Wednesday, March 30, 2022. 9:00–10:30am
The Convention Centre, Dublin- Wicklow Hall 1-2
Organizer: Jonathan K. Nelson, Syracuse University, Florence
Chair: Diana Bullen Presciutti, University of Essex
Respondent: Christopher J. Nygren, University of Pittsburgh
Digital Approaches to Early Modern Gambling
Risk and Risk Aversion in Sculpture Shipments: The Case of Pompeo Leoni's Sculptures for the Escorial
Shipments of sculpture from Italy to Spain were not infrequent, but depending on the medium, size, and style, they presented a multitude of challenges. Sculptures could easily be damaged, stolen, sunk, and lost along the arduous journey overland, down rivers, and across seas. In addition to the dangers facing the sculptures themselves, the labor force required to manage the shipment was also at risk. Moreover, political negotiations were often necessary to ensure safe passage, and the entire enterprise was weather dependent. This paper explores the largest shipment of bronzes in early modern Europe: the Escorial retable sculptures that were sent from Milan to Madrid in the late 1500s-early 1600s. It discusses the many risks that had to be considered in this enormous undertaking, based on detailed records found in the archives in Simancas and Milan.
Assaying Risk in Metallic Reproduction: Error and Technical Fallibility in Giambologna’s Aftercasts
As Giambologna’s fame reached new heights in the mid-to-late sixteenth century, so did the extent of his material output. Alongside his more monumental commissions, smaller bronze statuettes regularly exited the artist’s studio, initially made by the artist himself but subsequently as workshop reproductions. The design of these replicas – so-called aftercasts – varied in origin, some as reductions of Giambologna’s large-scale sculptures, others miming the artist’s smaller preparatory models, and still others made using the original mold. All these aftercasts evince the labor, inconsistencies, and material risks implicated in alloyed reproduction, from replicating casting flaws to using compromised materials. Usually studied as decontextualized markers of the artist’s cross-continental reach, the aftercasts also real a wide constellation of risky endeavors involved in metallic replication. This paper explores how the aftercasts – in their varied materials, production, and authorship – modeled imperfections in multiplicity.