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  #1  
Old 04-15-2007, 03:36 PM
donesquire donesquire is offline
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Where to buy casts to draw from?

Can anyone recommend a seller of casts to draw from? I've seen various features of the face (eyes, nose, mouth, ear) and hands holding balls, rods, etc. used by art schools. Does anyone know where they can be purchased either online or at a physical location?
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Old 04-15-2007, 07:51 PM
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fritchie fritchie is offline
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Re: Where to buy casts to draw from?

Don, I see you're from NYC, so if it's to be found, there's a good start. However, I personally wouldn't recommend studying features such as those in isolation, apart from the full head and so on. Hands, maybe, but the wrist articulation also is important, and the transition from there to the forearm. All those features interconnect, and the muscles look quite different according to position and stress.

Classes probably can seem to be slow, but I recommend strictly working from the live model.
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Old 04-15-2007, 08:47 PM
Rojellio Rojellio is offline
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Re: Where to buy casts to draw from?

Compleat Sculptor has them. In the Artistic Models section. The eye, mouth, ears and nose are from David. They also have anatomical figures, and a skeleton.
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Old 04-16-2007, 02:52 AM
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Re: Where to buy casts to draw from?

Thanks for the info, Rojellio. I'm far away, but still it is useful to know.
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Last edited by Merlion : 04-16-2007 at 03:13 AM.
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  #5  
Old 04-16-2007, 03:18 AM
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Re: Where to buy casts to draw from?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rojellio
Compleat Sculptor has them. In the Artistic Models section. The eye, mouth, ears and nose are from David. They also have anatomical figures, and a skeleton.
Those David casts are standard fare and have been sold for years by sculpture house in NYC , to save money I'd check THEIR prices first, after all that is where Compleat and the others who sell these are getting them from.
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Old 04-16-2007, 05:28 AM
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Re: Where to buy casts to draw from?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Landseer
Those David casts are standard fare and have been sold for years by sculpture house in NYC ....
Do you have more information about this other source, say their website?
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  #7  
Old 04-16-2007, 09:20 AM
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Re: Where to buy casts to draw from?

also
the anatomical chart company in Chicago illinoishttp://anatomical.com/Default.asp?
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  #8  
Old 04-16-2007, 06:17 PM
donesquire donesquire is offline
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Re: Where to buy casts to draw from?

Thanks to all who provided suggestions. I didn't realize the David features were availabe here in NYC. I'd still like to find the limb casts that seem to be based on the Bargue plates, though. If anyone happens to see them around please let me know.

Thanks!
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  #9  
Old 04-16-2007, 08:46 PM
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Re: Where to buy casts to draw from?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlion
Do you have more information about this other source, say their website?
Merlion! it's not hard to find a business on the web combining their name or a product name --> sculpturehouse.com
if that fails Google is sure fire.
They've only been there 30+ years in Midtown Manhattan as "Sculpture House", I used to buy all my supplies there in the late 70's, figured EVERYONE knows em like the "Empire tate Building", their tools and products are found in all the catalogues and sculpture supply outfits;

" The Barrie Family continued the company’s tradition with its purchase in 1965 and by 1973 Standard Clay Mines, Sculpture Associates and National Sculpture Services were combined under one roof into Sculpture House, as it is known today."
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Old 04-16-2007, 09:12 PM
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Re: Where to buy casts to draw from?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Landseer
Merlion! it's not hard to find a business on the web combining their name or a product name --> sculpturehouse.com
if that fails Google is sure fire.
They've only been there 30+ years in Midtown Manhattan as "Sculpture House", I used to buy all my supplies there in the late 70's, figured EVERYONE knows em like the "Empire tate Building", their tools and products are found in all the catalogues and sculpture supply outfits;
Of course Google can get it easily. I thought you know the details.

Not sure if this is the place. It sounds similar, but does not fit what you quoted. Sculpture House Casting

Sculpture House Casting was founded in the early part of the twentieth century to fulfill the growing need for highly skilled craftsmen in the art foundry field.

