Busts and bronzes we love
In the early 19th century plaster figure making and bronze sculpture were pretty much two separate enterprises. Italian artists sold inexpensive plaster figures as itinerant tradesmen, but as time went on, some of them became specialists in making molds for sculptures.
Plaster figures were used to decorate both grand country homes and more ordinary homes. They also served as sources of inspiration for artists, whether in studios, museums or teaching academies. And then there was the furor over phrenology with plaster heads made and studied to prove the theory that personality and physical features of the human head were linked.
Bronze statuary was popular in commemorating wartime heroes, political and religious leaders, in public and church monuments. 19th century metal artisans also made beautiful smaller bronzes that graced homes, churches and public buildings. Here are some exquisite examples you will see at the Cottage.