The Western Doorway of the Church

Photograph
1867 (photographed), 1868 (published)
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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Prints & Drawings Study Room, room 512M
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Charles Thurston Thompson was the V&A's first Official Museum Photographer, in charge of the Museum's photographic operations from 1856 until his death in 1868. In addition to photographing museum objects and objects on loan, he also photographed great works of art and architecture on dedicated photographic campaigns abroad. These views were made during a 1867 campaign to Spain and Portugal.

This is one of seven sets of Thurston Thompson's series of photographs of the Monastery of Batalha, Portugal in the V&A collection. A selection of views from the series was published shortly after his death by the Arundel Society, sanctioned by the Science and Art Department, (under the authority of which the V&A was originally established). Available to artists, amateurs and collectors these volumes were available for purchase at a dedicated sales stall in the museum and were also circulated by the Science and Art Department for the use of schools of art.

Of these seven sets, five are bound. The other two sets are composed of loose plates, with some additional plates not included in the bound volumes and marked as proofs. The various stamps and presentation formats demonstrate the multiple ways photographs were circulated not only throughout the museum, but to the larger community of scholars, artists and connoisseurs.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Additional Titles
  • The Sculptured Ornament of the Monastery of Batalha in Portugal (published title)
  • Examples of Art Workmanship and Countries (series title)
Materials and Techniques
Albumen print
Brief Description
Photograph by Charles Thurston Thompson, 'The Western Doorway of the Church', albumen print, 1867, from the album 'The Sculptured Ornament of the Monastery of Batalha in Portugal' published by the Arundel Society for Promoting the Knowledge of Art, London, 1868
Physical Description
A sepia-coloured photograph of a view of the arched doorway to a church, plate 3 in an album bound in blue leather of 20 photographs and letterpress title page, essay and order form.
Dimensions
  • Page height: 385mm
  • Page width: 475mm
Marks and Inscriptions
  • '3. THE WESTERN DOORWAY OF THE CHURCH' (printed label affixed to bottom of page)
  • 'SOUTH KENSINGTON MUSEUM / SCIENCE AND ART DEPARTMENT / LOAN' (blind stamp, centre front mount)
Subjects depicted
Place Depicted
Summary
Charles Thurston Thompson was the V&A's first Official Museum Photographer, in charge of the Museum's photographic operations from 1856 until his death in 1868. In addition to photographing museum objects and objects on loan, he also photographed great works of art and architecture on dedicated photographic campaigns abroad. These views were made during a 1867 campaign to Spain and Portugal.



This is one of seven sets of Thurston Thompson's series of photographs of the Monastery of Batalha, Portugal in the V&A collection. A selection of views from the series was published shortly after his death by the Arundel Society, sanctioned by the Science and Art Department, (under the authority of which the V&A was originally established). Available to artists, amateurs and collectors these volumes were available for purchase at a dedicated sales stall in the museum and were also circulated by the Science and Art Department for the use of schools of art.



Of these seven sets, five are bound. The other two sets are composed of loose plates, with some additional plates not included in the bound volumes and marked as proofs. The various stamps and presentation formats demonstrate the multiple ways photographs were circulated not only throughout the museum, but to the larger community of scholars, artists and connoisseurs.
Associated Objects
Bibliographic Reference
Thompson, Charles Thurston. The Sculptured Ornament of the Monastery of Batalha in Portugal: Twenty Photographs by the late Charles ThurstonThompson with a Descriptive Account of the Building. Under the Sanction of the Science and Art Department, for the Use of Schools of Art and Amateurs. London: Arundel Society for Promoting the Knowldege of Art and Bell and Daldy, 1868.
Collection
Accession Number
E.2239:3-1997

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record createdJune 30, 2009
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