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Architectural model - Proposed decoration of the semi-dome of the apse of the Lecture Theatre, Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Proposed decoration of the semi-dome of the apse of the Lecture Theatre, Victoria and Albert Museum
    Poynter, Edward John
  • Enlarge image

Proposed decoration of the semi-dome of the apse of the Lecture Theatre, Victoria and Albert Museum

  • Object:

    Architectural model

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1869 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Poynter, Edward John (Sir), born 1836 - died 1919 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wood, paper, cloth, painted

  • Museum number:

    A.12-1973

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This model depicts the proposed decoration for the semi-dome of the apse in the Lecture Theatre of the Victoria and Albert Museum. Sir Edward Poynter was sent to Venice by the Department of Science and Art to study the mosaics in St Marks's before making a sketch for the design of the Lecture Theatre.

Around the base thirteen figures are depicted including Herodotus, Euclid, Shakespeare, Michelangelo and Titian accompanied by the Muses. The central niche is filled with a symbolic tree with a fountain at its base and a child is shown climbing up to pick the fruit.

Physical description

Model, wood, paper, cloth, painted. The figures around the base [from spectator's right] are Herodotus, with the Muse of History above, Euclid, Archimedes, with two figures with a drawing board, symbolizing Geometry and Mechanics. Plato, Homer with the Muse of Poetry above. Michangelo sits in the centre supported by Phidias and Inctinus (the Architect of the Parthenon). Above them there is a fine group of three figures symbolising Paintinh, Sculpture and Architecture. Beethoven with the figure of Music above him. Then Shakespear accompanied by Tragedy and Comedy, then Galileo, attended by Astronomy, then Titian robed as a Venetian Senator, then a figure of a man in a religious habit symbolising Theology. The central niche is filled by a symbolic tree with a fountain at its base and with a child climbing to pick its fruit. In the niche on the left, Truth stands naked but unashamed revealing herself and a youth kneels and kisses the hem of her garment. In the next niche there is a setaed winged figure , who bends forward to whisper secrets into the ear of another kneeling youth who could symbolise Inspiration or Imagination. On the other side a seated figure is shown holding a mirror in one hand and giving a burning lamp to a youth who, standing holds it aloft. Beyond there is a seated figure teaching two children and a group listening to a poetess who sings to the cithara.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

1869 (made)

Artist/maker

Poynter, Edward John (Sir), born 1836 - died 1919 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Wood, paper, cloth, painted

Dimensions

Height: 130 cm, Width: 121 cm, Depth: 83 cm

Descriptive line

apse end lecture theatre V&A; Wood paper cloth painted English 19c by e poynter

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

Hamilton, Jackson, F. 'The Works of Sir E.J. Poynter, PRA, Part III', Architectural Review, II, 1897, pp. 118-130, ill. p. 124.
Marble Halls, Exhibition Catalogue, London, Victoria and Alber Museum, 1973, cat. no. 145, p. 206.
Leslie, Fiona. 'Inside Outside: Changing Attitudes towards Architectural Models in the Museums at South Kensington', Architectural History, 47, 2004, pp. 159-200.

Materials

Wood; Paper; Cloth

Techniques

Painted

Subjects depicted

Child; Fruit; Theology; Tree

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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