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Domenico Brucciani and the Formatori of 19th-Century Britain


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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: 'Wandering Italians' 2. Object Lessons 3. Exhibitions Great and Small 4. Death Masks and Dance Halls 5. Building Museum Collections of Plaster Casts 6. Epilogue: Casting Aside

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This book is a history of the sculptural practice of Domenico Brucciani (1814-80) and the plaster casting business D. Brucciani & Co. (ca. 1840-1951).

About the Author

Rebecca Wade is Assistant Curator of Sculpture, Leeds Museums and Galleries, UK.


Rebecca Wade's clearly written and thorough study of Domenico Brucciani illuminates his practice as one of the most important formatori in the nineteenth century, while at the same time exploring in a compelling way plaster casting more generally. This book must be required reading for all those interested in the production of sculpture in Britain in the nineteenth century. * Marjorie Trusted, Senior Curator of Sculpture, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK *
Until now Domenico Brucciani, though known to some for his plaster casts for the V&A, has been a somewhat shadowy figure in the Victorian art world and the history of nineteenth-century sculpture. Despite the renewed interest in plaster casts and their role in nineteenth-century Britain, there has been no full or systematic study of the person who played a central role. Rebecca Wade now gives us just what has long been needed in her impressive study of Brucciani, deftly connecting the overlapping areas of sculptural practice and wide-ranging institutional contexts in which he worked. Wade's fascinating and richly documented account for the first time shows how significant and interesting Brucciani was. In the process, she makes a major contribution to our understanding of how art (and especially sculpture) was perceived and consumed in Victorian Britain. * Malcolm Baker, Distinguished Professor of Art History, University of California, Riverside, USA *

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