Since ancient times bronze statues were made with the so-called technique of lost wax casting. This technique was introduced as early as 3,500 B.C. by the Sardinian populations. However, it has enjoyed considerable development not only in Sardinian but also in Greek and Roman art.
The use of this particular technique was reduced in the Middle Ages, probably mainly due to economic problems. There are, however, notable examples such as the bronze door of the church of San Zeno in Verona, which dates back to about 1100, made with the casting technique.
However, bronze castings were always practiced but were reduced to small-sized objects, as they were “full” works. With the Renaissance, then, the technique is back in vogue and the first large statue made with the lost wax casting technique (in modern times) is the San Giovanni Battista (1412-1416) by Lorenzo Ghiberti.
This technique has many advantages over the stone, the bronze in fact allows a greater cohesion that gives the sculptures a sense of naturalness and vivacity. In addition, bronze does not need supports external to the figure and this created fewer problems in terms of the stability of the sculpture.
In the classical period in Greece, bronze was mainly used. In the common imagination, there are few bronze statues, while marble statues are more easily remembered. However, marble statues are often copies of the Hellenistic or Roman period of bronze originals.
In fact, right in the Hellenistic period, there are real workshops with the aim of making marble copies of very famous bronze statues.
Brief notes on the technique Some of the bronze sculptures of Antichità Giglio
The lost wax casting technique is based on the casting of molten metal inside a negative mold. The sculpture is made first of all in the clay of the same size as the final bronze sculpture.
From the clay model, the plaster cast is then removed and divided into two or more parts. After being deprived of the clay model inside, wax is poured inside.
The wax model is then covered with a layer of plaster, bricks and sand. The mold is then baked and by heat, the wax melts forming a cavity that will be filled with molten bronze.
The mold will then be released and cleaned and finished.
Some of the bronze sculptures of Antichità Giglio
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