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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!



Monday, 2 February 2015

The Cast Court

 There are two vast galleries at the V and A Museum, London which house reproductions of sculpture and architecture from around the world all cast in plaster. Plaster casts played an important role in many museums in the 19th Century. The collection at the Victoria and Albert is the largest surviving one in the world.



This is a cast of Trajan's Column in Rome. The original one is made of marble and was erected in AD 113



It has a continuous relief carved into the marble showing the history of Trajan's campaigns. The frieze is 200m in length and shows 2,500 figures.



















This is the portal from the Cathedral of the Santiago de Compostela dated 1188. The bronze doors were originally made for St Michael's Church in Hildesheim, Germany in 1015 but were removed by his successor and taken to the Cathedral.







Details from the doors.







Pulpit for Pisa Cathedral (1302-1310)


















This life sized cast of Michelangelo's  David  was a present to Queen Victoria from the Grand Duke Leopold II of Tuscany. The cast was produced from a mould made up of several hundred pieces and is held together by metal rods. Although nothing can compare to the original  sculpture in Florence, this cast allows visitors to have an idea of the size of the sculpture and marvel at a masterpiece carved from a single block of marble.


According to a popular anecdote, this fig leaf was created for the cast because it was said that Queen Victoria was shocked by the figure's nudity. In truth that is unlikely as Queen Victoria and Prince Albert collected many works of art featuring nudity. Nonetheless the fig leaf was put in place for visits by royalty up to the early 20th cent.
Sharing with Our World Tuesday

23 comments:

  1. What incredible detail in so many of those carvings. I smiled at the fig leaf, though. At least it was removable. :-)

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  2. What a great museum! I had to laugh about the fig leaf! :)

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  3. Such a fabulous museum indeed!! I would love to visit there -- and of course, I would be looking for the fig leaf or lack thereof!!! Thanks for sharing, hope you have a great week!!!

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  4. Wow, this museum is a materpiece. I must visit it...

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  5. Wow, this museum is a materpiece. I must visit it...

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  6. What a wonderful museum to visit! The exhibits are just amazing.. Beautiful detail on the portal.. I had to laugh at the fig leaf story.. Great post, thanks for sharing. Have a happy week!

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  7. Fascinating post and great shots.

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  8. So impressive. I love the archways. I almost want to walk the Camino just to see the church at the end.

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  9. When I visited this museum many years ago I did not appreciate the[is sort of thing. I wish I could back and see it all over again. Maybe some day. :)

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  10. I love the carved marble face of the head of the Queen.

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  11. It's like seeing the world without leaving London!

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  12. What a great place - those plaster casts are very realistic.

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  13. Amazing stuffs on display. Great they allowed you to take pics.

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  14. It is a very beautiful museum !

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  15. what a great museum. Thank you for the tour.

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  16. Wow...simply dazzling works of art both in architecture and sculptures. Amazing.

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  17. Thank goodness many ancient works of art were duplicated. I was lucky enough to see the original David and was awestruck by its beauty. I learned that some of the statue’s proportions were created to be viewed best from certain perspectives and distances.

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  18. Thank you for the wonderful virtual visit to the V&A museum.

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  19. Wow great musuem. Love the spiral staircase, very unique and the designs really detailed and beautiful.

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  20. A bit strange a whole museum for duplicates. In a way interesting but also a bit fake to me.

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  21. Nice for someone to experience the world...right there in London. I have seen David in Florence and strongly recommend making a reservation if you want to see it!

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  22. We love the Cast Courts. I went last year with my daughter. We really went specially to see the doll's house furniture in the Silver gallery and got sidetracked by the scale of the objects in the Cast Courts. So I blogged about them both, Big & Small. Great to see your take on it.

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