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Figured in Marble: The Making and Viewing of Eighteenth-Century Sculpture

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Overview


With few exceptions, sculpture--statues, busts, or monuments--has not figured prominently in discussions of visual imagery and the public sphere in eighteenth-century Britain. This volume explores what is lost by this omission and how a more comprehensive examination of sculpture might extend analyses of British art. An in-depth look at the making and viewing of eighteenth-century marble sculpture, Figured in Marble effectively writes sculpture back into the narrative of British art.

The opening chapter situates the study of English sculpture within a broader context of art history. Three essays explore the ways in which the histories of sculpture in England have been written and articulated through museum displays. Several case studies illustrate issues about making sculpture, categories of sculpture, the setting and viewing of sculpture, and collecting and displaying it. Together, these chapters consider sculpture that ranges from Claude David's lost fountain for Cheapside, Wilton's monument to General Wolfe, and Nollekens' Judgement of Paris group to the French bronzes owned by Rysbrack and to William Shenstone's figure of Pan.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Baker is a researcher at the Victoria and Albert Museum, which is the co-publisher of the book. He examines sculpture from there and the J. Paul Getty Museum that was created and viewed in 18th-century Britain. First he situates the study of English sculpture within a broader context of art history, then explores how the histories of sculpture in England have been written and articulated through museum displays. A number of case studies illustrate issues about making sculpture, categories and genre of sculpture, settings and viewing, and collecting and displaying it. The superb illustrations are monochrome. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From The Critics
Collections seeking in-depth studies of 18th century art in general and British sculpture in particular will find Figured In Marble a specific but well focussed guide which blends the study of English sculpture with the broader topic of art history. Sculptures from the Victoria and Albert Museum and Getty Museum as well as those from private holdings liberally illustrate this case study of categories and genres of sculpture.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Malcolm Baker is deputy head of research at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Among his many writings is Roubiliac and the Eighteenth-Century Monument: Sculpture as Theater, which he coauthored. It was awarded the 1996 Mitchell Prize for the History of Art and the 1996 Book Prize of the American Historians of British Art.

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