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4 posts tagged with sculpture by thomas j wise.
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Pangs piercing every muscle, every labouring nerve

In The Natural History, Pliny the Elder mentioned "the Laocoön [...]* in the palace of the Emperor Titus, a work that may be looked upon as preferable to any other production of the art of painting or of statuary." Pliny ascribed the sculpture to three sculptors from Rhodes, Agesander, Athenodoros, and Polydoros; it is possible that they (or some of their descendants) were also responsible for a cluster of similarly-themed statues found in the 1950s at Sperlonga. In any event, the Laocoön was discovered in 1506 and purchased by Pope Julius II. [more inside]
posted by thomas j wise on Feb 7, 2014 - 22 comments

Hiram Powers' Greek Slave

Although the sculptor Hiram Powers (1805-73) enjoyed considerable success with his portraits and more allegorical works, he is now almost entirely remembered for one of nineteenth-century America's most hotly-debated sculptures: The Greek Slave. Powers was a little vague about the inspiration for the statue--longstanding dream, or response to the Greek War of Independence (see previously)? Understood at the time as a major leap forward in establishing America as a serious force in the art world, the statue was an international hit (appearing at the Great Exhibition of 1851), and was endlessly copied and daguerrotyped. (Some of the copies turn the statue into a much more ambiguous bust, or hark back to one of its major influences, the Venus de Milo.) However, some observers, including Elizabeth Barrett Browning and, much more pointedly, the illustrator and caricaturist John Tenniel, suggested that an American sculptor might wish to think about other slaves.
posted by thomas j wise on Aug 17, 2011 - 9 comments

Tilman Riemenschneider

Tilman Riemenschneider (1460-1531) was one of the great late medieval sculptors. Riemenschneider worked in both wood and stone, although his specialty was limewood sculpture. (Not surprisingly, he had imitators.) His greatest achievements, however, are his exquisitely carved and spectacular altars, of which the most famous is the Altar of the Holy Blood (Heilig-Blut-Altar). [more inside]
posted by thomas j wise on Aug 9, 2008 - 9 comments

Apocalyptic imagery

Apocalyptic image gallery A scholarly site with a large collection of images illustrating the Revelation of St. John, with emphasis on medieval painting, carving, and sculpture. Felix Just, S. J. has compiled a more diverse collection that includes an extensive set of contemporary images. As a lover of all things nineteenth-century, I'm rather partial to Francis Danby (I just saw The Deluge at the Tate) and John Martin.
posted by thomas j wise on Aug 13, 2003 - 7 comments

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