Michelangelo's David And The Gates Of Paradise At V&A
Londonist Rating: ★★★★☆
It's easy to miss the cast courts when exploring the V&A as they are tucked away down a corridor, but they are two massive rooms that should be visited. They contain casts and copies of famous sculpture and architecture from across Europe and are filled with original and replica masterpieces.
The Weston cast court is dedicated to the Italian Renaissance and is now open again to the public post-renovation. The re-design has resulted in a less cluttered layout giving these magnificent works more room, including a set of Michelangelo's sculptures. The crowning piece is a full size replica of Michelangelo's David. It may not be the original but it's still stunning.
David is framed by a cast of the golden gates of Florence Cathedral's baptistery; this is particularly apt as these gates are commonly referred to as the Gates of Paradise, and it was Michelangelo who gave them this name.
Other noteworthy exhibits including the pulpit of Pisa cathedral, an original Donatello sculpture of a lion and several impressive tombs. There is also a copy of the School of Athens on the wall, one of Raphael's most famous paintings.
The majority of objects in this gallery are not original works but are still excellent replicas and a lot cheaper to visit than flying out to Italy.
The Weston Cast Court is part of the V&A's permanent collection and is therefore free to enter. The gallery officially re-opened on 29 November. The Victoria & Albert Museum is on Cromwell Road, SW7.
Last Updated 29 November 2014