It has it's roots deeply entrenched in sculpture and the arts. Our founder was Alex J. Ettl, the son of a immigrant sculptor. Mr. Ettl earned his apprenticeship in his fathers sculpture studio, working on many sculptures at the same time.

At the time, the only way to get sculpture cast was to send it back to Europe. Our company recognized the need for quality, high-skilled casting services and built a foundry in the heart of New York City.

It was during the lean years of our nations development that Mr. Ettl realized that sculptors were abundant and that it was very difficult to earn a living as one. For this reason he developed a catalog of tools and supplies for sculptors (something that was not available in this country at the time). A casting studio was maintained to satisfy the needs of sculptors who used the supplies. ...

Today we serve as a supplier of tools and supplies through this website, ScultpShop.com and our warehouse in New York City. Our artisans and craftsment continue fine plaster and foundry work....
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Last edited by Merlion : 04-16-2007 at 10:06 PM.
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  #11  
Old 04-27-2007, 11:18 AM
Gabrielle Gabrielle is offline
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Re: Where to buy casts to draw from?

As an afterthought....I make head, and full torso casts in resin for various art schools. If you get stuck you can get in touch at: www.lifecasting.ca
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  #12  
Old 04-27-2007, 11:34 AM
bhughes bhughes is offline
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Re: Where to buy casts to draw from?

Here are the web addresses for the two place mentioned earlier.www.sculpt.com for The Compleat Sculptor andwww.sculpturehouse.com for Sculpture House. Hope it helps.
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  #13  
Old 06-26-2007, 07:35 PM
Keropian Keropian is offline
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Re: Where to buy casts to draw from?

I have a few anatomical sculptures including Houdon's L'Ecorche 29" and lifesize figures available in resin.http://www.keropiansculpture.com/anastud.html

There is a place called http://www.giustgallery.com They have a good selection of casts that you could purchase to draw from. They were originally the famed Caproni Cast Company who acquired these casts in the early 1900's from the original sculptures. Caproni made them available to artists and art institutions all through Amer.
Unfortunately there was a fire and many and or the molds were destroyed. Giust still has a number of them available. However beware of copies made by contemorary artists. If you are going to cast draw do it from the original copies. They should mention this in the descriptions.
If you want to visit some cast collections. The PA Academy of the Fine Arts still has a great collection. There was also a man named Slater that acquired casts like Caproni and the museum is in Norwich, CT. called the Slater Museum.

Hope this was of some help!

Mike K
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  #14  
Old 04-08-2008, 02:07 AM
sculptorBradP sculptorBradP is offline
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Re: Where to buy casts to draw from?

