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Exhibitions/ Playing with Fire

Playing with Fire: European Terracotta Models, 1740–1840

January 28–April 25, 2004

Exhibition Overview

Approximately 135 terracottas, from quick preliminary sketches to completely finished models, demonstrate the dash and erudition of modelers across Europe during the Neoclassical age. The period saw unprecedented explorations of Greco-Roman antiquity, in which sculptors eagerly took part. Certain geniuses, bearers of such well-known names as Canova, Dannecker, Roland, and Sergel, are seen in considerable depth. The works are grouped thematically, emphasizing the typologies that preoccupied sculptors, such as self-portraiture, monuments to famous men, glimpses of arcadia, and the loves of the gods.

The exhibition is made possible in part by the Gail and Parker Gilbert Fund.

Additional support has been provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The exhibition has also been supported by Franklin Industries Inc.

The exhibition was organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Réunion des Musées Nationaux, Paris, the Musée du Louvre, Paris, and the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm.