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Depth of Field

Relief Sculpture in Renaissance Italy

Donal Cooper and Marika Leino

Revolutionized by the sophisticated and refined works of Donatello and his contemporaries, relief sculpture acquired an unprecedented status during the Italian Renaissance. This volume has its origins in Depth of Field: Relief in the Time of Donatello, a unique collaboration between the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, and the first exhibition to focus specifically on this phenomenon. The exhibition and accompanying lectures reassessed relief sculpture as one of the most innovative and experimental visual genres of fifteenth-century Italy.
In this volume, leading scholars in the field respond to the challenges of the Leeds exhibition. The papers, selected from the conference and talks that accompanied Depth of Field, present new research on Donatello, Ghiberti, Agostino di Duccio and other sculptors. They also address the use of fictive relief by painters like Carlo Crivelli and Titian. Renaissance relief sculpture emerges as a uniquely adaptable medium, suited to invention and reproduction, but also loaded with cultural significance and ancient resonance.
Contents: Donal Cooper/Marika Leino: Introduction – Peter Dent: Contemplative Relief: Meditating on Christ through Sculptural Form in Early Trecento Italy – David G. Wilkins: The Invention of ‘Pictorial Relief’ – Amanda Lillie: Sculpting the Air: Donatello’s Narratives of the Environment – Amy R. Bloch: The Evolution of Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Approach to the Narrative Relief – Peta Motture: Agostino di Duccio and Carlo Crivelli: Playing with Two and Three Dimensions – François Quiviger: Relief is in the Mind: Observations on Renaissance Low Relief Sculpture – Eckart Marchand: Reproducing Relief: The Use and Status of Plaster Casts in the Italian Renaissance – Alison Wright: ‘Sculptural Values’: Reading Fictive Relief in Late Fifteenth- and Early Sixteenth-Century Italy – Marika Leino: The Production, Collection and Display of Plaquette Reliefs in Renaissance Italy – Beverly Louise Brown: Seeing the Past: Titian’s Imperial Adaptation of a Classical Relief – Sarah Blake McHam: Now and Then: Recovering a Sense of Different Values.