While at the V&A for the Treasures of the Royal Court exhibition (post) I also managed to have a look at a couple of other galleries before & after the exhibition. Sadly train times meant I didn’t get long there overall (otherwise I’d’ve had to pay the peak time fare) but I did get some photos!
The photos are up on flickr (here), with some highlights in this post.
I started out in the Medieval & Renaissance Europe galleries, and the first couple of rooms I went into had a strong religious theme. The first room actually reminded me a bit of the Pergamon Museum in Berlin (which I still haven’t written up a post about) because it was dominated by a piece of monumental architecture nicked from another country:
In this case the Choir Screen from ‘s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands. This room was mostly pieces of sculpture, and the next one I went into was full of altarpieces. These were all spectacularly ornate, like one from France (the Troyes Altarpiece) which had not just the main subject in each carved scene but smaller incidental details behind.
Moving on to more secular art (and I think forward in time) one of the pieces that particularly stuck out to me was a tapestry showing scenes from the Trojan War. One of these was the Amazon Queen Penthesilea kneeling before King Priam of Troy – when I went to the museum we’d only just listened to the In Our Time episode about the Amazons (post), so they were particularly in my mind. Also in this section they had one of Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks, which I somehow found unexpected.
After I’d been to the exhibition I went and looked at the British galleries – starting from the Tudors and moving on the Stuarts. I didn’t have long before I had to leave (only an hour or thereabouts) so I was quite brisk, just looking at & photographing things that caught my eye rather than everything they had. This included the Great Bed of Ware, mentioned by Shakespeare in one of his plays – and probably constructed to be a talking point for the inn in question to drum up trade. I also took several photos of the clothing they had on display (and tried to get some of the panelled rooms, but sadly those mostly failed to come out right).
Definitely going back for a longer visit sometime, with the big camera too 🙂