David Bindman, emeritus professor of the history of art, University College London. Antonio Canova’s (1757-1822) sculptures, as they have come down to us, are notable for their pure use of marble. However, the sculptor was the subject of controversy in his own time because he often toned down the whiteness of the marble and in some cases tinted the stone in flesh colors. Why did this cause such an adverse reaction, and in which quarters? In this 19th annual Sydney J. Freedberg Lecture on Italian Art recorded on November 8, 2015, at the National Gallery of Art, David Bindman discusses the heart of the immense prestige of marble sculpture over every other kind of art in the 19th century and the attitudes we have toward it now.
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