In recent years, art historians have begun to delve into the patronage, production and reception of sculptures-sculptors' workshop practices; practical, aesthetic, and esoteric considerations of material and materiality; and the meanings associated with materials and the makers of sculptures. This volume brings together some of the top scholars in the field, to investigate how sculptors in early modern Italy confronted such challenges as procurement of materials, their costs, shipping and transportation issues, and technical problems of materials, along with the meanings of the usage, hierarchies of materials, and processes of material acquisition and production. Contributors also explore the implications of these facets in terms of the intended and perceived meaning(s) for the viewer, patron, and/or artist. A highlight of the collection is the epilogue, an interview with a contemporary artist of large-scale stone sculpture, which reveals the similar challenges sculptors still encounter today as they procure, manufacture and transport their works.
Kelley Helmstutler Di Dio is Professor of Art History at the University of Vermont.
'The book takes up two topics that are almost never considered together - how sculpture is made, and then, how it gets to its destination. The geographical sweep is refreshingly broad, up and down the Italian peninsula and westward into France and Spain. The well-written essays by notable scholars cover a range of media and types of commissions, from Donatello’s sculpture for the High Altar in the Santo in Padua to Bernini’s work in the San Pietro fabbrica. The wealth of material presented here sheds light on important sculptural works about which we may have thought nothing new could be said.' Debra Pincus, independent scholar, Washington, D.C., US
'Making and Moving Sculpture in Early Modern Italy recognizes the physicality and mass that distinguish sculpture, from its glittering surfaces to its interior core. It addresses overlooked areas of art-making by refocusing on some of the most basic and compelling issues of the sculptor, namely the practical considerations of creating, moving, and otherwise engineering the three-dimensional object. With essays by leading scholars and a practicing sculptor, the book is a fitting complement to the more interpretive and abstract studies that currently dominate scholarship in the visual arts ... an original and timely contribution to the field of early modern sculpture.' Victor Coonin, Rhodes College, USA
'Making and Moving Sculpture in Early Modern Italy is certainly an important addition to the growing field of studies on the mobility and materiality of sculpture, and it offers new insights on many aspects of the history of sculpture that will certainly have a lasting impact on the field and provide materials for further studies and reflections on the variety of themes addressed. The wealth of new evidence and ideas emerging from this book makes it a mandatory addition to the library of any scholar interested in sculpture.' CAA Reviews