Hello Mike, Long time no see, from the Penn Academy days. I think all the commercially available plaster casts (or alternate material of traditional cast) in the U.S. would only hinder, not help a person studying sculpture. The quality is so poor that the resulting information is useless, and potentially harmful to the impression left on what is proper form to a student. I would suggest importing from one of the better museums in Europe. Not all, but some of these have quality plasters, as well as alternate materials in resin, et all. The German museums tend have the better palsters, or other material. Stay away from the Gips formerei in Berlin, since most of the plasters are better than Giust, but still terrible. The Capproni plasters that frist were imported to the U.S. were not better than 84% reproduction detail upwards to 92% quality. This quality is a big jump down from the actual sculpture. 87% is questionable as to the the information one can rely on in extracting knowlegde compared to the real source. The better European plasters of the earlier periods were 95% - to - 98 % percent reproduction. The museum plasters when properly produced are equal to the better 98% plasters, though these are usually reserved for the State. The State standards in Europe are better the the commercial standards, the opposite generally in the U.S. Importing requires a shipping method, which is not that difficult to arrange. I would check the Archaeology Departments associated with the Universities, and Archaeology Museum Resourses, as well as the Staaten Museen of a particular town / city in Germany where the known marble, or bronze is to be found, or cast collection. Giust is about 30% - to- 45% reproduction quality. The pilsberry dough boy might be better. The Slater is one, another is in Springfield, Mass., another is in the University Archaeology Department in Austin, Texas, another are the various Art schools. The art schools for the most part are prety bad, having "restored" the 19th century surviving palsers, they are worse than the 87% that they might have started at, and are more often around 60% - to 70% percent, including the PA Academy of the Fine Arts, the New York Academy of Art, as well as the Queens Museum, and the more recent institutions that got a hold of the old Met collection of plasters. I would goto Munich for an overall larger collection of plasters to the University Archaeology Department. They are not all great, since a new director has decided to bring in Gips Formerei low quality work. But the first three hundred or so plaster were new silicon from the source marbles, and plasters. The Farnese Hercules was $850,000.00 dollars for two plasters, and the mould in 1990 exchange rate to the U.S. dollar. It looks better than the actual marble - pristine white, perfect reproduction, under a natural skylight. One can see in this situation why plasters were preferred to the actual marble, or bronze for study prior to 1890. There was no fire that destroyed the plasters at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, - the plasters were smashed by the students, the instructors, and the dean in the mid, to late 1950s. The modern art movement destroyed the plasters throughout Europe at the Academies in the 1920s, and in the U.S. the Academies, and Art Schools destroyed them in the 1950s, some earlier. The palster cast went out of favor with training first in France in the 1820s. They still kept them - but most of the numbers wiothin a collection were stored in less accesable areas. Carpeaux (not really trained as well as the earlier sculptors), was not able to access the plasters he wanted to copy, since they were in the lower storage area. He commented on this condition in the 1860s. The last countries with important plaster collections, and also better art becaause of the training were the Berlin Academy, Neues Museen, Museum Island, Berlin 7,000 plaster casts all of excellent qualty; Konigsberg Academy, 9,000 plasters of excellent quality; Munich Academy 5,000 plasters of excellent quality; the list goes on. Take a look at Ernst Herter, Rheinhold Begas, Carl (Karlhienz) Begas; Heinrich Heinz Hoffmeister, Jakob Ungerer; Ernst Bernadien; Frederich Reusch; Eugen Boermiel; E. Lürssen, Nikolaus Geiger, Carl Cauer; Ludwig Brunow; Johannes Pfuhl; Otto Lang; Paul Peterich; Michael Lock; Andreas Kolberg; Ernest Dubois; Saint Saccomanno, as a sample of the lesser known but famous sculptors of their day ignored by art history; the last generation of decent sculpture work 1860s - to - 1905., - Brad
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  #15  
Old 11-01-2008, 10:31 AM
kshure kshure is offline
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Re: Where to buy casts to draw from?

We think the best place to buy plaster casts for drawing is our Giust Gallery in Woburn, Ma. Web site is www.giustgallery.com. We own the vintage plaster cast collection of Pietro Caproni and Brother from the late 1800's, early 1900's. We only only make molds from an original plaster cast of the Caproni Bros taken directly from the original sculptures in Europe or to the earliest, most well-defined plaster cast we own. Many art schools and ateliers order from our site. Everything is hand made and hand cast. We have a gallery set up with many vintage Caproni casts on display.
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  #16  
Old 11-02-2008, 01:09 AM
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Re: Where to buy casts to draw from?

To respond specifically to those "casts" of features that you may have seen on sculpture supply sites (they claim to be based on Michelangelo's David): the only real ones there are available from the British Museum. All the other ones you see (at least in the states) are very very poor quality new originals meant to look marginally similar to the real David feature casts. If you're looking to study detailed facial anatomy (specifically let's say you're working from Lantieri's book) you'll want to order the ones from the British Museum. You'll learn absolutely nothing from the Sculpture House or Douglass & Sturgess ones.

Another option is a lifecast. It doesn't cost much to do a face mask and you're sure to have absolute fidelity to at least some variant of nature. Of course I think the best part of working from casts (if decent ones of classical works were available anywhere!) would be the simplification and clarity found in some of the classical masterworks that bring the basic formal structure to the fore.

That said, I have to agree with Fritchie who emphasizes the harmful effect of studying the human form exclusively from isolated fragments. Human form is continuous.
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Old 11-02-2008, 01:30 AM
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Re: Where to buy casts to draw from?

I perhaps should have said "most" rather than "all" considering the giust gallery and other information from the above posters.

