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Published | VISTAS-New Scholarship on Sculpture
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The Politics of Sanctity. Figurative Sculpture at Selles-sur-Cher

Deborah Kahn

This book introduces the importance of the eleventh-century monastery at Selles-sur-Cher (Loir-et Cher)and its early Romanesque sculpture. The frieze at Selles is the first episodic narrative in monumental architectural sculpture to survive on the European stage. It represents a little known saint – St Eusice. The narrative draws on a surviving text – the Miracula Sancti Eusicii Confessoris written by Letaldus of Micy, a prolific local hagiographer in the generation before the frieze was carved and an author of great literary flare.The imagery of the obscure St Eusice would be inexplicable without this text. The carvings of St Eusice are juxtaposed with the Life of Christ in a series of approximately 35 panels, not quite 2 feet in height, that wrap around the east end of the church, above and below the choir windows. This frieze has been overlooked until now, not only because of its damaged condition but because it was interpreted as a provincial, late Romanesque work. Early twentieth century scholars followed Émile Mâle and Henri Focillon, placing it in the 12th century – over a century too late. As a result its seminal position in the re-emergence of sculpture during the first half of the 11th century was overlooked. But the historical and stylistic evidence provide clear proof of a date in the 1040s not the 1160s.As the first substantial surviving episodic narrative in stone and the earliest narrative frieze to remain since Antiquity the carving at Selles borrows extensively and astutely from classical remains. The iconography of Selles-sur-Cher further serves as a springboard for the examination of a range of important post-millennial developments.


The Neptune Fountain in Bologna:  Bronze, Marble and Water in the Making of a Papal City

Richard J. Tuttle, edited by Nadja Aksamija and Francisco Ceccarelli

As a gateway to the central Piazza Maggiore and a work of singular beauty and elegance, the Neptune Fountain is one of Bologna’s most prized artistic gems, recognized by all but understood by very few. Richard Tuttle’s monograph represents the first comprehensive study of this iconic monument, executed between 1563 and 1567 by the Flemish artist Giambologna and the Sicilian architect Tomaso Laureti, that considers all of the complex aspects of its commission, planning, execution, iconography, and urban impact. Working with an extraordinary body of documentary and visual materials, Richard Tuttle (1941-2009)—one of the world’s foremost authorities on Renaissance Bologna—reveals how the fountain was created collaboratively by papal administrators and artists, how it depended on contemporary hydraulic technology, communicated political messages, and became an instrument of urban renewal. The book’s broad appeal, scholarly rigor, and eloquent writing promise to make it an indispensable source on Italian sixteenth-century sculpture, architecture and urban planning, as well as a definitive text on this remarkable Renaissance fountain.


The Sculpture of Tullio Lombardo

Anne Markham Schulz

* Shortlisted for Best Book of the Year in 2015 by Apollo Magazine*

In the first book ever devoted to the sculpture of Venice’s most famous Renaissance marble carver, Markham Schulz integrates all biographical data from primary and secondary sources and criticism of every epoch, with her own first-hand study of Tullio’s work over the course of forty years, to create a comprehensive picture of Tullio’s sculpture – its characteristics and iconography, its sources, development, and influence – within the context of Renaissance Venetian art. At the same time, she explores Tullio’s relations to his father Pietro and his brother Antonio, both renowned sculptors in their own right. The text is accompanied by 339 newly made and largely full-page illustrations, many of sculptures which, on account of their height and inaccessibility, have never been photographed before. Thus, every detail of the author’s meticulous and pellucid analyses is made manifest to the reader by illustrations, which not only meet the most exacting standards for the photography of sculpture, but also provide a treasury of gorgeous images.

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