Small-scale bronze sculpture is one of the many kinds of visual art that artists and their public have consistently regarded as marginal specialities. Ordinarily consisting of a figure somewhere from ten to eighteen inches high—though the figure is a bit less the dominant form here than in traditional sculpture as a whole—it has tacitly been treated as a subject of minor interest, a passion for the few. Large collections of superior examples are found only in a few places, notably the Bargello in Florence and the Louvre. Another is Vienna, and it is thus an unusual occasion for us to be able to see seventy-five of the finer such sculptures from the Vienna Museum on a tour of Washington, Chicago, and Los Angeles.[1] A minor, yet powerful reason for the “obscurity” of this art is that it is literally too dark to see well. Typically dark brown or near black, the works...

 
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