Title A Medieval Aquamanile: Original and Copy. A New Look at the Attribution of the Aquamaniles from the Collection of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts
Author email barekyan.k@gmail.com
About author Barekyan, Kristina S. — curator, The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. 12 Volkhonka str., Moscow, Russian Federation, 119019.
In the section Western Art from the Middle Ages to the 20th Century
Year 2014 Volume 4 Pages 194203
Type of article RAR Index UDK 739.51=161.1(061/068)»653»(48); 7.061; 7.033; 7.023.1-034 Index BBK 85.14

Imitation of the works of decorative and applied arts of the Middle Ages became a common situation in the European bronze casting workshops in the 19th c. The bronze vessels named aquamaniles were among the most popular to be imitated. The aquamaniles were used by priests to wash their hands before mass and by households during mealtimes. These vessels were cast in the rich variety of forms at the highest level in the technique of lost wax casting so that each of them has a unique shape. The copies of the 19th c. quite soon began to become a part of private and museum collections. In most cases they had low quality and some stylistic missteps. In the article the author compares some medieval originals and their copies of the 19th c. describing a number of methods which allow to distinguish an original aquamanile from forgery, including the way of casting, compounds of metal, its weight, type of patina and corrosion.
Furthermore, the author describes two aquamaniles from the collection of the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. Basing on the detailed stylistic analysis of vessels the author makes some observations concerning the attribution of the vessels. One of them has a number of compelling analogies with bronze products from Hildesheim bronze casting workshop, which was among the most successful foundries of medieval Germany. The second one has a number of features non-typical for the medieval aquamaniles and no analogies among the medieval aquamaniles, so presumably it could be an imitation.

Reference Barekyan, Kristina S. A Medieval Aquamanile: Original and Copy. A New Look at the Attribution of the Aquamaniles from the Collection of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. Actual Problems of Theory and History of Art: Collection of articles. Vol. 4. Eds: Svetlana V. Maltseva, Anna V. Zakharova. St. Petersburg, NP-Print Publ., 2014, pp. 194–203. ISSN 2312-2129.
Publication Article language russian
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