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Relief

  • Place of origin:

    Italy (made)

  • Date:

    16th century (sculpted)
    ca. 1850 (cast)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Volterra, Daniele da, born 1509 - died 1566 (sculptor)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Plaster cast

  • Museum number:

    REPRO.1851-300

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This relief shows the Entombment of Christ, as recounted in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Christ, whose body is presented frontally towards the viewer, is wrapped in a shroud of linen, and lowered gently into his tomb. Joseph of Arimathea holds Christ from underneath his arms, and Nicodemus carries Christ by his feet. Mary Magdalen kisses his hand, and St John holds the Virgin as she weeps.

This cast was part of the collection of 487 fragments purchased in 1851 from the Schools of Design. These casts served as models of design for the schools' students.

Physical description

Relief depicting the Entombment, done in schiacciato. The musculature and drapery of the figures are intricately rendered.

Place of Origin

Italy (made)

Date

16th century (sculpted)
ca. 1850 (cast)

Artist/maker

Volterra, Daniele da, born 1509 - died 1566 (sculptor)

Materials and Techniques

Plaster cast

Object history note

This cast was part of the collection of 487 fragments purchased in 1851 from the Schools of Design. These casts served as models of design for the schools' students.

Historical significance: Initially, the Schools of Design mainly used casts to demonstrate examples of decoration. This is one of few figural reliefs from this initial purchase.

Historical context note

The first Government School of Design was established in London in 1837 at Somerset House. From 1837 to 1851, eighteen more schools were founded in provincial cities such as Manchester and Birmingham. The schools were set up by a government Committee on Arts and Manufactures 'for the purpose of affording Instruction to those engaged in the practice of ornamental Art, and the preparation of Designs for the various Manufactures of this country' (Wainwright 2002, p. 5). The Committee immediately began acquiring a collection of plaster casts for the schools, so that their students could copy and sketch from the best examples of ancient and modern ornamental art. After his substantial contribution to organising the 1851 Great Exhibition of modern British manufactures, Henry Cole was appointed the Head of the Schools of Design in 1852. He expanded the school's collection to include not only casts, but also electrotypes, modern drawings, and decorative art for a new museum that could be visited by the public. This museum, the progenitor of the Victoria and Albert Museum, first opened at Marlborough House in 1852.

Descriptive line

Relief depicting the Entombment, attributed to Daniel de Volterra. 19th century plaster cast of 16th century Italian original.

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

Wornum, R.M. Catalogue of Ornamental Cast in the Possession of the Department. Third Division, Renaissance Styles. London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1854. p.43.
Wainwright, Clive and Gere, Charlotte (ed.), 'The making of the South Kensington Museum I: The Government Schools of Design and the founding collection, 1837-51.' Journal of the History of Collections 14:1 (2002) pp. 3-24.
Oeuvres complètes de Michel-Ange : et choix de Baccio Bandinelli et de Daniel de Volterre. (Paris, 1885).

Production Note

19th century copy of 16th century Italian original

Techniques

Electrotyping

Categories

Sculpture

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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