Cover image for Actors Carved and Cast: Netherlandish Sculpture of the Sixteenth Century By Ethan Matt Kavaler

Actors Carved and Cast

Netherlandish Sculpture of the Sixteenth Century

Ethan Matt Kavaler

Coming in October

$124.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-09715-2
Coming in October

Available as an e-book

280 pages
8" × 10"
45 color/62 b&w illustrations
2024

Actors Carved and Cast

Netherlandish Sculpture of the Sixteenth Century

Ethan Matt Kavaler

“Kavaler’s highly original investigation champions the critical contributions that Dutch and Flemish sculptors made to the flourishing of sixteenth-century Netherlandish art. He excels at explaining sculpture’s functions and cultural contexts, both public and private. Kavaler sensitively guides the reader to look closely at the beauty, style, and materiality of select individual objects. He addresses the impact of Protestant iconoclasm and the migration of Netherlandish sculptures across Europe during this tumultuous period.”

 

  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Bio
  • Subjects
Painting has long dominated discussions of Netherlandish art. Yet in the sixteenth century sculpture was held in considerably higher regard than painting, especially in foreign lands. This beautifully illustrated book is the first comprehensive study of sixteenth-century Netherlandish sculpture, and it opens an important window onto the works and milieu of these artists.

Netherlanders dominated the sculptural world of northern Europe. They made the most prestigious tombs and altarpieces, alabaster reliefs, and boxwood collectibles for patrons throughout Iberia, France, and Central Europe. Even in Italy they were a formidable presence; the most famous sculptor in Europe in the second half of the sixteenth century was Giambologna, a Fleming who spent the greater part of his career in Florence. A great many of these artists immigrated to foreign courts—so many that the history of Netherlandish sculpture in the second half of the sixteenth century plays out largely abroad. Netherlandish carvers and casters relocated to what are today Austria, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Ukraine. Sculpture, more so than painting, was an essential tool in discourses of power.

Offering an essential new perspective on a fascinating period in art history, Actors Carved and Cast will appeal to scholars of sculpture and all those interested in Northern Renaissance art.

“Kavaler’s highly original investigation champions the critical contributions that Dutch and Flemish sculptors made to the flourishing of sixteenth-century Netherlandish art. He excels at explaining sculpture’s functions and cultural contexts, both public and private. Kavaler sensitively guides the reader to look closely at the beauty, style, and materiality of select individual objects. He addresses the impact of Protestant iconoclasm and the migration of Netherlandish sculptures across Europe during this tumultuous period.”
“Ethan Matt Kavaler opens our eyes to the richness and complexity of the sculpture produced in the Low Countries in the sixteenth century. Iconoclasm later in the century destroyed major monuments in the Netherlands, and foreign demand resulted in many others landing far from the Low Countries. Kavaler has made it impossible to overlook these works any longer.”

Ethan Matt Kavaler is Director of the Centre for Renaissance and Reformation Studies and Professor of Art History at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Pieter Bruegel: Parables of Order and Enterprise and Renaissance Gothic: Architecture and the Arts in Northern Europe, 1470–1540.