The Sculptor's Funeral

By Jason Arkles

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Category: Visual Arts

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The Sculptor's Funeral is the only podcast dedicated to figurative sculptors living and working today. Art history, tech talk, news, and interviews for those working in the Western European tradition of figurative sculpture, along with a social media forum and listener mail/questions/comments make this podcast required listening for any sculptor who knows the Fine Arts aren't dead, they just smell a little funny.

Episode Date
Episode 82 - The Road to Hellenism, Part II
Praxiteles and Lysippos - the two giants of 4th century Greece, and they are both covered in this episode. Learn what happened to the first classical nude female statue! Learn why eight heads are better than seven! And does Alexander succeed in Making Attica Great Again? Find out here.
Mar 28, 2020
Episode 81 - The Road To Hellenism, Part One
If 'Classic' derives from the Greek word for 'Best', then what comes after the time of Classical Athens? Something not as good for Athens, of course. But despite the fall of the world's first democracy, the arts in Athens and all of Greece continued and even flourished. In the first of this two-part episode, we'll cover the sculptors Alkamenes, Kresilas, and Skopas. In the second part, look out for Lysippos and Praxiteles.
Jan 26, 2020
Episode 80 - Polykleitos
In this episode. Jason discusses the sculpture of Polykleitos and the ideas behind them. One of the most celebrated sculptors in history, Polykleitos devised a new formula for the creation of figurative sculpture, known as the Kanon, which set the standard for generations of Greek sculptors following in this giant's wake. Want to be a Classicist in sculpture? The Kanon of Polykleitos is Classicism 101.
Nov 10, 2019
Episode 79 - The Parthenon
In this follow-up on the episode concerning the Greek sculptor Phidias, we take a look at the sculptural program of Greece's most famous structure, the Parthenon: why they were made, what they meant then, and why they have remained relevant - and even controversial - right up to our own day.
Mar 10, 2019
Episode 78 - The Golden Age
Vision, talent, will, and money - the perfect combination for a Golden Age in sculpture. It's only happened a small handful of times, and it happened first in 5th Century BC Greece. In the first of a series of episodes covering this period, Jason discusses well-known landmarks of Classical Greece such as the Riace Bronzes, the Discus Thrower, and the life and work of the greatest of Old Masters - Phidias.
Dec 29, 2018
Episode 77 - The Rise of Athens
What did it take to move Greek culture forward into the Classical period from the Archaic? Just a few victorious battles against impossible odds, unexpected and fantastic wealth, military and political genius, and... - oh yeah, the complete destruction of Athens. Learn how luck, will, disasters, and mayhem strong enough to wipe the archaic smile off any Greek's face kickstarted the greatest era of Greek civilization. 
Nov 30, 2018
Episode 76 - Naissance
Renaissance means 'Rebirth'. But we don't hear much about the original 'Naissance' in Ancient Greece that gave birth to what we call Classical sculpture. When were the first lifesized bronze figures cast? What were the first civic public monuments? Who invented Contrapposto? Find out here.
Nov 04, 2018
Episode 75 - Why Greece?
In the first of a new series of Sculptor's Funeral episodes focusing on the ancient Greeks, Jason looks at the fundamental question underlying the nature of the entire Western European Tradition of sculpture - Why Greece? Why did it all start there, and why do artists throughout history keep returning there -and not Egypt or Persia or another artistic tradition? It's actually a question with a straightforward answer - Nature. But the origins and motives behind this simple answer are more complex.
Sep 29, 2018
Episode 74 - The Shrine of Democracy
Gutzon Borglum's masterpiece, the Mount Rushmore National Monument... Overblown tourist attraction, or a sculpture for the Ages? Listen to the unlikely story of its creation, and you might decide that somehow it's both.
Jun 02, 2018
Episode 73 - Gutzon Borglum, The One Man War
Who is Gutzon Borglum, you ask? How strange that the sculptor of the Mount Rushmore National Monument in South Dakota is practically unknown, even in the United States. In the first of this two-part episode, we look at the life and work of the man, before he met the mountain.
Feb 19, 2018
Episode 72 - Confederate Statues and the Power pf Propaganda
This episode of the Sculptor's Funeral examines the controversy surrounding the removal of statues from public spaces around the United States. Why are statues commemorating the losing side of a civil war more prevalent than those commemorating the victors of other wars? What is the message they were designed to send - and who sent the message? Jason examines this fascinating case study in public art as propaganda.
