The V&A’s latest public contribution is the magnificent new Medieval and Renaissance galleries, which open in time for Christmas. They’re the most recent in a series of important and hugely popular new displays created over the past 10 years, which started with the British Galleries in 2001.

Their scope is vast: European artistic production 300-1600. Thus, every variety of artwork is on display, from tapestry to glassware and the Gloucester Candlestick to the chancel of the convent church of Santa Chiara (the former sculpture gallery in which this stands has been subsumed into the new display).

The project has been underpinned by a great deal of fresh research and has taken seven years and £30 million to realise. Given the richness of the V&A collection, and its past successes, the public can reasonably have the very highest expectations. A lavishly produced catalogue, Medieval and Renaissance Art: People and Possessions, has been published to accompany the new display.

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