By Anthony Hughes, Erich Ranfft
This choice of essays is the 1st of its sort to target matters touching on sculpture and replica, and to discover their theoretical and functional results. What does it suggest for a sculpture to be reproduced? Does it cut down or upload to the authenticity and authority of the original?Ranging from the traditional to the trendy international, and investigating the functionality of inventive replica in cultures as various because the Catholic Spain of the Golden Age and the avant-garde of early 20th century Germany, those essays considerably upload to our figuring out of a couple of significant sculptors, together with Michelangelo, Rodin and Brancusi.With essays via Ed Allington, Malcolm Baker, Anthony Hughes, Neil McWilliam, Miranda Marvin, Alexandra Parigoris, Martin Postle, Erich Ranfft and Marjorie depended on.
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Extra info for Sculpture and its Reproductions
WaIter Benjamin and Michelangelo 35 Ah you whose beauty, chastity, grief and pity live in the dead marble, do not continue to weep as sorely as you do in case you should prematurely and reluctantly rouse from death Our Lord and your bridegroom, son and father, 0 singular bride, his daughter and his mother. 13 Less flatteringly, an anonymous Florentine diarist, evidently a savagely puritan Catholic of the Counter-Reformation, contemporaneously noted that in March 1549 a Pied was unveiled in Sto Spirito, sent to this church by a Florentine, and they said that the original came from Michelangelo Buonarroti, that inventor of filth who puts his faith in art rather than devotion.
Making this argument, however, requires assuming not only that the predictable response to admiring a work of art was to make copies of it, but also that form and content were independent variables. To put it in different terms, the claim must be made that what the work looked like and what it signified were separable. In later Western art, classical forms could sometimes be virtually emptied of content and familiar works could be quoted without necessarily retaining much original meaning. John Singleton Copley, for example, based Watson in his painting Watson and the Shark on the Borghese Gladiator, without intending a reference to the meaning of the original, believed in his day to represent a gladiator.
Studio replication of certain images has also formed an integral part of workshop practice certainly since the seventeenth century, 8 and there is some indication that the practice may have begun much earlier. In sixteenth-century Italy, it is often difficult to know whether bronze or clay reductions of sculpture were made in the master's studio or represent a widespread form of piracy. Whatever the case, there is little doubt that we can speak quite unambiguously here of reproduction and original.