"Bronze", long celebrated for its durability and the wide range of effects that it offers, has been prized as an artistic material in many parts of the world throughout the ages.
Magnificent bronze sculptures from ancient times have emerged unscathed after millennia on the sea-bed, and the material has been used for works on all scales, from the minute to the monumental.
This sumptuous catalogue, published to accompany a landmark exhibition at the Royal Academy, examines bronzes earliest beginnings in North Africa, the Middle East and China, as it left behind tools and weaponry to become a fine-art material.
Leading authorities chart the virtuosity of artists in ancient Greece and Rome; later developments in Asia and Africa; bronzes great flowering in the European Renaissance in the hands of such figures as Ghiberti, Donatello and Cellini; and its use in the modern era by artists from Rodin and Picasso to Beuys and Bourgeois. A unique testament to the works of art that one medium has inspired, "Bronze" contains lavish colour plates of over 150 masterworks arranged chronologically to take the reader on a voyage through time, tracing the work of bronze sculptors, casters and chasers through the centuries.