Plaster Casts

Introduction

In June 2015 the University opened its cast collection. It contains more than 100 casts made between the XVII and XX centuries that reproduce sculptures from the main periods of Art History. The purpose of it serves a dual function: on the one hand to recover and study the collection of plasters owned by the University and, on the other, to put it at the service of the students and citizens.In June 2015 the University opened its cast collection. It contains more than 100 casts made between the XVII and XX centuries that reproduce sculptures from the main periods of Art History. The purpose of it serves a dual function: on the one hand to recover and study the collection of plasters owned by the University and, on the other, to put it at the service of the students and citizens.

 

 

The bulk of the collection consists of casts from the most outstanding sculptures of classical antiquity: reliefs with scenes of horsemen from the frieze of the Parthenon (mid-5th century BC); exceptional pieces such as the Doriphor and the Diadum, both Roman replicas of Greek models made by Policleto in the second half of the fifth century BC. C.; Or Apoxiomeno, Roman copy of a Greek bronze of 4th century BC performed by Lisipo; also, we can’t forget the impressive Hellenistic pieces of Venus de Milo and Torso Belvedere.

 

As part of the Roman period, it is worth to emphasize the portraiture, represented here with busts of the emperors Octavio Augusto and Marcus Aurelius, as well as those of other prominent figures of the republican and imperial periods, such as the portrait of Scipio “the African”, winner of Carthaginian Anibal at the Battle of Zama (202 BC), or the idealized image of Antinous, Emperor Hadrian’s lover, who did not hesitate to immolate himself by throwing himself on the Nile to favor good omens towards his protector.

 

We can find also a very interesting piece: a plaster that reproduces the clue that presides over the vault of the transept of the Seville Cathedral, that following the opinion of Professor Juan Clemente Rodríguez Estévez, it would be a design by Juan Gil de Hontañón between 1514 and 1517, after the collapse of the transept in 1511.

 

The Italian Renaissance is also present with some casts based on the reliefs of the Cantoria of the Florence Cathedral made by Lucca of the Robbia, one of the most sophisticated sculptures of the Italian Quattrocento. There are also two representations of Michelangelo’s artworks: the head of the dying slave, originally thought to be part of the funeral tomb of Pope Julius II and the Virgin of Bruges, created immediately after the Vatican Pietà.

 

From the Spanish Renaissance period, an impressive full body sculpture of the Emperor Charles V stands out. It was carried out by the Milanese atelier of the Leoni around 1549. Other outstanding pieces correspond to Donatello’s Saint George, in the moment before confronting the dragon, and the busts of Ippolita Maria Sforza and Leonor de Aragón of sculptor Francisco Laurana.

 

Special interest deserves those pieces made from carvings of sculptures located in Seville. At the cathedral transept, again, we can find also the bust of San Fulgencio, original sculpture by Lorenzo Mercadante of Brittany.

 

In this same line, there is an athlete’s torso from Italica, an acephalic portrait of Servilia from the archeological site of Carmona, the relief of the Charity, plaster cast of the original marble in the facade of the Church of the Hospital de las Cinco Llagas, and whose author was Juan Bautista Vázquez el Viejo.  Also, two masks made from two polychrome wood sculptures by Juan Martínez Montañés that belong to Don Alonso Pérez de Guzmán and María Alonso Coronel, founders of the nobiliary house of Medina Sidonia and the Monastery of San Isidoro del Campo in Santiponce.

 

Finally, we can not forget the monumentalism of Perez Comendador, represented here by his work of Alfonso X called the Wise.

 

Text extracted from the one made by Joaquín Voltes for the Heritage website of the University of Seville

History

The cast collection of the University saw the light after a long process of research, documentation and restoration, promoted by the Heritage Secretariat of the University (Secretariado de Patrimonio) in 2014. For this project, the University counted on the scientific and technical advice of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes San Fernando de Madrid (Royal Academy of Fine Arts San Fernando) and its director of collections, José María Luzón.

 

The hundreds of casts that are preserved have a great quality and a perfect technical execution. They were mainly made in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, being acquired from the ateliers of casts of Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid. In addition, we also have a collection that start from the 17th century (such us the pieces brought by Diego Velázquez from Italy) and the 18th century (reproductions of Pompeii’s Villa of the Mysteries or the important collection of Anton Raphael Mengs), as well as samples of the old Museo Nacional de Reproducciones Artísticas (National Museum of Artistic Reproductions). Other pieces have a Sevillian origin. These are copies of architectural fragments, classical sculptures of Italica and Carmona, copies of medieval examples made during its restoration or even contemporary works executed as part of the creative process of its passage to stone.

 

The exhibition recalls the cult to the antiquity that happened in Europe and cause collecting habits around the most famous sculptures. It has a very high value, so people did not hesitate to carry out all kinds of diplomatic efforts for a certain artist to access the original work and make a mould.

 

From the Enlightenment, many copies ended up in academies and universities with a didactic objective, to train artists in drawing classes and researchers. They also supported the teaching practice of Art History and Archeology in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Later on, with the popularisation of photography and projection systems, casts lost part of their formative use. In the 19th century, many European universities founded casts museums with their important collections that were still used in teaching but preserved as works of high cultural value, as it is today at Universidad de Sevilla.

Further Information
Location

Rectorado de la Universidad de Sevilla: Real Fábrica de Tabacos. Calle San Fernando, 4.

 

Opening hours

Winter: from 08.00h to 20.30 h
Summer: from 09.00h to 14.00 h

 

Website

http://www.patrimonioartistico.us.es

 

In charge

CICUS