Jan 14, 2018
Episode 71 - The Lincoln Memorial
Daniel Chester French's greatest work is arguably the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC. but where does 'greatness' in art come from? Is it given to the artwork by its creator, or is it, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder?
May 23, 2017
Episode 70 - Daniel Chester French
Daniel Chester French is mostly remembered for sculpting the colossal Lincoln on the National Mall in Washington DC, but equally, he was America's master of memorials in the late 19th century. From the Minuteman to the Melvin Memorial, he produced works which helped promote the city beautiful movement far beyond the nation's capital.
Apr 19, 2017
Episode 69 - The World's Fair and the City Beautiful
Is it Paris? Versailles? Venice? ...Chicago, actually! The stunning cityscape you see in  the image was known as the White City, a dreamlike place which existed for a few short years before disappearing - but its legacy lives on in cities and towns all over the United States, part of a phenomenon known as the City Beautiful Movement.
Feb 15, 2017
Episode 68 - Mother of Exiles
 "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me..." ...The American ideals which the Statue of Liberty represents are hard to trump...
Jan 18, 2017
Episode 67 - Interview with Michael Defeo
In this interview, Jason talks with Michael Defeo, a sculptor who has developed dozens of characters for animated features like Ice Age and Despicable Me, using every tool at his disposal, from clay to Zbrush and beyond. But what is 'digital' sculpting? Is it 'really' sculpting? How does it work?  Mike and Jason discuss these questions and more.
Dec 16, 2016
Episode 66 - Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Part Two
In the second half of this two-part episode, we discuss several works by Saint-Gaudens; monuments that in the hands of lesser sculptors would have been standard, run-of-the-mill statues. But in the hands of a genius, commonplaces become masterpieces.
Dec 03, 2016
Episode 65 - Augustus Saint-Gaudens Part One
To tell the story the story of the career of Augustus Saint-Gaudens is to tell the story of American sculpture in the late 19th century. In the first of this two-part biography, we discuss the beginnings of his remarkable career, his unique achievements in low relief, and more.
Nov 15, 2016
Episode 64 - Robert Bodem
One of the most influential instructors in figurative sculpture today, Robert Bodem has been the Director of Sculpture at the Florence Academy of Art since FAA started to offer sculpture in the 1990's. If you have ever wondered just what it is they do at the Florence Academy sculpture department, this interview is for you. Rob talks about his teaching curriculum and methodology, as well as his own work and influences.
Nov 01, 2016
Episode 63 - Harriet Hosmer
Harriet Hosmer was known in her day as a 'Lady Sculptor', an 'Emancipated Woman', and as a leading member of 'The White Marmorean Flock'. What all the meant was that she was a successful, independent sculptor at a time when such a career path was hardly open to women. And today, she is barely known at all... In this episode, find out why her work and life is worth remembering.
Oct 16, 2016
Romanticism Redux
Host Jason Arkles bids you all a Romantic Adieu (Don't worry, it's just the Season Finale) with this rebroadcast of the Romanticism podcast, as well as discusses the Sculptor's Funeral podcast itself and how it's doing, and gives a big thanks to those who have helped it become what it is.
May 01, 2016
Episode 61 - Hiram Powers
The first American sculptor to achieve international fame, Hiram Powers, did so with a statue which was as controversial for its anti-slavery sentiment as it was for its (gasp!) nudity. We know that America eventually overcame the scourge of slavery; but how did 19th century America deal with the scourge of the nude in art?
Apr 24, 2016
Episode 60 - 'Merica
What New World? European settlers on the American continent brought Old World European tastes in sculpture with them from their earliest days, but it wasn't until 1825 that an American-born sculptor, Horatio Greenough, journeyed to Europe to learn how it was done.
Apr 17, 2016
Episode 59 - Brian Booth Craig Part Two - But I Digress
Brian Booth Craig talks a lot. Usually this is not a problem, I can edit an interview into a snappy hour long episode - but what Brian says is so interesting and engaging, I can't help but make another episode from all the off-topic conversation I had with him. Listen in and find out why I think he's one of the most thoughtful and perceptive figurative sculptors we have around these days.
Apr 10, 2016
Episode 58 - Brian Booth Craig
Today's interview on the Sculptor's Funeral has me talking with Brian Booth Craig, one of the leading figurative sculptors of the day. We discuss Craig's unique education and work experience, which led on the path toward producing some of the most original and thought-provoking work in a genre awash in repetitive banality - the female nude.
Apr 03, 2016
Episode 57 - Giovanni Duprè, Part Two
The second part of the dramatic reading from The Autobiography of Giovanni Duprè, in which Duprè receives a crit from Lorenzo Bartolini, is accused of art fraud, and nearly causes the accidental death of his nude model. We've all been there, right?
Mar 27, 2016
Episode 56 - Giovanni Duprè, Part One
The Sculptor's Funeral Theater is back with another dramatic reading! The Autobiography of Giovanni Duprè is the memoir of a man who had to fight every step of the way to achieve his dream of becoming a sculptor. Though written over a century ago, his struggles and his triumphs are familiar to many figurative sculptors and sculpture students today.
Mar 20, 2016
Episode 55 - Raffaello Romanelli
We talk with Florentine sculptor Raffaello Romanelli, sixth generation sculptor and proprietor of one of the most historic sculpture studios in Europe. Through his family's work we can trace the progression from Neoclassicism through Romanticism, Modernism, and right through to the present resurgence of figurative sculpture. 
Mar 13, 2016
Episode 54 - Lorenzo Bartolini
This episode kicks of the exploration of the OTHER 19th century in sculpture - the one occurring outside the milieu of Paris. Lorenzo Bartolini shaped the sculpture of 19th century Italy, evolving the Neoclassicism of Canova into a ethos which sought to seek Beauty in Truth, and Truth in Beauty.
Mar 06, 2016
Episode 53.6 - Canova Redux
The Three Graces. Cupid and Psyche. Napoleon. Everyone knows Antonio Canova, and you either love him or hate him. But - love him or hate him - do you understand him? The Sculptor's Funeral explores Canova's work in the context of the Enlightenment and French Revolution, and finds there is more to Canova than just a sculptor of ideal nudes.
Feb 28, 2016
Episode 53.5 - Neoclassicism Redux
The idea of looking towards Greek art for inspiration wasn't exactly new in the late 18th Century with artists such as Canova and David. Artists had been doing it constantly, and for centuries. And yet, the name we give the dominant style of the late 18th century - Neoclassicism - seems to imply there was. What was so 'Neo' about Neoclassicism? Listen to the podcast and join the Enlightened.
Feb 21, 2016
Episode 53 - What is Plaster?
Plaster - where would we sculptors be without it? As fundamental as this versatile material is to the basic processes of sculpture, how many of us know why plaster does what it does - or what it's even made of? This podcast sheds light on these and other mysteries, and includes an interview with unabashed plaster lover Alicia Ponzio.
Feb 14, 2016
Episode 52 - Sabin Howard Interview
Figurative sculptor Sabin Howard has just been selected to complete the sculptural components of the National World War One Memorial in Washington, DC. In this interview, Howard talks about how he arrived at the concepts behind the sculptures for the memorial (which will include a frieze in bronze over 80 feet long),  and his approach towards his art.
Feb 07, 2016
Episode 51 - Michelangelo and the New Sacristy
 Michelangelo's path to immortality continues to twist and turn in this episode, detailing his time in Florence working on the New Sacristy, a commission for which he worked Day and Night, and from Dawn to Dusk...
Jan 31, 2016
Episode 50 - Michelangelo and the Tomb of Pope Julius
Just because you are the immortal genius Michelangelo doesn't mean you have it easy... This episode explored the trials and tribulations of the commission for the Tomb of Pope Julius II, the the lavishly extravagant commission of the century - that was never meant to be.
Jan 24, 2016
Episode 49 - Tools: If you want something done right....
Today's podcast features interviews of three sculptors - Matt Kindy, Spencer Schubert, and Philippe Faraut - who have found that the best quality sculpture tools are the ones they make themselves. And luckily for us, these sculptors also handcraft their high quality tools in small amounts and make them available to others.
