Materials and Techniques 16th - 18th Century
David Bourgarit, Jane Bassett, Francesca Bewer, Geneviève Bresc-Bautier, Philippe Malgouyres, Guilhem Scherf (eds)
The papers in this volume shed light on the production of important French bronze sculptures, as well as decorative and utilitarian objects, dating between the 16th and 18th century. Those who study such works must take into account that the making of a bronze is an inherently reproductive process as well as a complex, collaborative endeavour. The studies presented in this book mostly relate to the production of specific sculptors and founders, or of specific works of art. They draw on a range of evidence – written sources, archaeological investigations of foundry sites, close scrutiny of the objects themselves and elemental analysis of metals reveal much about the business of bronze working and technological know-how, and provide a further wealth of evidence about process, as well as increasingly useful information for attribution and dating. As the papers illustrate, integrating these technical approaches with connoisseurship is the key to understanding and characterizing the fabrication processes of particular works, and to correctly identifying the relationship between different casts based on the same model.