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Giambologna: Narrator Of The Catholic Reformation
by Mary Weitzel Gibbons
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Arguably the pre-eminent European sculptor of his age, but historically considered little more than the facile court sculptor to the grand dukes of Florence, Giambologna played a major role in the artistic transformations of the late sixteenth century. Mary Weitzel Gibbons seeks to broaden our hitherto limited view of Giambologna's work by considering his neglected Genoese masterpiece, the Grimaldi Chapel. Although the chapel itself was destroyed during the Napoleonic period, its dazzling bronzes of Virtues and angel-putti and a Passion cycle in relief have survived. The fine detail and rich color of the bronzes are featured in color plates and black-and-white images photographed especially for this book.
Gibbons reassesses Giambologna's work, clearly defining his relation to the narrative tradition and his role as an artist of the Catholic Reformation. Her new insights into the artist's work will appeal to all those intrigued by this turbulent era in Western European history.
From the Inside Flap
"Mary Gibbons's appraisal provides the first scholarly study of Giambologna's remarkably original religious sculpture in relief. In their pictorial austerity and unabashedly metallic forms, Giambologna's bronze narratives present us with bold innovations. This study offers new photographic documentation, archival discoveries, and, most significantly, new ideas and fresh perceptions of Giambologna's art."--Malcolm Campbell, University of Pennsylvania
"This timely interdisciplinary study makes a major contribution, integrating Genoa into Late Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque studies. Mary Gibbons illuminates the late career of this major Mannerist court artist. Her use of new documents to reconstruct and redate the commission argues for a more contextual approach to Giambologna in relation to the Genoese old nobility, the Genoese Republic, Catholic reform, and Genoese-Florentine relations within the Hapsburg Empire at the end of the Cinquecento."--George L. Gorse, Pomona and Scripps Colleges
"Mary Weitzel Gibbons's book successfully challenges the received wisdom that Giambologna as a sculptor was concerned only with the formal appearance of his figures in the round. In this highly original analysis of his work in the Grimaldi Chapel in Genoa, Gibbons takes on the largely neglected field of sixteenth-century relief sculpture, placing Giambologna's contribution properly in the larger discourse of narrative practices in both painting and sculpture."--Sheila Folliott, George Mason University
From the Back Cover
"Mary Gibbons's appraisal provides the first scholarly study of Giambologna's remarkably original religious sculpture in relief. In their pictorial austerity and unabashedly metallic forms, Giambologna's bronze narratives present us with bold innovations. This study offers new photographic documentation, archival discoveries, and, most significantly, new ideas and fresh perceptions of Giambologna's art." (Malcolm Campbell, University of Pennsylvania)
About the Author
Mary Weitzel Gibbons is an independent scholar. She has taught at Vassar College and at City University of New York's Hunter and Baruch Colleges.
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