Jan 17, 2016
Episode 48 - "THE" David
...You know which David. You know who created it. But do you know why it was created in the first place, or how it ended up becoming one of the most famous works of art on earth? And what's with the big head?? The Sculptor's Funeral Podcast digs into the David's origins to get a better understanding of Michelangelo's masterpiece, and debunks a few myths along the way.
Jan 10, 2016
Episode 47.6 - Michelangelo, Man and Myth Redux
Happy New Year from The Sculptor's Funeral, everyone! Here's the introduction to Michelangelo episode which aired a year ago - good prep for next week's all new episode about his David.
Jan 03, 2016
Episode 47.5 - From Apprentice to Academy Redux
Happy Holidays! - Enjoy this repeat episode which details the rise of academic institutions in the training of artists.
Dec 27, 2015
Episode 47 -v Verrocchio
The greatest sculptor in Florence between the time of Donatello and the rise of Michelangelo, Andrea del Verrocchio explored figurative composition like no sculptor before him - but his greatest contribution to art might be in the painters he taught  - from Ghirlandaio and Signorelli, to Leonadro da Vinci himself.
Dec 20, 2015
Episode 46 - Desiderio Da Settignano
In a career cut short by an early death, Desiderio Da Settignano nevertheless managed to rival Donatello in relief work, and re-invent the genre of child portraiture in sculpture, bringing the Age of Ugly Renaissance Babies to a thankful end.
Dec 13, 2015
Episode 45 - From Terra Cruda to Terracotta
"I tried to fire my sculpture once, and it blew up in the kiln."  -And thus endeth the exploration of terracotta sculpture for many a clay modeller. But it doesn't have to be that way! In this Shop Talk episode, Jason discusses tips and tricks, principles and practices of modelling figurative work for firing into terracotta.
Dec 06, 2015
Episode 44 - Luca Della Robbia
New kid on the Florentine block Luca Della Robbia didn't have to reinvent the wheel in sculpture, like the sculptors of the generation before him had to; instead, he started with those new wheels and invented the bicycle. Learning lessons from not just sculptors, but from painters and even potters, Luca developed a style, and a genre, all his own. And he did it with Dolcezza.
Nov 29, 2015
Episode 43 - Donatello among the Medici
Cosimo de' Medici - Cosimo Pater Patriae, Father of the Country -was one of the wealthiest, most powerful and most intelligent men in Europe, and had a cantankerous, stick-in-the-mud sculptor as a best friend. This episode explores what made the Medici the Medici, and how a collaboration between secular power and the Renaissance Avant-Garde led to Donatello's striking and controversial David.
Nov 22, 2015
Episode 42 - TRAC 2015
The Representational Art Conference was the largest event of the year for the world of figurative art. Host Jason Arkles speaks with Michael Pearce, Alicia Ponzio, and Poppy Field, all participants in this year's TRAC in different ways.
Nov 15, 2015
Episode 41 - Orsanmichele
Orsanmichele is the unique name of a unique church in Florence, a site many consider to be the most significant in Florence for early Renaissance sculpture. In this episode, we explore the changes in sculpture that took place when sculptors began working not for the glory of God, but for the glory of Guild...
Nov 08, 2015
Episode 40 - Heidi Wastweet
The Sculptor's Funeral interviews medallic artist Heidi Wastweet, a sculptor who has devoted her career to the art of relief sculpture, coins, and medals. Wastweet offers us all a fascinating glimpse into a branch of the sculpture arts that few of us explore.
Nov 01, 2015
Episode 39.5- Donatello Redux
Donatello - the greatest sculptor of the the really Florentine Renaissance. But why? And how is it that so few of us today know anything about him? The Sculptor's Funeral explores the nature of his genius to show how Donatello practically invented the aesthetic of early renaissance sculpture.
Oct 25, 2015
Episode 39 - Lorenzo Ghiberti and the Gates of Paradise
"They are so beautiful that they would do well for the gates of Paradise." That's a pretty high compliment, just for a set of decorative bronze doors - but when we find that the doors took 27 years to make, and the compliment is from the mouth of Michelangelo, perhaps there's something to it...
Oct 18, 2015
Episode 38 - The Baptistery Competition
Contests and competitions between artists have been around for as long as art has. But the most famous competition of all time was between sculptors - two giants of the early 15th Century  - and heralded the start of the Florentine Reniassance. But who won? Ghiberti or Brunelleschi? Decide for yourself who is the better sculptor...
