London museum opening medieval/Renaissance wing

AP News
Posted: Dec 01, 2009 8:08 AM

A London museum is opening a new 30 million pound ($49 million) wing displaying the art of the Middle Ages and Renaissance and exploring the connections between the periods.

The wing opening Wednesday is the first permanent collection of medieval and renaissance art to be displayed at the Victoria & Albert Museum. The 1,800 objects tell the story of European art and design from the decline of the Roman Empire through the Renaissance.

Each of 10 ten galleries concentrates on a theme. In a gallery of religious artworks, for instance, light filters through translucent onyx window screens, suggesting the illumination in medieval churches.

One of the treasures of the collection is five notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci that contain his right-to-left "mirror writing."