New Title | Inganno – The Art of Deception

Posted in books by Editor on August 24, 2012

To judge from the table of contents, I think this is really a collection of essays on the sixteenth century, though it does conclude with an eighteenth-century piece by Kristin Campbell, “‘Such is Picture Dealing’: Noel Joseph Desenfans (1745-1807) and the Perils of Purchasing in 18th-Century London.” -CH

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From Ashgate:

Sharon Gregory and Sally Anne Hickson, eds., Inganno – The Art of Deception: Imitation, Reception, and Deceit in Early Modern Art (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2012), 216 pages, 9781409431497, $105.

The essays contained in this volume address issues surrounding the use, dissemination, and reception of copies and even deliberate forgeries within the history of art, focusing on paintings, prints and sculptures created and sold from the sixteenth century to the eighteenth century. The essays also probe contemporary sensibilities about the art of inganno, or deception, sometimes even viewed as pleasurable deception, in the making and viewing of copies among artists and their audiences.

Through specific case studies, the contributors explore the fine line between imitations and fakes, distinctions between the practice of copying as a discipline within the workshop and the willful misrepresentation of such copies on the part of artists, agents and experts in the evolving art market. They attempt to address the notion of when a copy becomes a fake and when thoughtful repetition of a model, emulation through imitation, becomes deliberate fraud. The essays also document developing taxonomies of professionals within the growth of the “business of art” from the workshops of the Renaissance to the salons and galleries of eighteenth-century London. As a whole, this volume opens up a new branch of art historical research concerned with the history and purpose of the copy.

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