Oct 11, 2015
Episode 37 - Renaissance Sculpture's False Start
  The Sculptor's Funeral Podcast Returns for the Second Season! Episode 37 - Renaissance Sculpture's False Start: Ask an art historian for the date of sculpture's  official kick-off in the Florentine Renaissance, they might tell you 1401. Or, they might tell you 1260. Both answers are correct. How can this be? It turns out that early advances in sculptural traditions away from the Gothic idiom had a good early start - which was then abruptly killed off, by a destructive force you'd want to avoid like the Plague...
Oct 04, 2015
Episode 36 - Malvina Hoffman - Yesterday is Tomorrow
Malvina Hoffman straddles the line between old and new sculptural traditions - She studied under Rodin and became a champion of Modernism, but is most remembered for her naturalistic portraiture which documented native peoples from all over the planet. In this Season Finale of the Sculptor's Funeral, Jason explores Hoffman's magnificent and problematic Magnum Opus, the Hall of the Races of Mankind.
Jun 14, 2015
Episode 35 - Sargeant Jagger
In this episode, we trace the short career of Sargeant Jagger - British figurative sculptor and decorated World War One Veteran - the artist who brought Realism to the genre of war memorials, and thereby changed the way nations remember their fallen.
Jun 07, 2015
Episode 34 - Lanteri and Toft
Edouard Lanteri and Albert Toft wrote sculpture manuals in the early years of the 20th century, preserving a great deal of what we know know about 19th Century clay modeling techniques. At first glance these two books appear fairly similar, but dig a little deeper and we find two very different approaches, which may well illuminate the differences  in methodology between older Academic and younger 'Beaux-Arts' styles.
May 31, 2015
Episode 33 - Public Monuments 2.0
What do NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden, The stock market, and Satan's minion Baphomet have in common? Well, besides the obvious, they have all been subjects of a new form of public monument that has arisen in recent decades- one whose creators know that sometimes, it's easier to be forgiven than to get permission.
May 24, 2015
Episode 32 - interview with Mark Jackson
Don't call him a military sculptor - Mark Jackson's career is more than that. But the British Army Major-turned-sculptor brings to his monumental military commissions an insight into his subject few artists can claim to possess. In fact, several of Jackson's public works are a direct reflection of his personal experience, and the various paths his life has followed so far. Jason discusses with Jackson his life and work in this interview, recorded in London in April 2015.
May 17, 2015
Episode 31 - Rodin Part Two: Off the Pedestal
The Burghers of Calais, and the monument to Balzac - two highly controversial monuments commissioned from August Rodin at the height of his powers. Why were they controversial? What did they mean? And how did they forever change how we create and value public art? The exploration of Rodin's work and powerful legacy continues in the second of a two part podcast.
May 10, 2015
Episode 30 - Rodin Part One - The Force of Nature
The Last of the Old Masters, or the first Modern Sculptor? Yes, indeed. Auguste Rodin retains more influence over figurative sculpture today than any other sculptor in history. This first of a two-part discussion on the life and Work of Rodin wonders if figurative sculpture today is under the spell of Rodin, the way the Mannerist Era sculptors were held captive by the mighty Michelangelo.
May 03, 2015
Episode 29 - Charlie Langton, Equestrian Sculptor
An interview with one of the UK's leading equestrian sculptors. Langton is known for energetic portraits of thoroughbred champions, in works ranging from small trophies to monumental scale figures. We also have a conversation with sculptor Mark Jackson, who collaborated with Langton on the stunning Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces National Memorial in England.
Apr 26, 2015
Episode 28 - Alfred Gilbert
One of the greatest English sculptors in history, Alfred Gilbert isn't a household name, but he should be. A champion of the Arts and Crafts Movement whose personal style strongly inflenced the look of Art Nouveau, Gilbert's work stands out for its originality in an Age of Originals that was the late 19th century sculptural scene.
Apr 19, 2015
Episode 27.5 - Cellini Redux
Jason's on vacation this week! Enjoy this rebroadcast of the Benvenuto Cellini episode of The Sculptor's Funeral.
