Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Plaquette - Orpheus descending into Hell

Orpheus descending into Hell

  • Object:

    Plaquette

  • Place of origin:

    Italy (North, made)

  • Date:

    late 15th century to early 16th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Moderno (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Bronze

  • Museum number:

    A.435-1910

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This plaquette depicting Orpheus descending into Hell is attributed to Moderno.
Moderno (Galeazzo Mondella) (1467-1528) is the pseudonym of this goldsmith and medallist active in North Italy and later in Rome. He signed certain pieces of his work with OPUS MODERNI (opus is the Latin term for 'work' - which then means 'work of the modern'). The modern here is referring to the Ancient World, in contrary to the Naturalism of the Gothic. His earliest works may date around 1485-1490, and his earliest dated work is 1490.
Moderno specialised in small bronze plaquettes exploring religious or antique themes, and catered for a clientele of learned humanists.

Physical description

Orpheus see from the back, holding his violin in one hand the bow in the other, advances to the gate of hell, which is guarded by a winged horned demon. The other demons crouch among rocks in the back.

Place of Origin

Italy (North, made)

Date

late 15th century to early 16th century (made)

Artist/maker

Moderno (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Bronze

Dimensions

Diameter: 10.6 cm

Object history note

From the Salting bequest.

Descriptive line

Plaquette, bronze, Orpheus descending into Hell, attributed to Moderno, North Italy, late 15th to early 16th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

'Salting Bequest (A. 70 to A. 1029-1910) / Murray Bequest (A. 1030 to A. 1096-1910)'. In: List of Works of Art Acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum (Department of Architecture and Sculpture). London: Printed under the Authority of his Majesty's Stationery Office, by Eyre and Spottiswoode, Limited, East Harding Street, EC, p. 69
Maclagan, Eric. Catalogue of Italian Plaquettes . London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1924, p. 34
Pope-Hennessy, John. Renaissance Bronzes from the Samuel H. Kress Collection. Reliefs - Plaquettes - Statuettes - Utensils and Mortars . London: 1965, p. 52, no 171, fig 195

Materials

Bronze

Subjects depicted

Demons; Hell; Violin

Categories

Plaques & Plaquettes; Sculpture; Myths & Legends

Collection

Sculpture Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.