In recent years, art historians have begun to delve into the patronage, production and reception of sculptures-sculptors' workshop practices; practical, aesthetic, and esoteric considerations of material and materiality; and the meanings associated with materials and the makers of sculptures. This volume brings together some of the top scholars in the field, to investigate how sculptors in early modern Italy confronted such challenges as procurement of materials, their costs, shipping and transportation issues, and technical problems of materials, along with the meanings of the usage, hierarchies of materials, and processes of material acquisition and production. Contributors also explore the implications of these facets in terms of the intended and perceived meaning(s) for the viewer, patron, and/or artist. A highlight of the collection is the epilogue, an interview with a contemporary artist of large-scale stone sculpture, which reveals the similar challenges sculptors still encounter today as they procure, manufacture and transport their works.
Kelley Helmstutler Di Dio is Professor of Art History at the University of Vermont.