These figure makers left ‘Little Italy' and Clerkenwell to follow the sculptors, whether to Chelsea, Fulham or St John's Wood. The sculptor, Joseph Bonomi the Younger, cast reliefs for Robert Hay in the Valley of the Kings, Egypt, 1824-34, while Lorenzo Giuntini worked in Central America for Alfred Maudsley in 1883 and 1885 and in Persia for Herbert Weld in 1892. Bartholomew Papera would carry ‘new things round to artists in baskets’, according to John Thomas Smith, who tells how Joseph Nollekens welcomed the opportunity to inspect such novelties although, on one occasion, he bridled when Papera named a rival, John Deare as the modeller. This is the Museum of Classical Archaeology Collections online database of the plaster cast, pottery sherd and paper squeeze collections. After all, it was meant to serve as a reference once or maybe twice and not as a decorative object for home. However, the connection between sculptor and moulder was a very old one. For more details on bronze founders, see Bronze sculpture founders: a short history. Such figures might be bronzed to give them a more solid appearance and to suit the heavy feel of Regency interiors. The trade outside London was smaller but still dominated by Italians: Luke O’Neil in Edinburgh by c.1784 (he was also a firework maker), Pellegrino Mazzotti in Norwich before 1819, Tognieri in Bath by the 1820s and Pieroni in the 1850s, and Papera junior and Andrea Giuntini in Cheltenham in the 1840s, to name but some of the makers active in a few selected centres. They are of interest to classical archaeologists, art historians, the history of collecting, curators, conservators, collectors and artists. The collection of plaster casts of the former Trustees’ Academy in Edinburgh – the first public school of art in Britain, founded in 1760 – was acquired in the late 18th- and early 19th-century for … For artists, plaster casts could be both an ornament and an inspiration. 1. A nice selection of plaster casts of the human form, as well as plaster geometric shapes. Other moulders of Italian origin returned to the land of their birth. This trade began in about 1820 and was extremely popular for several decades. In the event, the Victoria and Albert Museum did take on Brucciani’s cast making business from 1921, renaming it the Department for the Sale of Casts while retaining the same manager, Paul Ryan. When visiting Tuscany in the 1890s, Hubert Crackanthorpe wrote home of a hermit at a tiny mountain chapel, ‘a splendid old boy with a flowing white beard’, who turned out to have lived for twenty years in the Euston Road, working as as a sculptors’ moulder for Mullins, Thomas (of Capri), Onslow Ford and others (David Crackanthorpe, Hubert Crackanthorpe and English Realism in the 1890s, 1977, pp.98-9). Lippert in the … The sherd and squeeze collections may be of more interest to academic researchers but these databases make our collections accessible to all. Every piece is made in-house and by-hand. The use of plaster casts in the early 19th century 3. These most often are anatomical plaster casts. They met with considerable success and were followed by Matthew Mazzoni by c.1803, Peter Sarti by 1816, Lewis Brucciani in c.1820 and Domenico Cardosi and Giovanni Franchi by c.1830, as well as others. Although the market today for new bronze sculpture has somewhat declined, and with it the need for such a network of independent sculptors’ moulders, the continuing importance of casting and working in plaster and similar materials can be seen from the work of artists as varied as Rachel Whiteread and Thomas Houseago. The student´s next step in a classical atelier after having done a couple of Bargue drawings is the cast drawing. Italian figure makers in the 19th century, Bronze sculpture founders: a short history, Cast Collection - Victoria and Albert Museum, www.beazley.ox.ac.uk/sculpture/plastercasts/cast, The Cast Courts - Victoria and Albert Museum, British bronze sculpture founders and plaster figure makers, 1800-1980. In the early 19th century, Italian figure makers began to come to Britain in increasing numbers to produce ornaments for town and country houses and to sell cheap plaster figures as an itinerant trade. A generation later, during the First World War, Brucciani & Co Ltd ran into financial difficulties as the museum and school of art markets declined. The making and collecting of plaster casts from the antique is a result of the discovery in Rome of famous pieces, such as the Laocoon Group, from around 1500. Plaster Casts (900 plaster casts of classical sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum) The Plaster Casts database is a legacy database created as part of an EU R&D project in telecommunications in 1994. Such private collections, however, remained modest and uncommon until the 18th century. Such casts could serve a