Henry Cole Wing. Victoria and Albert Museum. Architects: Captain Fowke, Godfrey Sykes, and others. 1856-84. Cromwell Road, London. [Click on image to enlarge it.]

In this photograph, we stand with our backs to the main part of the museum (and Cromwell Road) in the recently renamed Pirelli Courtyard, an inner quadrangle with renaissance-revival façade and a pair of bronze doors that originally served as the main entrance to the museum. The doors contain eight panels representing the fine and applied arts, which were executed by James Gamble and Rueben Townroe after designs by Godfrey Sykes. "On the balconies are roundels containing putti; further up, the pediment typanum and figure panels on the flanking attic stories are by Townroe" (Read, 227). According to a history of museums site, "three horizontal divisions represent the Ages of Man. On the pediment is Queen Victoria distributing Laurel crowns in front of the Crystal Palace."

Related Material

Photograph George P. Landow. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.it]


Jones, Edward, and Christopher Woodward. A Guide to the Architecture of London. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1992.

Read, Benedict. Victorian Sculpture. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982.

Last modified 11 October 2012