Reclaiming the Foxglove

Reclaiming the Foxglove, Cultivating Narratives A joint project between the Barber Institute of Fine Arts and the College of Medical and Dental Sciences (MDS) We welcome students and staff of the College of Medical and Dental Sciences to join the Barber and MDS to explore the forgotten tales and healing of herbalism through a series … Read more

Sound Explorers

Online / Outdoors What might you discover if you use your ears instead of your eyes to find out about the natural world? Explore, listen and record sounds of nature in your local area with sound artists Emma Margetson and Nikki Sheth. Follow the three activities below and become Sound Explorers: Let’s go on a … Read more

Unrecorded Roman Artist (1st century AD)

Head of a Man Rome, 1st century AD Marble 31.1 x 20.3 x 22.3 cm The development of Roman portraiture is characterised by a stylistic cycle that alternately emphasised realistic or idealising elements. This battered bust (possibly re-carved), with its lifelike wrinkles and folds of skin tempered by classical, regular features, would seem typical of … Read more

Francis Derwent Wood (1871 – 1926)

Profile Bust of Lady Barber (1869 – 1933) England, 1913 Marble 57 x 47 cm This profile bust depicts Lady Martha Constance Hattie Barber, the founder of the Barber Institute. It was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1914 and again in 1927. Lady Barber and her husband Sir Henry Barber were evidently on friendly … Read more

Francis Derwent Wood (1871 – 1926)

Profile Bust of Sir Henry Barber (1860 – 1927) England, 1914 Plaster 55.8 x 39.4 cm Sir William Henry Barber was the husband of Lady Martha Constance Hattie Barber. Hattie founded the Barber Institute in 1932 in his memory. She died, childless, four months later, leaving the entire Barber fortune to the Trustees of the … Read more

Unrecorded Artist (after 1457)

Pax: Christ in the Tomb between the Virgin and St John the Baptist Model: probably South German, after 1457; Variant: probably North Italian, about 1500 Bronze 16.6 x 10.7 cm This relief is a pax, or tablet, one of many such objects commonly used in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance as a substitute for … Read more

Jean Varin (model) (1607 – 1672), and possibly Hubert le Sueur (about 1580 – 1658) or Henri Perlan (1597 – 1656) (cast)

Bust of Armand Jean du Plessis, Cardinal Richelieu (1585 – 1642) Model: Paris, 1641; Cast: Paris, 1643 or later Bronze 69.8 x 68 x 38 cm Richelieu was First Minister under Louis XIII (r.1610-43), and thus an extremely powerful figure in a period when France was becoming the leading nation in Europe. Varin has contrasted … Read more

Unrecorded Thai Artist (14th/15th century)

Head of a Buddha Thailand, probably 14th / 15th century Bronze, with traces of gilt 20.6 cm high Buddhist sculptures have particular characteristics (lakshanas) that express the divine and superhuman qualities of those born to rulers in the spiritual or earthly world. The lakshanas are fixed by Buddhist texts, and standardised indications of a Buddha … Read more

Cesare Targone (after) (active 1573-85)

The Madonna Mourning the Dead Christ Model: Probably Florence, about 1582-84; Cast: perhaps Milan, probably late 16th century Bronze 28.3 x 26.1 x 1 cm This cast relief is closely based on an exquisite repoussé (hammered) gold relief signed by the Venetian goldsmith Targone (J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu), his only certain work. Another gold … Read more

Francesco Fanelli (1577 – after 1657?)

A Trotting Horse with a Long Mane Model and Cast: perhaps London, 1630s Bronze 31.1 x 32.5 x 11 cm The model for this fine bronze only recently has been firmly attributed to Francesco Fanelli, a skilful Florentine sculptor who came to London and worked at the court of Charles I. It is undoubtedly strongly … Read more

Daniel Mauch (attributed to) (1477 – 1540)

St Dorothy of Caeserea Ulm, Germany, about 1510 Wood, polychromed and gilded 56 cm high According to legend, St Dorothy of Caesarea was martyred for her Christian beliefs in 304. A man taunted her when she was about to be executed and mockingly requested roses and apples from heaven. When a child – an angel … Read more

Stefano Maderno (about 1576 – 1636)

Hercules and the Nemean Lion Model: Rome, 1621; Variant: perhaps German, possibly 17th or 18th century Wood 33.8 x 30.3 cm Maderno was the leading sculptor in Rome before the emergence of Gianlorenzo Bernini (1598-1680). His fine terracotta original of this model is now in Venice. It was much copied in bronze and other media, … Read more

Francesco Bertos (attributed to) (1678 – 1741)

The Drunken Silenus Model and Cast: Venice, Italy, early 18th century Bronze 24.7 x 22.5 cm This finely detailed bronze has only very recently been recognized as very probably the work of Francesco Bertos, who produced some of the most extraordinary, even eccentric, but virtuosic sculptures of the 18th century. It represents Silenus, the fat … Read more

Unrecorded Italian Artist (possibly late 19th century)

Hercules and a Dragon Possibly Italian, possibly late 19th century Wax and cartapesta (papier mâché) 28.4 cm high This curious sculpture entered the collection, at great cost, as the work of the Florentine Renaissance sculptor Giovanni Francesco Rustici (1475-1554). Recent research has raised suspicions that it is neither by him nor even of his period, … Read more

Unrecorded Artist (17th century)

Infant with a Dolphin Probably Flemish or French, late 17th century Bronze 51.5 x 22 x 11 cm Dolphins are associated in classical mythology with Venus, goddess of Love, who emerged from the sea. Cupid, god of Love, is also often shown with a dolphin, and he may be the infant represented here. The group … Read more

Unrecorded German Artist (16th century)

St Catherine of Alexandria (?) Germany, probably Swabia, about 1520 Wood, polychromed and gilded 71.1 cm high This crowned figure with a book most likely represents the legendary Christian virgin-martyr St Catherine of Alexandria, patron saint of teachers and librarians. She was said to be a beautiful learned woman of royal birth, who lived under … Read more