Sculpture Journal

Sculpture and representation: apprehending marble portrait sculpture in the eighteenth century

Sculpture Journal (2021), 30, (2), 123–137.

Abstract

Beginning with a question about how the spectator apprehends a figure or bust in marble as a representation, this article uses eighteenth-century portrait busts in marble to explore how competing theories about representation and the apprehension of art might be applied to a distinctive class of sculpture in a particular material from a specific period. It explores how the terms of a debate formulated by E. H. Gombrich and Richard Wollheim about pictorial illusion might be applied to our perception of sculpture, and goes on to examine the ways in which contemporary accounts of viewing eighteenth-century portrait sculpture might be understood within this context.

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Author details

Baker, Malcolm