Ephermeral Bodies: Wax Sculpture and the Human Figure

Overview


The material history of wax is a history of disappearance--wax melts, liquefies, evaporates, and undergoes innumerable mutations. Wax is tactile, ambiguous, and mesmerizing, confounding viewers and scholars alike. It can approximate flesh with astonishing realism and has been used to create uncanny human simulacra since ancient times--from phallic amulets offered to heal distressing conditions and life-size votive images crammed inside candlelit churches by the faithful, to exquisitely detailed anatomical ...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (2) from $163.37   
  • New (1) from $654.00   
  • Used (1) from $163.37   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$654.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(0)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
2008 Hardcover New 978-0-89236-877-8. Flawless copy, brand new, pristine, never opened--336 pages; 41 color and 89 b/w illustrations. Description: "The material history of wax ... is a history of disappearance-wax melts, liquefies, evaporates, and undergoes innumerable mutations. Wax is tactile, ambiguous, and mesmerizing, confounding viewers and scholars alike. It can approximate flesh with astonishing realism and has been used to create uncanny human simulacra since ancient times-from phallic amulets offered to heal distressing conditions and life-size votive images crammed inside candlelit churches by the faithful, to exquisitely detailed anatomical specimens used for training doctors and Medardo Rosso's "melting" portraits. The critical history of wax, however, is fraught with gaps and controversies. After Giorgio Vasari, the subject of wax sculpture was abandoned by art historians; in the twentieth century it once again sparked intellectual interest, only soon to vanish. The authors of the eight essays i Read more Show Less

Ships from: New Hampton, NY

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview


The material history of wax is a history of disappearance--wax melts, liquefies, evaporates, and undergoes innumerable mutations. Wax is tactile, ambiguous, and mesmerizing, confounding viewers and scholars alike. It can approximate flesh with astonishing realism and has been used to create uncanny human simulacra since ancient times--from phallic amulets offered to heal distressing conditions and life-size votive images crammed inside candlelit churches by the faithful, to exquisitely detailed anatomical specimens used for training doctors and Medardo Rosso's "melting" portraits.

The critical history of wax, however, is fraught with gaps and controversies. After Giorgio Vasari, the subject of wax sculpture was abandoned by art historians; in the twentieth century it once again sparked intellectual interest, only soon to vanish. The authors of the eight essays in Ephemeral Bodies--including the first English translation of Julius von Schlosser's seminal "History of Portraiture in Wax" (1910-11)--break new ground as they explore wax reproductions of the body or body parts and assess their conceptual ambiguity, material impermanence, and implications for the history of Western art.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Not only a useful scholarly collection on a neglected topic but also an opportunity to gauge and expand the theoretical presuppositions of art history as a discipline.”—Art History

“An excellent, well-orchestrated and magnificently illustrated collection of essays.  Its greatest merit is to attract scholarly attention to a complex medium, the study of which requires the attentive gaze of the art historian, the toolbox of the anthropologist and the erudition of the cultural historian.”—The Burlington Magazine 

“The extensive knowledge presented here captures the transient nature of wax and retains it within these pages for readers to appreciate.”—Leonardo 

 

“Thoughtfully conceived and insightfully presented.”—Library Journal

“Highly recommended.”—Choice

University and College Designers Association Award for Excellence in Design

“A valuable contribution to the scholarly discourse on wax figures. . . . These essays, collected in a handsome volume complete with dozens of color plates worthy of the Getty, also do well to include the first English translation of Julius von Schlosser’s 1910-1911 essay, “History of Portraiture in Wax.”—Winterthur Portfolio

Library Journal

Evolving from "Lasting Impressions: The Art of Wax Sculpture," a workshop held at the Getty Center, Los Angeles, in April 2005, this notable compilation of eight essays by distinguished art historians seeks to identify and untangle the history of surviving wax sculptures of the human figure and body parts from ancient times to the present. Also included is the first English-language translation of Viennese art historian Julius von Schlosser's seminal "History of Portraiture in Wax" (1910-11). Because they often simulated human likenesses and flesh better than other sculptural media, many wax figures were used in artistic, religious, and scientific venues for aesthetic, devotional, educational, and instructional purposes. Yet their histories are filled with gaps and controversies for many reasons not limited to the impermanent and fragile characteristics of the materials used to create them. While the contributors' essays are superior and of the highest caliber, the visual layout and graphic presentation of this publication are not as polished and professional as they could be in light of current standards and trends in art publishing. Still, the book is adequately illustrated (40 color and 87 halftone reproductions), well documented, thoughtfully conceived, and insightfully presented; it significantly contributes to the histories of the fine and decorative arts. Recommended for large public, academic, and special libraries.
—Cheryl Ann Lajos

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780892368778
  • Publisher: Getty Publications
  • Publication date: 3/24/2008
  • Series: Getty Ser.
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 10.50 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Roberta Panzanelli is a senior research specialist at the Getty Research Institute. 

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)