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Sculpting Abroad
Nationality and Mobility of Sculptors in the Nineteenth Century

M. Sterckx, T. Verschaffel (eds.)
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160 p., 28 b/w ill. + 39 colour ill., 216 x 280 mm, 2020
ISBN: 978-2-503-58027-2
Languages: English
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An edited volume reflecting upon the transnational mobility of sculptors and its implications for the artists and their art during the long nineteenth century.

This volume analyses the international mobility of sculptors and their work in the nineteenth century. The creation of nation-states at that time coincided with an increasingly international outlook shared by artists, their commissioners, sellers, buyers and critics. Sculptors were encouraged to study abroad, and were recognized for their experience and success overseas. As they were very much dependent on commissions, they had to travel to provide for their revenues. While abroad, they were nonetheless expected to represent their nation and showcase their e essays in this collection reflect upon the theoretical and practical implications of the many aspects of transnationality, travel and (cultural) mobility for nineteenth-century sculptors, their work and their careers, by addressing the role of, among others, education, execution, commissions, exhibitions, art criticism and the art market. The main focus is on French, Belgian and Italian sculptors and their works but other countries are represented too, and well-known as well as lesser-known sculptors, through general articles and case studies.

Tom Verschaffel is professor in cultural history at KU Leuven. His research concerns the intellectual and cultural history of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and more specifically the history of historical writing, the popular representation of history and cultural nationalism, the history of cultural infrastructure and of cultural transfers.

Art historian Marjan Sterckx is associate professor in Art History at Ghent University, where she recently launched the research group ThIS: The Inside Story: Art, Interior design & architecture 1750-1950. Her research concerns the intersections between sculpture, gender, photography and the interior.
Table of Contents


Tom Verschaffel and Marjan Streckx

– The Nationality of Sculpture: International Mobility of Nineteenth-Century Sculptors and Their Work


Jana Wijnsouw

– In Search of a National (S)cul(p)ture: The Local, National, and International Identity of Sculptors in Belgium (1830–1916)

Désirée de Chair

– Henry de Triqueti between Britain and Prussia : A Frenchman Sculpting for Victoria, Crown Princess of Prussia and Princess Royal of Great Britain (c.1864-1874)

Frédérique Brinkerink

– ‘The Right Man in the Right Place’: Foreign Sculptors Active in the Netherlands (c.1820-1890)

Linda Van Santvoort

– A Clear Case of Favouritism? The French Ornamentist Georges Houtstont at Work in Brussels (c.1862-1912)


Barbara Musetti

– Prejudice and Protectionism: Italian Sculptors in France in the Nineteenth Century

Clarisse Fava-Piz

From Commodore John Barry toLe Débarquement: Embodying Mobility in Andrew O’Connor’s Oeuvre (c.1900-1940)

Anne-Lise Desmas

– An Artwork’s Journey: The International Peregrinations of a 1889 Bronze Vase Created by French Sculptor Ringel d’Illzach and Cast in Brussels


Sharon Hecker

– An Italian Émigré Sculptor in Paris: The Case of Medardo Rosso

Francisca Vandepitte

– The Last Waltz: Constantin Meunier and the Vienna Secession (1898-1905)

Antoinette Le Normand-Romain

– ‘Far From Sculpture and Close to Nature’? Auguste Rodin and the Attraction of Belgium, Italy, and England (c. 1870-1890)

Index of Names


 "Es ist (...) sehr erfreulich und regt hoffentlich zur Fortführung an, dass Sterckx und Verschaffel die bescheidenen Mittel des Sonderforschungsprojektes nutzten, um interessante Detailforschung mit Versuchen theoretisch fundierter Fragestellungen und Zusammenhänge zu verbinden. Die beachtliche internationale Resonanz des Symposiums zeigt das Interesse hieran." (Christian M. Geyer, in Sehepunkte, 21/5, 2021)

Interest Classification:
Fine Arts & Performing Arts
Art History (general)
19-21 C art history
19-21 C sculpture

This publication is also distributed by: ISD, Marston
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