Since the early Bronze Age the sword has been a sign of wealth, status and the power of divine right. Yet, before the sixteenth century the sword was almost never carried on the person in everyday life. It was a rare, noble weapon, carried into battle by the aristocratic warrior class but set aside in time of peace. However, the increasing prominence of the Renaissance middle classes brought a fundamental change to the sword's place in society. Now large numbers of non-noble but often wealthy and upwardly mobile people could also afford rich things like fine clothes, jewelry and weapons. More
The Wallace Collection Catalogue of Italian Sculpture
Hardback, 2 vols., 280 x 240 mm, 432 and 412 pages, 800 images
"Beautifully designed and produced with spectacular photographs ... meticulous scholarship." —The Art Newspaper
"It was Wallace who really shaped this part of the collection, which reflects, as he would no doubt have hoped, his first and perhaps deepest love, for the arts of the Renaissance. The new catalogue aims to show just how great his achievement was in building a collection of mainly Renaissance Italian sculptures that, although relatively small, contains so many works of outstanding quality and interest." —Author Jeremy Warren in Country Life
"If such research was ever intended for the ivory-towered few, it no longer is … We should be grateful to the Wallace’s trustees for continuing to uphold such endeavour, as they should, in the same public-spiritedness as Sir Richard Wallace and the 4th Marquess of Hertford, whose original intention it was ‘to bequeath his Collections to the Nation’." —3rd Dimension, The Public Monuments & Sculpture Association Magazine
An essential new catalogue of Italian sculpture that puts a formally little-known part of the Wallace Collection in the spotlight.
The new catalogue of Italian sculpture in the Wallace Collection by Jeremy Warren, author of the award-winning catalogue of Medieval and Renaissance Sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, includes 159 entries, covering works in bronze, marble, terracotta and wood dating from c. 1400 to 1900, by or associated with some of the most famous names in Italian sculpture, such as Donatello, Pietro Torrigiani, Giovanni Bologna (Giambologna) and Alessandro Algardi. Each entry is packed with information, with a comprehensive description and bibliography followed by a commentary exploring attribution, dating, function and social and historical context. An introductory essay explores the origins of the Italian sculpture collection in the Wallace Collection, whilst in her technical essay Seoyoung Kim examines some of the results of the programme of alloy analysis of the scultures in bronze and other metals. The painstaking conservation of Pietro Torrigiani’s moving head of Christ, once in Westminster Abbey, is described by Alexandra Kosinova. New photography by Cassandra Parsons allows full appreciation of the many outstandingly beautiful pieces in the collection.
The research carried out for this groundbreaking new catalogue led to numerous important discoveries, which reconnect many of the sculptures with their origins in Renaissance and Baroque Italy. New archival discoveries in Padua illuminate the life and work of the hitherto mysterious Francesco da Sant’Agata, maker of the Wallace Collection’s celebrated boxwood statuette of Hercules. An astonishingly vivid small bronze portrait head, in store for decades, is here published as a portrait of Father Antonio Trombetta, the most famous abbot in the long history of the Paduan Basilica of Saint Anthony, by the greatest early Renaissance sculptor of the small bronze, Andrea Riccio. An exquisite but mysterious small cannon turned out to be designed by a 16th-century Paduan nobleman, whose chapel and grave in the Basilica are here re-identified. There have too been many discoveries in the later history of the works. A stunning large bronze group of Nessus and Deianira by Giambologna is now known to have once belonged to Sir Joshua Reynolds, whilst a satyr’s head in red marble, restored in Rome c. 1630, once belonged to none other than Cardinal Richelieu.
The new Wallace Collection Catalogue of Italian Sculpture is an indispensable reference work, but also will be read with pleasure by specialists or anybody with a love of this wonderful and varied art form.
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