I have certainly never seen anything other than the artist renditions one's myself in any sculpture catalogue or any united states cast supplier that shows up in your standard google search. My point was mainly to caution you against sculpture supply outfits -- the information from the above posters indicates there are some apparently more authentic vendors of casts out there.

The British Museum David feature casts are, I feel, of rather good quality. They are pulled from a 19th century cast and are certified.
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Old 04-13-2009, 01:56 AM
sculptorBradP sculptorBradP is offline
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Re: Where to buy casts to draw from?

Lantieri's book; the Gerome / Barge - plates / drawings; Dresden, Bames; the Russian Anatomical figure nudes drawing plates; Sight Size; Shadow Shape; Bauhaus; Barscay; Speed - drawing; and most all these other instruction models, instruction tools, and sculpture models that are post 1860 are unrelated to traditional training methods - pre 1840, as well as unrelated to the few holdout sculptors, painters, ect... in some remaining regions still producing "traditional art" up until 1895 - . If one is interested in "Modern Art" dealing with the figure, - then these above mentioned instructional tools are pertinent, just as video art, and Corel Painter software drawings / paintings from photographs are pertinent. If one is interested in "Fine Art" of the traditional periods then these instructional tools are worse than useless, they are detrimental, as well as contradictory to serious training pre 1840, and related art up until 1895. The plasters of Antique, primarily Greek Hellenistic are the core element of training from the High Renn. - to - pre 1840. Having the nose of David, his eyeball, or ear is not going to quite acheive the equivelent of several hundred, preferably several thousand top quality plaster casts of Greek sculpture. The European sculpture is a weak secondary (including Michelangelo) to top Hellenistic (sometimes represented as Roman, or Greco Roman copies) sculpture.
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:51 AM
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Re: Where to buy casts to draw from?

I don't get all of the concern about learning from plaster casts that are less than ideal. When I had Atelier training (in drawing and painting), the point was to use these casts in order to train the eye and hand to see and render shapes abstractly and accuarately. It wasn't to impress upon the mind that the specific cast was THE way a sculpture needed to look OR ELSE. The casts were tools used to refine one's observation skills, given that the cast and lighting could remained fixed over time, allowing for subtlies of tone along with accurate mass to be thoroughly searched and rendered.
Any such study is not less than useless, it is essential to training the eye.

Did the ancient Greek sculptors rely on plaster casts for their own training and development? Did Phidias become great at drapery because of the plaster casts of great drapery sculpted before him? In an amazingly short period of history the Greek sculpture went from an archaic style to the pinnacle of classical grace. The sculptors were transcending the limitations of their predecessors, refining as they went...not slavishly copying the styles and forms of their elders.

I'm not knocking the value of studying from the best possilble casts out there. But the point of study is manifold, yet hopefully not primarily to set oneself into a rigid standard based on the antique. One uses these tools to learn how to see and render accurately, and that could be done from other objects as well. Perfect casts have the value of being a great way to visually inhale a refined and excellent standard of achievement, and perhaps to help shape a refined aesthetic taste, which is also the role of visiting museums and developing a good art reference library.
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:06 AM
sculptorBradP sculptorBradP is offline
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Re: Where to buy casts to draw from?

I don't get all of the concern about learning from plaster casts that are less than ideal. When I had Atelier training (in drawing and painting), the point was to use these casts in order to train the eye and hand to see and render shapes abstractly and accuarately. It wasn't to impress upon the mind that the specific cast was THE way a sculpture needed to look OR ELSE. The casts were tools used to refine one's observation skills, given that the cast and lighting could remained fixed over time, allowing for subtlies of tone along with accurate mass to be thoroughly searched and rendered.
Any such study is not less than useless, it is essential to training the eye. - /////// Response: The plasters were not for use in training the hand to eye, which one could draw anything to accomplish this end - a mound of mud with white paint on it, for example. The whole initiation of the Renn. was to recreate the complex geometry inherent in life. The training is expanding the mind to absorb mathmatic flux in the visual realm - demensionaly as ordered patterns that repeat as fractions of the whole, and interconnect with, and are part of oblique turnings, etc.... too much to go into in a short response. The reason that there were mostly lesser artists at any period was an aspect of the difficulty in training to absorb the information, and use it as an artculate language in the art. The degree of detail, as well as the importance of a partucular (mostly Hellenistic) sculpture plaster cast was paramont. The orders of shape are totally lost in a lesser quality plaster - therefore the process of studying then from a lesser cast is a total waste of time, in as far as traditional art training goes.

