights

a drawing of Canterbury cathedral front design
Canterbury Cathedral font design, watercolour drawing, by John Christmas, about 1638 – 39, Britain. Museum no. E.574-2005. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
portrait miniature
Anne of Cleves portrait miniature set in an ivory box, watercolour, Hans Holbein, 1539, England. Museum no. P.153:1, 2-1910. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Watercolour of Nonsuch Palace. Two turrets at the front and a tower in the centre. It is surrounded by trees and green space
Nonsuch Palace from the South, watercolour, by Joris Hoefnagel, 1568, England. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
painting
Apollo and Daphne, drawing, by Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, about 1630 – 64, Italy. Museum no. DYCE.346. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Man leaning against a tree wearing a white ruff, white tights and a grey, dark brown and white patterned overshirt
Young Man among Roses, portrait miniature, by Nicholas Hilliard, about 1587, England. Museum no. P.163-1910. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
painting
Portrait of an unknown man, watercolour painting, by Isaac Oliver, about 1595, England. Museum no. IS.60-1978. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
watercolour
Watercolour, by Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues, about 1575, England. Museum no. AM.3267W-1856. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
drawing
Details of a decorative scheme for the eastern vault of the Madonna della Steccata, watercolour sketch, by Parmigianino, about 1531 – 39, Parma, Italy. Museum no. 4898. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
drawing
A Huntsman Resting with His Hounds, watercolour drawing, by Jacob Jordaens, about 1635, Southern Netherlands. Museum no. 4905. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
watercolour
Citron, watercolour, by Vincenzo Leonardi, about 1640, Rome, Italy. Museum no. E.426-2009. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
painting
Portrait of a European, watercolour painting, about 1610 – 20, India. Museum no. IM.9-1913. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Design drawing of arms, armour, horses' trappings and more, in gold, blue and white. Decorative and grand
Design for arms, armour, horses' trappings etc, for a pageant or triumph, watercolour drawing, by Jacopo Ligozzi, late 16th century, Italy. Museum no. 4785. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Watercolour of four yellow daffodils and a black and orange butterfly
Daffodils and a Red Admiral Butterfly, watercolour, by Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues, about 1575, England. Museum no. AM.3267A-1856. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
armour design
Armour for Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, from The Almain Armourer's Album, watercolour armour design by Jacob Halder, 1557 – 87, Greenwich, London. Museum no. D.588&A-1894. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

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Renaissance Watercolours: From Durer to Van Dyck

Renaissance Watercolours: From Durer to Van Dyck

Spanning the period 1450 – 1640, this book brings together a diverse collection of portraits, botanical illustrations and landscape paintings for the first time.

£30 Buy
V&A green sketchbook souvenir

V&A green sketchbook souvenir

Next time you visit the V&A, why not bring this handy A4 notebook?

£3.50 Buy
British Watercolours: 1750–1950

British Watercolours: 1750–1950

The V&A holds the UK's national collection of watercolours, and this book showcases its breadth and diversity.

£25 Buy
Renaissance Watercolours
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Background image: Background image: Daffodils and a Red Admiral Butterfly, watercolour, Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues, about 1575, England. Museum no. AM.3267A-1856. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London