German Sculpture of the Later Renaissance, c. 1520-1580
Art in an Age of Uncertainty
During the Reformation, statues and carvings of saints, once commonly revered as aids to salvation, were condemned by increasing numbers of Protestants as fearsome idols. Moral doubts coupled with widespread acts of iconoclasm meant potential ruin for hundreds of German sculptors whose economic livelihood depended traditionally on church commissions. Focusing on how sculptors adjusted to this cultural tumult, Jeffrey Chipps Smith offers a comprehensive examination of the artistic response to the challenge of the Reformation in German lands. In so doing, he exposes the years leading up to the Counter-Reformation as a period of surprising artistic vibrance. Using paradigmatic case studies, Smith explores the reshaping of German sculpture. From the ashes of iconoclasm emerges a nascent Protestant art with dynamic new production centres, such as Dresden. Smith reveals the diversity and ingenuity of a generation of sculptors whose productions range from magnificent tombs, intricate fountains and other architectural carvings, to intimate carved portraits, bronze statuettes, and stone reliefs.
The volume also comprises a biographical catalogue of 44 of the most important sculptors from th
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What Reviewers Are Saying
The book is skillfully and convincingly constructed. Smith ... opens our eyes to the many new representational demands that confronted sculptors of the period. Apollo