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Jane Bassett and Peggy Fogelman, Looking at European sculpture: a guide to technical terms

This handy book is a reliable and well presented dictionary of terms used in European sculpture.

It includes entries on relatively common terms, such as “bust” and “equestrian”, as well as more technical ones such as “luting” (“a method for joining two sections of unfired clay”). The text is clear and concise, and the layout easy to read. Although it is in a dictionary format, each subject is generally given at least a few sentences, and occasionally (such as with the entry on “tomb”) the entries run to over a page. The words are complemented and further clarified by many good quality illustrations drawn from both the Getty’s and the V&A’s holding. Particularly lucid are the entries on the techniques of bronze-casting, a complex subject which has to be understood properly if bronzes are fully to be appreciated. The book will be of paramount use to students, but it is a useful work of reference for anyone interested in the history and making of European sculpture.

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Jane Bassett and Peggy Fogelman, Looking at European sculpture: a guide to technical terms (The J. Paul Getty Museum with V&A Publications, London, 1997), 103 pp, 34 b/w ills, 65 col. ills, £8.95 $11.95 (pb only) ISBN'

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 76 December 1997