Did the ancient Greek sculptors rely on plaster casts for their own training and development? Did Phidias become great at drapery because of the plaster casts of great drapery sculpted before him? In an amazingly short period of history the Greek sculpture went from an archaic style to the pinnacle of classical grace. The sculptors were transcending the limitations of their predecessors, refining as they went...not slavishly copying the styles and forms of their elders. /// Response: Yes, exactly!, They did rely on plaster casts, Lysippos's brother was famous for his plasters made from life, as well as from sculptures. He was not the first to produce plasters. The system of producing copies for a second site of the same sculpture, as well as the custom later of producing varients, as well as copies, and new interpretations came from access to plasters of the sculptures. These were easliy transported, when the bronze - which were the main works before marble copies became prevelent in the Greco Roman, and Roman period, were not accessable. Within the studio after the bronze was delivered to the first client, where do you think additional bronzes, and marbles were produced by assitants. These would have to have been from copies in the artist studio for the point of later copies to another client that wanted to purchase a less expensive marble in the Greek period, or another bronze worked up in clay, or wax, looking at the remaining plaster. Duplicate sculptures fro additional clients was common in the Greek periods, as well as later Roman periods.
One can see much later in time the garbage that was produced in Pompei / Herculaeum where the copies were from both lesser sculptors - accomplishing really poor renditions of great work from the past, and likely poor quality reproductions in plaster as their models. The house of Papyrii busts being of higher quality than most of the other sculpture actually produced in the Pompeii, and Herculaneum studios.

I'm not knocking the value of studying from the best possilble casts out there. But the point of study is manifold, yet hopefully not primarily to set oneself into a rigid standard based on the antique. One uses these tools to learn how to see and render accurately, and that could be done from other objects as well. Perfect casts have the value of being a great way to visually inhale a refined and excellent standard of achievement, and perhaps to help shape a refined aesthetic taste, which is also the role of visiting museums and developing a good art reference library. /// Response: No, I'm couldn't disagree more..... This is why the work since 1895 is so weak. Also why most of the sculpture, drawing, and painting degrades as the century proceeds in the 19th. century after 1820. Yes, I would promote exactly that rigid standard as a test of art that has value beyond being a mimic of ones limited obvious ablity to render like a layman. The language when missing is childish endeavors at describing the obvious.
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Old 04-15-2009, 08:36 AM
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Re: Where to buy casts to draw from?

sculptorBradP:

When I ask if the Greeks achieved their mastery as a result of plaster studies, you cite Lysippos's brother, which puts us in the Hellenistic age, a good 150 years after the period of which I was speaking, the crucial time of transition from the archaic to the classical period. You would not be able to cite evidence of such training then. And my point was that these sculptors transcended the work done prior to them and achieved the standards copied later. This was because of their direct study and perception of nature, not casts, and rendering it while applying a unique genius to reduce nature to essentials of harmony and grace.

You also seem to think that the 1820's produced the pinnacle of good art in the 19th century, after which things degrade. From my perspective, the 1820's produced the stiffist and driest of the neoclassical art, resulting from a slavish copying of the classical style rather than the breathing of new life into it. Obviously there are some expceptions, as with any generalization.

The period of "decline" in the late 19th and early 20th century, again, from my perspective, is analogous to the Greek transition from archaic to classical. In this case, it was a transition from the stiffness of a dogmatic pursuit of the classical to a return to the study from nature, informed by the classical but not stuck there. In America, that was best realized by Augustus Saint Gaudens and Daniel Chester French. If you consider their post 1895 work to be weak, I think we will find very little common ground in our understanding of sculpture.

