The Raising of Lazarus thumbnail 1
The Raising of Lazarus thumbnail 2
+3
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Cast Courts, The Ruddock Family Cast Court, Room 46A

The Raising of Lazarus

Copy of a Relief
1851 (made), ca. 1125-50 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This cast and another nearby reproduce medieval reliefs from Chichester Cathedral that depict scenes from the biblical story of Lazarus. The reliefs are significant examples of Romanesque sculpture in Britain, showing remarkable emotional intensity in the faces of the figures. Having been hidden for centuries, they were rediscovered in 1829 behind the choir stalls in the cathedral.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Painted plaster cast
Brief Description
Plaster cast of a relief depicting the raising of Lazarus made by Giovanni Franchi and Son possibly in 1851. The original was made in Chichester about 1125-50.
Physical Description
Plaster cast of a stone relief depicting the Raising of Lazarus, from Chichester Cathedral, West Sussex.
Dimensions
  • Height: 122cm
  • Width: 117cm
Production typeCopy
Gallery Label
Cast of Unknown artist Relief Depicting the Raising of Lazarus About 1125–50 This cast and another nearby reproduce medieval reliefs from Chichester Cathedral that depict scenes from the biblical story of Lazarus. The reliefs are significant examples of Romanesque sculpture in Britain, showing remarkable emotional intensity in the faces of the figures. Having been hidden for centuries, they were rediscovered in 1829 behind the choir stalls in the cathedral. Cast Giovanni Franchi and Son Possibly 1851 Painted plaster London Museum no. Repro.1864-56 Original Limestone Chichester, England Chichester Cathedral (in the ambulatory)(21/06/2018)
Object history
Cast of a relief depicting the raising of Lazarus made by Giovanni Franchi and Son in London, possibly 1851 and purchased from Messrs Franchi & Son in 1864 together with museum no. 1864-57 for £30. The original relief was made in Limestone by an unknown artist in Chichester for the Chichester Cathedral about 1125-50.
Historical context
Making plaster copies is a centuries-old tradition that reached the height of its popularity during the 19th century. The V&A's casts are of large-scale architectural and sculptural works as well as small scale, jewelled book covers and ivory plaques, these last known as fictile ivories.



The Museum commissioned casts directly from makers and acquired others in exchange. Oronzio Lelli, of Florence was a key overseas supplier while, in London, Giovanni Franchi and Domenico Brucciani upheld a strong Italian tradition as highly-skilled mould-makers, or formatori.



Some casts are highly accurate depictions of original works, whilst others are more selective, replicating the outer surface of the original work, rather than its whole structure. Like a photograph, they record the moment the cast was taken: alterations, repairs and the wear and tear of age are all reproduced in the copies. The plasters can also be re-worked, so that their appearance differs slightly from the original from which they were taken.



To make a plaster cast, a negative mould has to be taken of the original object. The initial mould could be made from one of several ways. A flexible mould could be made by mixing wax with gutta-percha, a rubbery latex product taken from tropical trees. These two substances formed a mould that had a slightly elastic quality, so that it could easily be removed from the original object. Moulds were also made from gelatine, plaster or clay, and could then be used to create a plaster mould to use for casting.

When mixed with water, plaster can be poured into a prepared mould, allowed to set, and can be removed to produce a finished solid form. The moulds are coated with a separating or paring agent to prevent the newly poured plaster sticking to them. The smooth liquid state and slight expansion while setting allowed the quick drying plaster to infill even the most intricate contours of a mould.

Flatter, smaller objects in low relief usually require only one mould to cast the object. For more complex objects, with a raised surface, the mould would have to be made from a number of sections, known as piece-moulds. These pieces are held together in the so-called mother-mould, in order to create a mould of the whole object. Once the object has been cast from this mother-mould, the piece-moulds can be easily removed one by one, to create a cast of the three-dimensional object.
Subject depicted
Summary
This cast and another nearby reproduce medieval reliefs from Chichester Cathedral that depict scenes from the biblical story of Lazarus. The reliefs are significant examples of Romanesque sculpture in Britain, showing remarkable emotional intensity in the faces of the figures. Having been hidden for centuries, they were rediscovered in 1829 behind the choir stalls in the cathedral.
Collection
Accession Number
REPRO.1864-56

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdSeptember 28, 2006
Record URL