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The world that shaped Europe's first national sculptor-celebrities, from Schadow to David d'Angers, from Flaxman to Gibson, from Canova to Thorvaldsen, was the city of Rome. Until around 1800, the Holy See effectively served as Europe's cultural capital, and Roman sculptors found themselves at the intersection of the Italian marble trade, Grand Tour expenditure, the cult of the classical male nude, and the Enlightenment republic of letters. Two sets of visitors to Rome, the David circle and the British traveler, have tended to dominate Rome's image as an open artistic hub, while the lively community of sculptors of mixed origins has not been awarded similar attention.
Rome, Travel and the Sculpture Capital, c.1770–1825 is the first study to piece together the labyrinthine sculptors' world of Rome between 1770 and 1825. The volume sheds new light on the links connecting Neo-classicism, sculpture collecting, Enlightenment aesthetics, studio culture, and queer studies. The collection offers ideal introductory reading on sculpture and Rome around 1800, but its combination of provocative perspectives is sure to appeal to a readership interested in understanding a modernized Europe's overwhelmingly transnational desire for Neo-classical, Roman sculpture.