The Wolsey Angels

New Walk Museum & Art Gallery

28 April – 2 September 2018

Catch a glimpse of Renaissance splendour with these rare bronze angels, recovered and restored after going missing for centuries.

Benedetto da Rovezzano, Bronze angel, c1524-30

Commissioned by Cardinal Wolsey in 1524, when he was one of the most powerful men in Europe, these four sculptures were intended for his extravagant tomb. When his fortunes turned and he died in disgrace, the tomb was broken up and the angels soon disappeared from history, until two unexpectedly turned up at auction in 1994. Their fellows were hunted down to a golf club in Northamptonshire where they had been standing on gateposts for hundreds of years.

All four were saved for the nation in 2015, with support from Art Fund, and now belong to the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Reunited, they represent a vibrant part of British history and are important early examples of Italian Renaissance art in England.

On their first ever tour, the four works by Florentine sculptor Benedetto da Rovezanno can be seen in all their glory at New Walk Museum & Art Gallery.

Alongside the Angels, this exhibition explores Leicester’s relationship with Cardinal Wolsey and his enduring legacy both as a mystery and an icon.

Venue information

Opening times

Mon – Sat, 10am – 5pm Sun, 11am – 5pm Closed 24 – 26 Dec, 31 Dec, 1 Jan

"Art Fund" is the operating name of the National Art Collections Fund, a charity registered in England and Wales (209174) and Scotland (SC038331)