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Old 04-15-2009, 03:01 PM
sculptorBradP sculptorBradP is offline
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Re: Where to buy casts to draw from?

sculptorBradP:

When I ask if the Greeks achieved their mastery as a result of plaster studies, you cite Lysippos's brother, which puts us in the Hellenistic age, a good 150 years after the period of which I was speaking, the crucial time of transition from the archaic to the classical period. You would not be able to cite evidence of such training then. And my point was that these sculptors transcended the work done prior to them and achieved the standards copied later. This was because of their direct study and perception nature, not casts, and rendering it while applying a unique genius to reduce nature to essentials of harmony and grace.
////////////////////////
Response: The standards were not just copied later, the Classical is
the initiaition of this content and the ealry stages of it. The derivitive came from Egyptian sculpture, which is very formulaic, as is Greek Archaic. The early Greek Classical is a combination of the Archaic, and the Classical. as seen in the Riace warrior bronzes. There is nothing in this sculpture of the early Classical related to the manor that modern, or contemporary sculpture approaches in content. This additive process of more and more complex content as the Classical period advances is form content derived from nature,
and not the mimicking realism as a solution from nature. The Classical was a starting point, significant, and beautiful, but not the end point. Hellenistic is a continuation of the Classical, as well as an addition. The Hellenistic never broke with Classical, but added to the evolution. Yes, the reason I have not cited training with plasters during the Classical is for the very reason of not having historical text to refer to in defense. It hardly matters though, since one has only to look at the even degree of results to come to an understanding that there was a consensus of content in the ingredients of the sculpture. This would not have arrived at this conclusion, which differs from arbitrary style easliy acheived from a general observation of accepted procedure, without a diffinative content derived approach. The Hellenistic since there was not a break, or differing contradictory schools of thought in approach, content, and procedure was an extension therefore of the same basic procedure as earlier in the Clasical. There were different emphysis in extraction of the complex orders of shape content which is the working language. This range of extraction from the life model with this language is how the various "style from content" was defined in the Greek sculpture. The variety became quite expansive during the Golden Age of the Hellenistic sculpture. The Hellenistic period never stopped making Classical sculpture - one sees Neo-Classical during the Hellensitic period. Direct observation from nature is of course paramont to undrstanding the orders, and extraction from life. The aim in ones sculpture obviously being origonal work extracted from the experience of working from life / nature. Working from plasters does not exclude also working from life, the life model, etc.... The point is training how to work from life and extract mature complex content from the source.
But one has to have an understanding of how these orders are to be extracted in a system that is proven beyond any other. Obviously the sytem now is not known of the Classical, and Hellenistic. Only presumptions can be made of the Greek training method, and content. But this is basically the backdrop of all the European sculpture training in the higher tier from the Renn, onward up until 1820. These presumptions, and analysis were the framework of the best of the European schools of sculpture. There is a constant throughout the training, and philosophy of traditonal European sculpture from the Renn. up until the 1820s, and that is the training from Greek Antique. The reason that the 15th., 16th., and 17th., and most of the 18th. centuries refer so much to Classical is that there was not a differentiation made between Classical abd Hellenistic. Most of the sculpture that influenced the European school was actually what we now know as Hellensitic Greek, or copies of Hellenistic sculpture made in the Greco Roman, or Roman periods. Even during the Neo Classical period in Europe most of the more sophisticated sculptors were looking at the Hellenistic sculpture more than the Classical. The understanding of complex shape content as seen in Hellenistc, and Classical Greek sculpture is extremely difficult to replicate as a way to extract content from the life model. The best of the European sculpture arrives more closely to this, but never acheives the same depth of content to the higher level examples of the Classical, or Hellenistic Greek sculpture. Just as Michelangelo did not work primarly from plasters since he copied extensively from the actual "Hellenistic" marbles, such might be the case earlier in the first half of the Classical when the sculpture was worked in a smaller venue. Michelangelo late in his life stated that he never arrived at the level of Greek sculpture. He obviously copied Greek Hellenistic sculpture
extensively throughout his career, also this can be verified from his own writings, apart from the obvious allusions to this in his own sculpture. His maturity took a while to break from Medeavel realism influences and predominately exhibit Greek influnced content. By the Medici Chapel he was predominately deriving content influenced from the Greek method. His course of action to break from Medeaval Realism was very difficult, took a long time, and significant portion of his career. His adamant counsul to work from Greek sculpture was followed by the future periods. Giambologna worked for 7 years copying Hellenistic sculpture in Italy. He already had training as a sculptor previous to this in Flanders. He was 25 or so when he went to Italy and initially spent these 7 years copying Hellenisitic sculpture. The complex geometry, and method seen in conclusion in the Hellenistic, and Classical is not from a realist - copying eye to hand. These orders are apparent with training and only then can be seen from the life model. So I am not making an argument for memorized conclusions of shape - just the opposite. The extraction form the life model to such a high degree of these abstractions require very extensive training to see these orders within the given Live Model. The later work you speak of, - the St Gaudens, and Chester French actually exhibit the workshop memorized solution to form that you are assuming I am promoting. The procedure trained from proper copying methods deployed in plaster casts, or actual marbles / bronzes of Greek sculpture allow freedom to fuller experiential interprataions for origonal work from life. Extraction from Hellenistic, and Classical Greek sculpture is actaully a language that allows examination, so that the extraction from the source - the live model is acheived as derived from, not imposed as arbitrary style, or a combination of imposed tyle, and surface realism.
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You also seem to think that the 1820's produced the pinnacle of good art in the 19th century, after which things degrade. From my perspective, the 1820's produced the stiffist and driest of the neoclassical art, resulting from a slavish copying of the classical style rather than the breathing of new life into it. Obviuosly there are some expceptions, as with any generalization.

