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Sketches in Clay for Projects by Gian Lorenzo Bernini: Theoretical, Technical, and Case Studies. Harvard University Art Museums

Sketches in Clay for Projects by Gian Lorenzo Bernini: Theoretical, Technical, and Case Studies. Harvard University Art Museums Bulletin, vol. 6, no. 3
Ivan Gaskell and Henry Lie
ISBN 1065-6448
Available 1999
184 pages;
8-1/2x11 in.
207 illustrations
Paper,
$10.00
Published by: 

Published by the Harvard University Art Museums.

This volume celebrates the 400th anniversary of the birth of Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598–1680), the greatest sculptor of the Roman baroque. Focusing on fifteen works from the Fogg Museum’s remarkable collection of clay models associated with Bernini, noted scientists and art historians meticulously examined the figures and their historical and theoretical contexts.The volume is profusely illustrated including a map, photographs, X-radiographs, ICP-MS data, videoprobe photos, and digitally enhanced fingerprint images. A selected bibliography is also included.

Acting as high-tech art sleuths, members of the Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies used a variety of technologies to analyze clay composition, modeling techniques, gilding, and latent fingerprints found in the clay. Art historians provide documentary evidence and analysis of the models as components of large-scale Bernini projects, particularly the spectacular series of angels for the Ponte Sant’Angelo and for the Altar of the Blessed Sacrament in St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome. Other investigations involved the development of a figure for the Cathedra Petri in St. Peter’s, bronzes related to the Fogg’s recently acquired Countess Matilda of Tuscany, and reattribution of the Personification of Silence, a work once attributed to Bernini.

Ivan Gaskell is Margaret S. Winthrop Curator in the Fogg Art Museum’s Department of Paintings, Sculpture, and Decorative Art at the Harvard University Art Museums; Henry Lie is director and conservator of objects and sculpture in the Philip and Lynn Straus Center for Conservation at the Harvard University Art Museums.

Contributors include Francesca G. Bewer, Eugene F. Farrell, Ivan Gaskell, Colette Czapski Hemingway, Henry Lie, Nancy Lloyd, Jennifer Montagu, Jeannine O’Grody, Kendra Roth, Anthony B. Sigel, Mark S. Weil, and Suzanne M. M. Young.

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