Friday, March 2, 2018

Sculptors in the Studio (Five Centuries)

Jost Amman
The Sculptor
woodcut book-illustration
British Museum

Jan van Vliet
Sculptor in Studio
etching, engraving
British Museum

Abraham Bosse
Sculptor in Studio
British Museum

Anonymous printmaker after Abraham Bosse
Sculptor in Studio
(reversed and partial copy of the print directly above)
ca. 1642-52
British Museum


So wide a sea you came from, your cold form
Has wanted out of reason to be warm,
So close a shell, your iridescent side
Is as incontinent as the earth is wide.

– Witter Bynner (1938)

Giuseppe Maria Mitelli
Young Painter and Sculptor in Studio
British Museum

Anthonie de Winter after Caspar and Jan Luyken
Sculptor in Studio
British Museum

A.J. Defehrt after Jean-Baptiste Oudry
Sculptor gazing with amazement at his statue of Jupiter
(cast of Belvedere Torso in background)
ca. 1755-59
etching, engraving
British Museum

from Before a Statue of Achilles

I gaze on thee as Phidias of old
Or Polyclitus gazed, when first he saw
These hard and shining limbs, without a flaw.
And cast his wonder in heroic mould.
Unhappy me who only may behold,
Nor make immutable and fix in awe
A fair immortal form no worm shall gnaw,
A tempered mind whose faith was never told!
The godlike mien, the lion's lock and eye,
The well-knit sinew, utter a brave heart
Better than many words that part by part
Spell in strange symbols what serene and whole
In nature lives, nor can in marble die.
The perfect body itself the soul.

– George Santayana (1897)

Charles Townley (collector)
Intaglio of Ancient Sculptor carving double-headed Terminal Figure
ca. 1768-1805
wash drawing
British Museum

Thomas Rowlandson
Modern Pygmalion with Statue of Galatea come to life
ca. 1790-1810
British Museum

Benjamin Roubaud
Caricature of sculptor Antoine-Louis Barye at work
lithograph from Le Charivari
British Museum

Wilbraham Frederick Evelyn Liardet
Skeleton Sculptors
ca. 1853-68
British Museum

Édouard Castan after Alexandre Cabanel
Michelangelo seated in his studio, Pope Julius entering
mixed media
British Museum

Alfred Thompson
The Royal Studio - The Princess Louise at Home 
(carving a bust of her mother, Queen Victoria)
ca. 1871-80
wood-engraving from The Mask
British Museum

Ferdinand Schmutzer
Sculptor Charles Korschmann in Studio
etching, drypoint
British Museum

Eugène Carrière
Rodin sculpting a figure
British Museum

Epitaph for a Certain Sculptor

For him, a priest stern at the sacrifice,
There have been piled more offerings than we guess.
Ripe fruit, and flowers dewy with loveliness,
And slaughtered lambs, and manuscripts of price,
And wine, and fans whereon a queen's device
Was carven, fed the sacrificial flame;
Else had it leaped less high.  Useless to blame
The fire no cheaper fuel could half suffice.
And useless now to blame him; he is dead;
He held a faith whose Savior late had gone
Back to some Heaven; he struggled on alone,
A priest at altars whence the god had fled;
Not happy till his own cold heart had shed
Its last drop, too, on the sacrificial stone.

– Arthur Davison Ficke (1923)

Poems from the archives of Poetry (Chicago)