Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Hello and welcome. I’m Marjorie Trusted.

  • I’m Senior Curator of Sculpture here at the V&A.

  • Were here to look at one of the most important sculpture galleries in the world.

  • Here in the heart of the V&A is the gallery of sculpture in Britain.

  • Sculpture made in Britain between

  • the early 17th century and the mid 20th century.

  • This gallery is peopled with sculpture

  • and indeed it’s about people.

  • It’s about the people who made the sculpture;

  • it’s about the subjects of the sculpture - the portraits;

  • and it’s about the people who commissioned and collected the sculpture.

  • The space were in here is memorial sculpture.

  • It includes church monuments and portraits above all.

  • And later on well look at some garden sculpture

  • and some subject sculpture - allegorical and mythological subjects.

  • Let’s look at some of the highlights of the collection now.

  • This is a monument to Sir Moyle and Lady Finch

  • that was made by Nicholas Stone, an English sculptor

  • in the early 17th century, about 1615-18.

  • This is a wonderful example of portraiture

  • and Nicholas Stone was actually trained in the Netherlands

  • and you can almost feel this is in the same world as Rembrandt’s portraits;

  • it was about the same date as Rembrandt was starting out as a painter.

  • This remarkable marble figure

  • is a portrait of a quack doctor called Doctor Joshua Ward.

  • It was sculpted in the 1760’s

  • by an Italian sculptor who came to Britain

  • and ended up settling here and working here for the rest of his life.

  • He was called Agostino Carlini.

  • It’s an amazing sculpture.

  • It was actually originally intended

  • for a monument in Westminster Abbey

  • but in fact the monument was never built

  • and so we have the figure of Doctor Ward here at the V&A.

  • People were commemorated on church monuments

  • but they were also, of course, commemorated in portrait busts

  • and weve got a really splendid variety of portrait busts here.

  • This is one to Sir George Savile.

  • It was made by a sculptor called Joseph Nollekens

  • and its dated 1784.

  • It’s a portrait of a politician.

  • He was a statesman;

  • he never became a minister but he was a

  • terribly important figure in eighteenth century British politics.

  • It was actually made just after he died.

  • The sculptor took a death mask from his face

  • and then used that as a model

  • to carve this very realistic portrait bust.

  • You can see his facial expression, his features,

  • even a sort of half-smile on his mouth.

  • Well, weve looked at commemorative sculpture,

  • now were going to look at

  • another different kind of sculpturegarden sculpture.

  • Garden sculptures were especially important

  • in Britain in the 18th century

  • and there were many landscaped gardens

  • that were peopled with figures and even small buildings,

  • or follies and temples.

  • This Garden Sculpture comes from Stow in Buckinghamshire.

  • It represents a Saxon god, Thuner.

  • It was made for Viscount Cobham who owned Stow

  • and who was a Wig politician.

  • Viscount Cobham very much wanted his garden

  • to represent a certain kind of philosophy of politics and history.

  • And one of the commissions he gave Rysbrack

  • was for seven Saxon gods

  • because he and other Wig politicians like him

  • looked back on ancient British history,

  • the Saxon part of British history, as a golden era.

  • Thuner, the god represented here,

  • was the god of thunder - the equivalent of Zeus or Jupiter in classical mythology.

  • Thuner representedthursday’;

  • all the Saxon gods represented a day of the week,

  • so he was one of seven gods.

  • And all of these figures made by Rysbrack

  • were set in a circle to represent the whole week.

  • So, weve seen garden sculpture

  • and were now going to look at another kind of sculpture

  • that became even more popular during the 19th century in Britain.

  • This is an example of gallery sculpture or ideal sculpture.

  • Perhaps this is the kind of sculpture we think of as the norm today

  • we think of sculpture in museums and galleries.

  • This really virtually started in the 19th century

  • when private individuals constructed special sculpture galleries

  • in their own houses, often country houses.

  • This is of Theseus and the Minotaur

  • and it’s by the celebrated Italian sculptor, Antonio Canova

  • who worked in Rome in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

  • Canova was especially popular with British patrons.

  • Weve seen just few of the sculptures 00:06:01.30here in the National Collections of Sculptures at the V&A.

  • If you visit the museum you can see many more.

  • You can walk round them and see them at close range.

  • But I hope youve enjoyed this brief glimpse of our collection.

Hello and welcome. I’m Marjorie Trusted.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 sculpture britain saxon portrait garden century

The Galleries of Sculpture in Britain

  • 302 13
    Nii Nadia posted on 2013/12/04
Video vocabulary