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Photograph - Cast of the head of Michelangelo's David in the Accademia di Belle Arte, Florence
  • Cast of the head of Michelangelo's David in the Accademia di Belle Arte, Florence
    Cowper, Isabel Agnes, born 1826 - died 1911
  • Enlarge image

Cast of the head of Michelangelo's David in the Accademia di Belle Arte, Florence

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    London (This is a photograph of a cast of the original sculpture now located in Florence., photographed)

  • Date:

    c.1857 (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Cowper, Isabel Agnes, born 1826 - died 1911 (photographer)
    South Kensington Museum (commissioned by)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    albumen print

  • Museum number:

    80551

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case CC, shelf 1

Physical description

Photograph mounted on card showing a cast of the head of Michelangelo's David

Place of Origin

London (This is a photograph of a cast of the original sculpture now located in Florence., photographed)

Date

c.1857 (photographed)

Artist/maker

Cowper, Isabel Agnes, born 1826 - died 1911 (photographer)
South Kensington Museum (commissioned by)

Materials and Techniques

albumen print

Dimensions

Height: 33 cm mount approx, Width: 26.7 cm mount approx

Object history note

This photograph is part of a collection of photographs recently discovered in the Sculpture Section among archival material that relates to the V&A's celebrated Cast Courts. The photographs document objects in the Cast Courts, including originals from which the casts were made. The staff member who assembled this collection of photographs organised them chronologically in terms of the year that the V&A acquired the casts. Each photograph had also been indexed to the corresponding object in the V&A cast collection.

From the very beginning, the V&A commissioned and collected photographs as a way of extending the visual resources of the Museum to artists and students of art and design. Architectural and topographical photographs, as well as photographs of art objects such as these, would have been collected by the National Art Library to be used as reference material. By the late 1970s, in conjunction with the formation of the Photograph Collection as a curatorial section with the remit of collecting ‘photography as a work of art’, many of the photographs with particular relevance to other departments within the V&A were transferred in bulk to the corresponding curatorial offices. The organisation by cast date and indexing to the V&A’s casts confirms their status as reference objects.

The discovery and cataloguing of these photographs is part of the ongoing programme to reunite photographs scattered among the various departments of the Museum with the rest of the Photography Collection. They come from the same initial sources as the Photographs Collection, and are worthy of reconsideration, both as museum objects and as an important contextual reference source for not only the Cast Courts but the collections of the Museum as a whole.

Descriptive line

Photograph by Isabel Agnes Cowper, 'Cast of the head of Michelangelo's David in the Accademia di Belle Arte, Florence', albumen print, c.1857

Techniques

Albumen process; Photography

Subjects depicted

Plaster casts

Categories

Photographs; Plaster Cast

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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