Art in the United Kingdom

We admit it, we are anglophiles. From Lincoln Cathedral to Sir Christopher Wren to the Young British Artists.

videos + essays

A silk painting of sacred Buddhist images from Dunhuang
A silk painting of sacred Buddhist images from Dunhuang

A fragmentary silk painting tells us about Buddhist art along the Silk Roads, numerous Buddhist sacred icons, and the complex life of an object after its creation.

Head of the Buddha, Gandhara
Head of the Buddha, Gandhara

Positioned at the crossroads of Asia, Gandhara has always been an ancient transit zone—as we see in this sculpture of the Buddha

A Portrait of Humanity: The Compelling Story of Ayuba Suleiman Diallo
A Portrait of Humanity: The Compelling Story of Ayuba Suleiman Diallo

The life of Ayuba Suleiman Diallo, from modern-day Senegal, reveals some of the startling and uncomfortable truths behind the historic slave trade.

Durham Cathedral
Durham Cathedral

Spiral columns, carved zig-zags, round arches—at Durham, the rhythmic Anglo-Norman Romanesque pulses with life.

Conserving the Wolsey Angels
Conserving the Wolsey Angels

After their recent rediscovery, the Wolsey Angels go through extensive conservation and preservation after being exposed to the elements on the gateposts of a stately home in England, perhaps for centuries

Conserving Jacob van Walscapelle’s <i>Flowers in a Glass Vase</i>
Conserving Jacob van Walscapelle’s Flowers in a Glass Vase

The earliest known signed work by Jacob van Walscapelle undergoes thorough conservation work at the V&A, including reattaching paint flakes, removing discoloured varnish, and applying new varnish

Dhratarastra, Guardian King of the East
Dhratarastra, Guardian King of the East

The huge size of the canvas, the dynamic and decorative lines, and the combination of mineral colors are typical of Buddhist paintings from Korea.

Yi Che-gwan, <em>Portrait of a Confucian scholar</em>
Yi Che-gwan, Portrait of a Confucian scholar

Earlier Korean portraits were more interested in capturing a sense of the sitter's 'spirit' rather than in portraying an actual physical likeness such as this one from the 18th century

Coffin in the shape of an eagle
Coffin in the shape of an eagle

This wooden coffin in the form of eagle with painted gold feather markings was made in the village of Teshie in Ghana.

Maebyong vases, an introduction
Maebyong vases, an introduction

In medieval Korea, wine bottles were known as maebyong, which comes from the Chinese mei-ping ('vase for plum blossoms'), a misnomer dubbed by Chinese scholars of the Qing dynasty.

Kabuki actor prints
Kabuki actor prints

Kabuki theatre's leading actors influenced fashion and taste and quickly became the subject of popular woodblock prints in Japan

Casket with troubadours
Casket with troubadours

A casket made for secular use is decorated with lively scenes of combat, music, dance and love.