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Workshop: Ruth Ezra



von 15:00 bis 16:00




Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Katharina-von-Bora-Str. 10, München, Raum 110, I. OG

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‘Sculptural’ Practices in Two Dimensions, 1500-1530

What does it mean to think like a sculptor? Is ‘sculptural thinking’ a form of knowledge that can be conveyed in two dimensions via the eye and the mind, or is it a tacit competence necessarily acquired by the hand and the chisel? My project interrogates the notion of the ‘sculptural’ in two-dimensional arts produced in the German-speaking lands during the early sixteenth century. Through sustained attention to paintings, drawings, and prints made by sculptors such as Veit Stoss and Peter Flötner, I analyze the ways in which practices of image-making in three dimensions (‘sculptural intelligence’) transferred to two, persisting to inform German art even as the era of the Schnitzaltar waned. Pattern books like Heinrich Vogtherr’s Kunstbüchlein (1538) would eventually seek to reinvigorate the arts through the aggregation of ‘imaginative’ designs, at once codifying and stimulating a tradition at risk of becoming dormant. I look at how vestiges of sculptural practice entered into two-dimensional works prior to Vogtherr’s formal attempt at artistic renewal — and before a true crisis of continuity in the German arts was at hand.

Ruth Ezra