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Response: No I never claimed a particulare time between the Renn., and 1820 as the peak of European sculpture. I only claimed that the degree of decline was predominately post 1820. You obviously are ignorant of the remaining sculptors working up until the 1820s. The examples of your citing I assume would be workshop copies of style that are actually not from study of plasters of Greek Antique sculpture, but memorized methods out of a workshop type training. This training was honored by the likes of Canova, during the 18th. century. Which of Canova's and his followers really nothing of antique Greek sculpture exhists within the sculpture, other than superficial surface look / style. Canova is a good example of training lacking in exposure, and depth from extensive study of Greek Antique. I would say the same of Bernini, - mostly superficial solutions based on style, and a surface look rather than content of shape. There is not a particular period that exhists in the European from the Renn. to 1820 that has accross the board equal output or study. There is a definate decline post 1820.
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The period of "decline" in the late 19th and early 20th century, again, from my perspective, is analogous to the Greek transition from archaic to classical. In this case, it was a transition from the stiffness of a dogmatic pursuit of the classical to a return to the study from nature, informed by the classical but not stuck there. In America, that was best realized by Augustus Saint Gaudens and Daniel Chester French. If you consider their work, post 1895 to be weak, I think we will find very little common ground in our understanding of sculpture.
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Response:

Yes, we have little in common then, since I find both Daniel Chester French, and Saint Gaudens very weak in context to shape orientation, lacking
a thorough understanding, and ability to undertake more mature sculpture. You should look at their contemporaries on the continent - Ernst Herter, Andreas Kolberg, Hoffmeister, Geiger, Ernest Dubois (not Paul Dubois, unrelated), etc.... I am not claiming these sculptors exceed earlier work - pre 1820, just that the American school of 19th. century sculpture is not very impressive. The weakest aspects of the French, and European modernists were the main influence of the American sculpture school. The same could be said of most of the American painters of the 19th. century, - they were influnced from, and emulating the modernist French, and less advanced British. I would cite F. Q. A. Ward as one of the better American sculptors as far as design of the monuments, and including a little more content of form. But Ward also is not equal to the best of the time period, and inclined toward dry realism, with superficial style, rather than more implimentation of content with depth.
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  #23  
Old 04-15-2009, 06:17 PM
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Re: Where to buy casts to draw from?

I have posted here four examples by Saint Gaudens and DC French, so that others reading this can see what work you consider to be weak.

