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Plaquette - An Antique Sacrifice

An Antique Sacrifice

  • Object:

    Plaquette

  • Place of origin:

    Italy (made)

  • Date:

    first half of 16th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Belli, Valerio, born 1468 - died 1546 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Bronze

  • Credit Line:

    Salting Bequest

  • Museum number:

    A.481-1910

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Plaquettes are small plaques or reliefs made of bronze, brass, lead or precious metals. They originated in the 1440ies with the desire to reproduce coins and hardstone engravings from ancient Greece and Rome. Some were made as collector's pieces, to be viewed and displayed in private, and others for practical purposes. They also inspired designs in other media, from architecture to book-bindings. Plaquettes had a role in disseminating classical imagery and designs throughout Europe, in the same manner as the contemporary print. The subject matter was often a miniature composition, only rarely a single isolated figure.
Belli spent the most important part of his career in Rome, working for two successive popes. Almost all of his bronze plaquettes are cast from his engravings in rock crystal or hardstone.

Physical description

In the centre an altar on which stands a draped statue of a goddess with raised arms. To the right a veiled woman, followed by another. To the left a priestess in fluttering robes offering up a dish, followed by a man.

Place of Origin

Italy (made)

Date

first half of 16th century (made)

Artist/maker

Belli, Valerio, born 1468 - died 1546 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Bronze

Dimensions

Height: 4.5 cm, Width: 3.6 cm

Object history note

From the Salting bequest.

Descriptive line

Plaquette, bronze, an antique sacrifice, Italy, probably by Valerio Belli, first half of 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. 77
Maclagan, Eric. Catalogue of Italian Plaquettes . London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1924, p. 68

Materials

Bronze

Subjects depicted

Woman; Priestess; Altar

Categories

Sculpture; Plaques & Plaquettes

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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