Inganno – The Art of Deception: Imitation, Reception, and Deceit in Early Modern Art, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Inganno – The Art of Deception

Imitation, Reception, and Deceit in Early Modern Art, 1st Edition

Edited by Sharon Gregory, Sally Anne Hickson


216 pages

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The essays contained in this volume address issues surrounding the use, dissemination, and reception of copies and even deliberate forgeries within the history of art, focusing on paintings, prints and sculptures created and sold from the sixteenth century to the eighteenth century. The essays also probe contemporary sensibilities about the art of "inganno," or deception, sometimes even viewed as pleasurable deception, in the making and viewing of copies among artists and their audiences. Through specific case studies, the contributors explore the fine line between imitations and fakes, distinctions between the practice of copying as a discipline within the workshop and the willful misrepresentation of such copies on the part of artists, agents and experts in the evolving art market. They attempt to address the notion of when a copy becomes a fake and when thoughtful repetition of a model, emulation through imitation, becomes deliberate fraud. The essays also document developing taxonomies of professionals within the growth of the "business of art" from the workshops of the Renaissance to the salons and galleries of eighteenth-century London. As a whole, this volume opens up a new branch of art historical research concerned with the history and purpose of the copy.


’Inganno - the Art of Deception certainly beguiles a reader’s time with a telling range of case studies that explore the ways in which early modern artists combined sincere imitation, restoration, and emulation of artworks with more devious kinds of copying, from plagiarism to forgery to simple (or not so simple) mistakes.’ Renaissance Quarterly

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction, Sharon Gregory and Sally Anne Hickson; Artistic devotion: imitations of art and nature in Italian Renaissance writings on art, Steven Stowell; 'Quel nuovo studio e fatica': Pontormo, Dürer and other prints, Sharon Gregory; 'Ad ogni maniera': Tintoretto imitates Veronese?, Allison Sherman; Imitation, emulation, forgery? Copies of Albrecht Dürer's Feast of the Rosegarlands, Andrea Bubenik; How copies may shed light on the reception of Raphael, Cathleen Hoeniger; Finding, fixing, and faking in Ghiberti's third Commentarii, Lynn Catterson; 'Antichissimo': authority, authenticity and duplicity in the 16th-century Roman antiquities market, Sally Anne Hickson; Giuseppe Orologi's Inganno - the art of deception and the deception of art, Sally Anne Hickson; 'Such is picture dealing': Noel Joseph Desenfans (1745-1807) and the perils of purchasing in 18th-century London, Kristin Campbell; Index.

About the Editors

Sharon Gregory is Associate Professor in Art History and Erasmus Chair in Renaissance Humanism at St Francis Xavier University, Canada. Sally Anne Hickson is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Guelph, Canada.

About the Series

Visual Culture in Early Modernity

A forum for the critical inquiry of the visual arts in the early modern world, Visual Culture in Early Modernity promotes new models of inquiry and new narratives of early modern art and its history. We welcome proposals for both monographs and essay collections that consider the cultural production and reception of images and objects. The range of topics covered in this series includes, but is not limited to, painting, sculpture and architecture as well as material objects, such as domestic furnishings, religious and/or ritual accessories, costume, scientific/medical apparata, erotica, ephemera and printed matter. We seek innovative investigations of western and non-western visual culture produced between 1400 and 1800.


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