Editorial

Boulders to Baselitz: sculpture in London

READERS FAMILIAR WITH our annual sculpture issue each November will know that this Editorial page has been devoted, for several consecutive years, to public sculpture, chiefly in London. It has excoriated several of the most distasteful blots on the urban landscape – from individual statues (for example the Queen Mother in the Mall and Nelson Mandela in Parliament Square) to war memorials (most recently the Bomber Command memorial in the pile-up of such works at Hyde Park Corner) and purposeless objects put up by, in particular, Westminster City Council, including the horse’s head at Marble Arch.

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Canova

WHAT HAS THE stunning violence of Michelangelo’s Battle of the centaurs, made in the spring of 1492 and now in the Casa Buonarroti, to do with Canova’s suave Empire Venus Italica in the Pitti Palace? What does a shocking iconography of body-smashing and a youthful sculptural practice that everywhere leaves traces of an immense struggle with materiality by the sculptor who is the epitome of non finito to do with that of Canova’s achieved grace and ultima mano? If Michelangelo exposed the psychic struggle and the physical danger involved in making beauty like no artist before or since, might putting Canova next to Michelangelo alert us afresh to the later sculptor’s struggle with his material, to the dimension of sheer labour, both mental and physical, that produced and yet immediately was denied by the seductions of the Canovian ‘untroubled’ surface (denied too by the artist’s famously blithe self-composure)? Could there be a reading of Canova that is alert to the violence implicit in his striving to manufacture a modern beauty?

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    Authenticity: interpreting damage and restoration in Medieval sculpture

    By Peter Scott Brown
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    Rethinking ‘the oldest surviving amber in the West’

    By Rachel King

    Discusses how the production of sculpture in amber began earlier than was previously assumed.

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  • Bandinelli’s modello for the ‘Neptune’ in Piazza della Signoria, Florence

    By Volker Krahn

    Newly identifies a wax model in the Musée Fabre, Montpellier, as Baccio Bandinelli's original modello (hitherto only known through a posthumous bronze cast) for his planned Neptune fountain in Florence, which was never completed because of the sculptor's death in 1560.

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    New documents for Algardi’s Alamandini ‘Crucifix’, ‘a beautiful and famous thing’

    By Carla Mazzarelli

    Publishes newly discovered papers relating to the Alamandini family that shed new light on the commission of Algardi's 'Crucifix'.

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    A diplomatic tour of 1855: Queen Victoria, King Victor Emmanuel II and Carlo Marochetti

    By Alessandra Guerrini

    Discusses Marochetti's busts of Massimo d'Azeglio, Victor Emmanuel II and Mary, Princess of Cambridge.

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  • Architecture et Sculpture Gothiques: Renouvellement des Méthodes et des Regards, S.D. Daussy and A. Timbert, eds.

    By Alexandra Gajewski
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  • Chypre entre Byzance et l’Occident IVe–XVIe siècle, J. Durand and D. Giovannoni, eds.

    By Cecily Hennessy
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  • Speaking Ruins: Piranesi, Architects, and Antiquity in Eighteenth-Century Rome, J.A. Pinto

    By Jonathan Yarker
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  • Genteel Mavericks: Professional Women Sculptors in Victorian Britain, S. Hunter Hurtado

    By Mark Stocker
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  • Imperial Gothic. Religious Architecture and High Anglican Culture in the British Empire, c.1840–1870, G.A. Bremner

    By Francesca Herrick
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  • Public Sculpture of Cheshire and Merseyside (excluding Liverpool), E. Morris and E. Roberts

    By Joseph Sharples
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  • Making Melbourne’s Monuments: The Sculpture of Paul Montford, Catherine Moriarty

    By Mark Stocker
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  • The Stalin Cult: A Study in the Alchemy of Power, Jan Plamper

    By Christina Lodder
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  • Paul Nash. Landscape and the Life of Objects, Andrew Causey

    By Roger Cardinal
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  • Elisabeth Frink. Catalogue Raisonné of Sculpture 1947–93. A.Ratuszniak, ed.

    By Nicholas Watkins
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  • The Buildings of England: Herefordshire, A. Brooks and N. Pevsner

    By David Whitehead
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  • The Topham Collection

    By Frank Salmon
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  • The Age of Innocence

    By Melissa Hamnett
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  • George Howard

    By Richard Green
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  • Mattia Preti

    By Melissa Yuen
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  • When Attitudes Become Form

    By Karsten Schubert
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  • Baroque ivory

    By Philippe Malgouyres
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  • Canova

    By Satish Padiyar
  • Ellsworth Kelly

    By Sarah Whitfield
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