practical purpose for artists. More details of the individual plaster figure makers and sculptors' moulders discussed in this account can be found in the online directory, British bronze sculpture founders and plaster figure makers, 1800-1980. Plaster figures have been used in one form or another for centuries. In the 1841 census, another maker, Dominic Cardosi, age given as 35, was listed in Gray’s Inn Lane heading a crowded lodging house of 14 men and boys, ages from 40 to 15, all listed as figure makers. Plaster Casts: Making, Collecting and Displaying from Classical Antiquity to the Present (Transformationen der Antike Book 18) eBook: Frederiksen, Rune, Marchand, Eckart: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store Of Flaxman, it was said that he had ‘kept a large shop in the Strand, for the sale of plaster figures, which was not then so hackneyed a trade, as it has now become by the large importation of Italians’ (Gentleman’s Magazine, vol. Robert Shout’s broadside catalogue (detail), c.1800-3 (National Portrait Gallery Library). Nineteenth century Art instruction often included the use of sculptural models as teaching aids for drawing, painting, study of anatomy and sculpture study, known as Drawing Casts to emphasize the study of form and the visual effect that light and shadow had on these forms. Texts address plaster casts and related themes from antiquity to the present day, and from Egypt to America, Mexico and New Zealand. Once the market had been exhausted, the master would send his moulds and tools to Geneva, and follow on foot with his troop, each of whom would carry a few figures to sell at towns and villages on the road. There were other aspects to the trade. Orders from Plymouth, Liverpool, Bristol and elsewhere followed. Charles Stewart Parnell, plaster cast attributed to Fernando Meacci of bust by Mary Grant, 1892 (National Portrait Gallery). Our cast collection is one of very few surviving plaster cast collections in the world today – and we have more than 450 of our casts on display in the Cast Gallery, including our famous painted … Both Barbara Hepworth and Maurice Lambert used ‘the renowned plaster caster’, Domenico (‘Mac’) Mancini. James De Ville in London and Luke O’Neil in Edinburgh were the leading suppliers of such plaster heads. The authorities at the Crystal Palace in south London, which opened in 1854, sought casts of great works of art across Europe and beyond. Very Cheap, etching by John Thomas Smith, published 1815, from his Etchings of Remarkable Beggars, Itinerant Traders and other Persons (National Portrait Gallery). The links between Italian figure-making families who settled in England could be close, with marriages between families, Giovanni Franchi to Mary Sarti in 1831, Raffaello Sani to Emilia Caproni in 1861 and Enrico Cantoni to Florence Landi in 1888, and premises passing from one hand to another, so that we find No.1 Leather Lane occupied by Vincent Merchitti by 1837, Giovanni Graziani by 1850, who went into partnership with Domenico Brucciani, and by Daniele Landi in 1880, who remained in possession until 1902. Such figure makers, their occupation given as figure maker or as ‘figurista’ in the vernacular, would travel from France, usually in April, May or June, at the beginning of the summer season. Cast-Drawing.com – Based in Germany, this is where I ordered my first cast … Print your own Munsell Color Reference Charts at home on your desktop inkjet printer! Showing his collection of classical plaster casts and modern marble busts. Very Cheap (fig.3), shows how well-established this street trade had become in the public imagination by the time of its publication in 1815. Fig.2. One or two men, experienced in casting figures in moulds, would collect a number of poor boys, of whom they would become the captains. They are of interest to classical archaeologists, art historians, the history of collecting, curators, conservators, collectors and artists. The cast was purchased by The Metropolitan … In the 1861 census Domenico Brucciani, the best known London cast maker who made classical casts for study by art students at the South Kensington School and many others, employed 25 men and five boys. In photographs such as 'The Faun' (2007), the London based Liane Lang emphasizes the sensuous potential of plaster casts after classical nudes, as well as their lifelessness by staging them together with life-like reproductions of human limbs made of latex, wax, silicon, or rubber, that disturb the viewer as they appear … Europe. Collecting by museums and academies 5. Advertising more than 300 plaster figures of classical and modern subjects. In 1843 Antonio Caproni of 97 Gray’s Inn Lane was accused of retailing an indecent cast of a naked female figure in the street. The sight of itinerant figure sellers inspired several Victorian