Michael Cole will be coming to speak in the Seminar in Renaissance and Early Modern Material Culture Wednesday, November 30, 2011, on “Francesco Mochi: Stone and Scale.”

The marble blocks that Gianlorenzo Bernini, Andrea Bolgi, François Duquesnoy, and Francesco Mochi used to carve their statues for the crossing of St. Peter’s must have been much the same size, yet the figure Mochi represented was significantly larger than any of the others. The same is true of his earlier St. Martha for the Barberini Chapel in S. Andrea della Valle, where Mochi employed a block the same size as the other sculptors who made statues for the sequence, but worked at a different scale. These figures alert to us to a sculptural strategy Mochi favored throughout his career, from the Orvieto Annunciation to the Baptism now in Palazzo Braschi. It is a strategy indebted to Florentine predecessors like Vincenzo Danti and Giambologna and one that set him apart from his Roman contemporaries. Those differences point to the way the conception of the colossus itself had changed from the sixteenth to the seventeenth century, a change that turned on the relationship between size and scale, block and figure, and the competing ways sculptors thought through this.

Michael Cole is a professor in the Department of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University. He received his B.A. from Williams College, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University. Dr. Cole taught at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Pennsylvania, and Williams College before joining the faculty at Columbia University in 2010. He currently serves as the Reviews Editor for the College Art Association Art Bulletin. His most recent publications include Ambitious Form: Giambologna, Ammanati, and Danti in Florence, (Princeton University Press, 2010), and Italian Renaissance Art,(Thames and Hudson, 2011) which he co-authored with Stephen Campbell. Additional publications include, Cellini and the Principles of Sculpture (Cambridge University Press, 2002), The Early Modern Painter-Etcher (editor) (Penn State Press, 2006), and The Idol in the Age of Art: Objects, Devotions, and the Early Modern World, (editor, with Rebecca Zorach) (Ashgate, 2009).

Please RSVP and join us in the Lecture Hall at 38 West 86th Street, between Columbus Ave and Central Park West, at 6:15pm for a reception before the talk.

that our Lecture Hall can only accommodate a limited number of people, so please come early if you would like to have a seat in the main room. We also have overflow seating available; all registrants who arrive late will be seated in the overflow area.

For more information please contact academicevents@bgc.bard.edu.