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Hours of Night and Day: A Rediscovered Cycle of Bronze Reliefs

Hours of Night and Day: A Rediscovered Cycle of Bronze Reliefs

By (author) Eike D. Schmidt
Edited by Monica Rumsey


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Full Description

In this book’s breathtaking images, extensive documentation, and incisive analysis, a cycle of six highly important bronze reliefs representing The Hours of Night and Day is being published for the first time. Made in Florence at the beginning of the eighteenth century, these bronzes epitomise pre-modern notions about time, which are visualised through an elaborate array of mythological and allegorical components. In describing and deciphering the meanings and traditions of the scenes represented in these bronzes, the authors unveil a multifaceted concept of time that is based upon the human perception of the Hours, while also pointing toward their otherworldly, magical dimension. The Hours of Night and Day, a celebrated masterwork in its own time, is the result of a fortuitous collaboration between the painter and modeler Giovanni Casini and the bronze sculptor Pietro Cipriani. With the discovery of these long-forgotten bronzes, and of bronze versions after Greco-Roman statuary – most notably the Venus de’ Medici and the Dancing Faun now at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles – it becomes apparent that Cipriani was one of the foremost bronze sculptors of his age. Finally, this book documents the legacy of these bronze reliefs in derivative works created for subsequent generations. As further testimony to the enduring appeal of Casini and Cipriani’s extraordinary creation, variations of the reliefs from The Hours of Night and Day became popular as decorations on vases and as porcelain reliefs throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and on to the present day. Published to accompany and exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, September 13, 2014 to January 4, 2015. Contents: Sparkles in the Twilight of the Medici: Allegories of the Hours of Night and Day by Giovanni Casini and Pietro Cipriani – Eike D. Schmidt Pietro Cipriani’s Venus de’ Medici and Dancing Faun and the Classical Tradition – David Ekserdjan Bronze into Porcelain: The Enduring Legacy of Giovanni Casini’s Reliefs in the Manifattura Ginori di Doccia – Rita Balleri

About the Author
Eike D. Schmidt is the James Ford Bell Curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture, and Head of the Department of Decorative Arts, Textiles, and Sculpture at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. He is the author of numerous books and articles on Renaissance, Baroque, and Neoclassical sculpture. David Ekserdjian is Professor of Art History and the Head of the Department of the History of Art and Film at the University of Leicester, England. He has published extensively on bronze sculpture, the history of collecting, and Renaissance painting, prints, and drawings, with a particular specialisation in the artists Correggio and Parmigianino. Rita Balleri is a research associate at the University of Florence. She has published several articles and catalogue entries on Doccia porcelain and has collaborated with the Doccia Museum in Florence on various research projects and exhibitions. Her doctoral dissertation on the models for Doccia porcelain (2011) was the basis for her recent monograph, Modelli della Manifattura Ginori di Doccia: Settecento e gusto antiquario (2014).
Books & Projects
15th Jan 2015
304 mm x 228 mm
208 Pages
111 color, 3 b&w
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