One of the most famous collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum are the Cast Courts. These are copies, usually in plaster, of famous works from around the world. It feels a little like wandering around a Victorian’s attic, but then you get distracted by how amazing each piece is. The majority of the casts were made in the 19th century, and the practice declined in the early 20th century. All of the casts on display at the museum are housed in two huge rooms, and it is pretty fascinating to get up close to replicas of such famous works as Michelangelo’s David, his Moses or Trajan’s Column.
I thought the grave effigies were particularly interesting as it is very unlikely I will make it to Fontevrault Abbey in the near future. I was heartily disappointed that Eleanor of Aquitaine’s effigy was not on display here. You have Henry II, Richard I, and even John I’s wife – why not Eleanor of Aquitaine? She was queen of both France and England, the only woman to hold both honors – surely that rates higher than her husband and sons, who were only kings of England. Maybe a visit to Fontevrault is in order after all.
Title quote: Coco Chanel