Looking at your own work, my guess is that you equate weak with toning down anatomical details so that the essentials are emphasized, rather than highlighting every possible nuance of muscle tone and bone to be found or coaxed into appearing. This is all the more puzzling to me in that the classical Greeks did the same thing. Hellenistic is in fact different from classical just as baroque is different from renaissance, and in much the same way.

I cannot fathom how you can call the works I have posted here as weak, regardless of difference in approach to anatomy. I do not know what you are referring to as "shape orientation" that you find lacking in these works. I looked up some of the sculptors who were ST. G's contemporaries that you mentioned, and found no significant clues there. In fact, Ernest Dubois's "La Venger" is one of the most confused mass of unrelated shapes I have seen in a figurative composition from that period. But most of all, I find the heavily intellectualized approach to this as being a burden to a full appreciation of the refined grace, beauty, poetry, harmony and connection to higher realms of thought and feeling that one can experience from these works. I value the communication of inspiration above that of proper shape orientation, whatever that may be.
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Last edited by GlennT : 04-15-2009 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 04-15-2009, 09:35 PM
sculptorBradP sculptorBradP is offline
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Re: Where to buy casts to draw from?

Yes these sculpture works you chose to picture look better in photographs, especially since they are from the photographic medium, or equivelent to begin with. There are some merits with the sculptors you mentioned, yet they are very minor players in the period they worked, and - yes, they are not especially noteworthy in the history of sculpture. I would say the same of Rodin, with many of the same problems as these. Very talented - but with little of value in the work from traditional terms. You really need to go to Europe and study the real thing, since a photograph can not capture the shape in Greek work. A run through the museum for a couple of weeks or months is not what I mean, perhaps study from high quality plaster casts of Hellenistic sculpture would educate you on the issues. This would only be of value if the deaper issues at hand were addressed in working from the plasters. A superficial "likeness" is not informative, or instructive to what is inherent in these masterpeices of Greek sculpture. The sculpture work made from photographs, or the equivelent of "optical realism" by the reproduction of tones, not shape, reproduced yet again in the photograph of the works, enhanses the look of the sculpture. Photographic oriented sculpture looks better in a photograph than sculpture that is unrelated to tonal production of light effects. The greater the shape oriented geometry a particular sculpture exhibits in it's form, the less it is reproduced in a photograph. Earlier sculpture - pre-photography can also have this tonal reproduction - i.e. - weak shape orientation. I'm sorry that you find thinking stressful, these ideas were never meant to be argued in written format, so there are real limits to description of the issues here, but the matter of the subject is not a side issue.
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Old 04-15-2009, 11:04 PM
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Re: Where to buy casts to draw from?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sculptorBradP View Post
I'm sorry that you find thinking stressful, these ideas were never meant to be argued in written format,
This is the type of arrogance that your whole premise exudes. Thinking is not stressful, but trying to sort out your particular version of it is high on the effort side and low on the return side. Your inflated sense of being an insightful arbiter of what is major and minor, weak or strong in figurative sculpture is...not stressful...but distressing. To make up this canard about the sculptures being photographic in origin and thus only really looking good in photographs is rather bizarre. I have stood next to the Sherman Monument and it is even more impressive in the physical than the photographs can convey.

To say that Saint Gaudens was a very minor player in his time period is, forgive the word but it is quite applicable here; sheer ignorance. Saint Gaudens trained, inspired and encouraged the path of almost every major figurative sculptor in America at the turn of the century. But that probably means nothing to you since you are ready to dismiss American sculpture as a whole. Well, I return the favor: you are dismissed!

But seriously, what are you talking about when you say basically that studying plaster casts is where the information is to be found, but not looking at the real thing in a museum. I should point out that here in Minneapolis we have one of the handful of ancient Roman marble copies of Polykleitos' Doryphorus. Perhaps you will dismiss that too as being an ancient photographic tonal study of not properly realized geometricly shaped weakly nomenclatured razzmatass impresstheignorant framblenarbits......

...ooops, my thinking skills just lost their steam from all the stress. I need a recharge!

Last edited by GlennT : 04-16-2009 at 08:25 AM.
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