25 April 2010

Thesis: sculpture and sculptors in the Academie Royale de Peinture (2008)

Title: The human figure as method : study, sculpture and sculptors in the Academie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture (1725-1765)
Author: A.T. Macsotay Bunt
University: University of Amsterdam
Year: 2008
Pages: 573
Type of document: Thesis
Link: http://dare.uva.nl/... (pdf)

From the Introduction:
This dissertation deals with the study activities pursued by a series of French sculptors as apart of their training and admission in to the Academie royale de peinture et de sculpture (1648–1793) between 1725 and 1765. It is at the same time an art historical account and a cultural history, concerned with the long-term impact of the Academic movement in France and the transformation of sculpture in its wake. Such a transformation is understood, above all, culturally. It is not my intention to show changing styles of sculpture, or to present the reader with a narrative of innovation. Instead, I will allow the traces of a reconfiguration, on a cultural level, of the way sculpture was made and the way that the persona of the sculptor was defined. I will propose that these cultural stakes are pivotal to the understanding that one must ring, for art historical purposes, to the artistic etude, both as a notion and as a specific group of works, in the eighteenth century.

Table of Contents (short version):

1. Introduction

Part I. Academic sculptors
2. The practice of study: Nicolas Vleughels and the sculptors of the Académie de France in Rome (1724-1737)
3. The age of rehearsals: study and the notion of the academic
4. Rules for sculptors’ presentations and the function of freestanding figures
5. Carving and the demarcation of the academic sculptor

Part II. Academic sculptures

6. Mouvement : Falconet’s Milon and Adam’s Prométhée
7. Repos, Contraste : Bouchardon’s Christ, Saly’s Faune and Pigalle’s Mercure

Part III. Coda

The reception of Edmé Bouchardon as a discussion on methods and learning

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