paintings, including James Collinson's Italian Image Boys at a roadside Ale House, 1849, and William McTaggart's Following the Fine Arts, 1874, as well as popular printed images (see Journal of the History of Collections, vol.3, no.2, 1991, pp.283-4). Ceiling roses provide a decorative … Read … From there, they would cross France, perhaps to Fontainebleau, and so on to Paris, Amiens and Calais and finally to England in search of ‘a golden harvest’. Clifford established the importance of such figure sellers in 18th-century Britain, especially in London, and their role in supplying figures and plasterwork for ornamenting and lighting interiors, and for use as models for manufacturers such as Wedgwood. The collection of the Museum of Classical Archaeology ranges from the largest of sculptures to the smallest of artefacts. A cast might even be painted, reproducing an aspect of classical sculpture that is … Fig.3. The Architectural Museum in London, founded in 1851, was one such collection. A recent resurgence of interest in the use of these aids to teach art fundamentals has inspired Statue.com to create a collection of Artist Cast … The operators of the page participate in the Amazon partner program. This account takes up where Timothy Clifford’s essay, The Plaster Shops of the Rococo and Neo-Classical Era in Britain leaves off (Clifford 1992). It was also a time when the demand for bronze statues was growing as a result of the desire to commemorate the wartime heroes and political leaders of the day through public statues and church monuments. Many of these men and boys will have been on lengthy fixed-term contracts, of as much as three years, under which they were paid a bonus on completion, leading to occasional abuse of the system whereby they were harassed towards the end of their contract to the point that some left in desperation, losing their wages and their bonus (see Lucio Sponza, Italian Immigrants in Nineteenth-Century Britain: Realities and Images, 1988, pp.76, 78). Fig. One of the largest such groups arrived in the Port of London from Boulogne on 9 May 1853, with 14 men and boys led by Luigi and Pietro Sarti. After that the code no longer works. People were happy to accept my Plaster Casts, because it was exactly what they needed to learn drawing from plaster casts. Our Collection. Such was the British Museum's influence that the very word, formatore, crept into the English language as a result of its use by museum officials in the 1830s. But after a few years I stopped selling my own Plaster Casts and put affiliate offers from Amazon on my website, where I earned a small commission. April 2020. The practice of reproducing famous sculptures in plaster originally dates back to the sixteenth century when Leone Leoni assembled a collection of casts in Milan. As one leading sculptor put it, ‘a moulder… is to the profession what a frame-maker is to the painter’ (E. Roscoe Mullins, A Primer of Sculpture, 1889, p.21). Remember that the code is only valid until 30. The number of Italian figure makers in and around 'Little Italy' and in the wider Holborn area, peaked in the early 1860s, judging from census records, as the third largest trade undertaken by Italians in the area, after street musicians and picture framemakers (Lucio Sponza, Italian Immigrants in Nineteenth-Century Britain: Realities and Images, 1988, p.328). On our sites, advertisements and links to the Amazon.com site are integrated through Amazon, where we can earn money through reimbursement of advertising costs. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography. Developments in the plaster figure trade, 2. Best value for money. Plaster casts, generally in the form of classical figures, were used as elegant supports for interior lighting, a trade which reached its height in the early 19th century. It was possible to hire plaster figures, as Nollekens informed his fellow sculptor, Francis Chantrey, ‘You may hire casts at Papera's and Genelli's’, and as the amateur artist, Sarah Harriet Burney, told a friend in 1804, ‘By subscribing a shilling a week to Papara, the Plaisterman, I got what busts or whole length figures I pleased’ – which she could then use in her studies. Domenico Brucciani’s invoice for moulding and reproducing the tomb effigy of Robert, Duke of Normandy in Gloucester Cathedral, 1875 (National Portrait Gallery records, Duplicates of Accounts). While there had long been an interest in classical antiquity, the arrival of the Elgin marbles in London, and their display at the British Museum from 1816, opened up new markets for plaster casts as museums and academies in Britain and on the Continent began to develop more comprehensive cast collections for teaching purposes and for wider display, as will be discussed in more detail in section 4 below. 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