Rojava by Ben Dunn

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Body and Apparition

Erin Giffin. "Body and Apparition: Material Presence in Sixteenth-Century Italian Religious Sculpture." PhD Dissertation, University of Washington, 2017.

In early modern church interiors across the Italian peninsula, religious devotees gazed upon, spoke to, and touched sculptural sacred objects. These forms of contact reinforced the sensation of presence and communication between the devotee and the sacred figure, often inciting offerings of garlands, jewelry, and other adornment at many cult sites. Bound up in this religious practice, multiple materials are at work: in the offerings bequeathed — ephemera, wax, precious metals — but also in the sculptures themselves. Over the course of the sixteenth century, multiple artists and patrons used sculpture to underscore the sacred message of their subject matter through resonant materials: in the canonical materials of marble and bronze, but also in terracotta, wood, and wax. All of these materials have the potential to convey meaning. That confluence of subject and matter in Italian sacred spaces led to innovations of sculptural discourse across regions and media.

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