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The Beauty of Bronze

The Beauty of Bronze

By (author) Jeremy Warren


Publishing 25th Sep 2024
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  • A visually stunning introduction to the world of European bronze sculptures, seen through the remarkable collections of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
  • There are very few books (particularly in English) on this subject
  • Covers a broad time period, essentially c.1200-1800
  • Covers other European cultures as well as Italian
  • Focus on specific objects, discussed in engaging and accessible manner
  • Beautiful illustrations
  • Focus on a single collection
Full Description

This book looks at bronze through the remarkable collections of European bronze sculptures in the Ashmolean Museum of the University of Oxford. Largely thanks to the generosity of Charles Drury Edward Fortnum (1820–1899), the Ashmolean houses one of the world’s great collections of Renaissance and Baroque small bronzes.

The book provides a survey of the collection and an overview of the development of small bronze sculpture during a period of six centuries running from c.1200 to around 1800, although most of the works illustrated here were made within the shorter time frame of c.1450–1650. Any such survey is inevitably shaped by the strengths of the collection, which is conditioned by Fortnum’s taste, notwithstanding later acquisitions that have broadened its scope. He especially loved earlier Italian bronzes and so-called utensils — objects such as inkstands, candlesticks, salt-cellars, mirrors and seals — that are functional as well as beautiful. Fortnum was less interested in sculpture from the later 1500s onwards although, as this selection shows, he acquired some very interesting bronzes from the 17th and 18th centuries that deserve to be better known.

About the Author

Jeremy Warren is Honorary Curator of Sculpture at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford and Sculpture Research Curator for the National Trust. He was formerly Collections and Academic Director at the Wallace Collection.  He is a member of the Acceptance-in-Lieu (AIL) Panel. His award-winning three-volume catalogue Medieval and Renaissance sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (2014) was followed in 2016 with a two-volume catalogue of the Wallace Collection’s Italian Sculpture, containing important new discoveries. His numerous other publications include an exhibition catalogue of the Peter Marino collection of Renaissance and Baroque bronzes, as well as articles on sculptors as diverse as Antico, Giovanni Bastianini, Giambologna, Niclaus Gerhaert von Leyden and Francis van Bossuit. He also has a strong interest in the history of collections and the collecting of sculpture and decorative arts, especially in the 19th century. He is a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres and is a Corresponding Member of the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno in Florence.

Ashmolean Museum
Publish date
25th Sep 2024
Paperback / softback
USA & Canada
7.76 in x 10.39 in
244 Pages
150 color, 10 b&w
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