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A study of the technology of Renaissance bronze statuettes

Bewer, FG; (1996) A study of the technology of Renaissance bronze statuettes. Doctoral thesis , University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

This study presents tools useful for understanding the processes by which Renaissance copper-alloy statuettes were made. Part I gives an overview of the literature on the technological study of bronze sculptures produced between the late fifteenth and early seventeenth centuries in Europe. It includes modern studies that draw from technological research done on monumental Renaissance casts and statuettes as well as on archaeological bronzes. The brief description of copper alloys and of the lost wax processes in Part IT provides the background for the technological investigations that follow. This part also covers the primary sources on Renaissance casting techniques and materials. Part lIT is a guide to the evidence one might find in a technological examination and follows the format of the worksheet devised for this study. Part IV consists of an overview of the analytical tools and methods used to gather the data for this research. Visual and radiographic examination, polarized light microscopy and X-ray fluorescence analyses proved the most valuable. Part V presents the technological reports of fourteen Renaissance bronzes of various attributions now in the Huntington Art Collection, San Marino, California. The examination of these sculptures served to refine the methodology and worksheet, a sample of which is presented in Appendix C. The study also provides important material for Part VI: the case study on bronze casts after models by Giovanni Bologna, also know as Giambologna (1529-1608). Generations of sculptors used, reproduced and adapted the Medici court sculptor's style, models and molds, creating hundreds of statuettes that need to be reassessed. Part VI presents the reports of forty of these bronzes, that range from documented pieces by Giambologna and contemporaries of his to later unattributed reproductions. The technological data gathered, when brought together with stylistic analysis and documentary evidence may shed more light on how and by whom the statuettes were made.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: A study of the technology of Renaissance bronze statuettes
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by EThOS.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1546134
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