Apr 12, 2015
Episode 27 - The New Sculpture Movement
The Free Style. The New Sculpture. The French Manner. Call it what you want - one thing is certain, the marriage of Victorian English sensibilities and French modelling technique conspired to produce sculpture of a variety and style that England had never seen.
Apr 05, 2015
Episode 26 - The 19th Century Sculptural Renaissance
A new Renaissance, a Golden Age - Whatever you call it, Paris in the second half of the 19th century saw a greater number of master sculptors doing work in more unprecedented ways than the world had seen since the early Florentine Renaissance. This episode takes a look as several sculptors and highlights their individual originalities as well as their relation to each other.
Mar 29, 2015
Episode 25 - Carpeaux and the Second Empire
"Those who have seen it have not forgotten the magnificent tipsy laugh of the figures in the dancing group on the front of the Opera; you seem to hear it, as you pass, above the uproar of the street." Is this remark from Henry James praising Carpeaux's masterpiece The Dance, or damning it? Yes. But whether a person loved or hated the sensual rhythms of The Dance, it and its creator could not be ignored.
Mar 22, 2015
Episode 24 - Young Carpeaux
The crude and arrogant son of a mason, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux became the exuberant sculptural voice of the Second Empire and is the greatest sculptor of the period between Canova and Rodin. Funny how 20 years of art school can change a person... This episode charts the education of Carpeaux in all its twists and turns, revealing that the greatest influence on Carpeaux's work was his own stubborn ambition.
Mar 15, 2015
Episode 23 - Inside the Ecole Des Beaux-Arts
What was life like for a sculpture student of the Ecole Des Beaux-Arts in the 19th century? What did it take to win the coveted Prix de Rome? Jason examines some firsthand accounts of students and critics of the Ecole, highlighting the similarities with - and differences from - contemporary art training in academies and ateliers.
Mar 08, 2015
Episode 22 - Rude Awakening
Francois Rude is likely the most important sculptor you've never heard of... Known today as 'the father of naturalism is sculpture', during his own lifetime he was exiled, denied official recognition, and relegated to a corner of the Parisian sculptural scene - and despite everyone's best efforts, changed the course of art history anyway. Find out what debt we all owe to Francois Rude in this episode of The Sculptor's Funeral.
Mar 01, 2015
Episode 21 - Isn't it Romantic?
Frankenstein's Monster, scenes of disaster and shipwreck, Edgar Allen Poe's 'The Raven'... what could be more Romantic? in this episode, Jason explores the Romantic movement in art, a direct competitor to Neoclassicism, and answers your burning questions as to what flowers and chocolates on St. Valentine's Day have to do with 1st century Greek  literature.
Feb 22, 2015
Episode 20 - Canova
The Three Graces. Cupid and Psyche. Napoleon. Everyone knows Antonio Canova, and you either love him or hate him. But - love him or hate him - do you understand him? The Sculptor's Funeral explores Canova's work in the context of the Enlightenment and French Revolution, and finds there is more to Canova than just a sculptor of ideal nudes.
Feb 15, 2015
Episode 19 - Michelangelo Bronzes?!?
News Flash! Art historians claim to have identified two bronze statuettes as by the hand of Michelangelo! in this current events episode, Jason attempts to examine the hard evidence for this claim, but discovers there isn't any...
Feb 08, 2015
Episode 18 - Houdon
Jean Antoine Houdon was the greatest portrait sculptor in European history. The fidelity to nature he maintained in his work was an inspiration for the Realists of the 19th century and each generation which came after - all the more amazing when we consider that Houdon was a product of the Rococo and the Old Regime!
Feb 01, 2015
Episode 17 - What's So Neo about Neoclassicism?
The idea of looking towards Greek art for inspiration wasn't exactly new in the late 18th Century with artists such as Canova and David. Artists had been doing it constantly, and for centuries. And yet, the name we give the dominant style of that period - Neoclassicism - seems to imply there was. What was so 'Neo' about Neoclassicism? Listen to the podcast and join the Enlightened.
Jan 25, 2015
Episode 16 - The French Connection
Exactly how and when did the focus of European art move from Florence and Rome, to Paris? This episode explores the rise of the French academic system and the forerunners of the Ecole Des Beaux-Arts and the Paris Salon under the absolute monarchy of Louis XIV.
Jan 18, 2015
Episode 15 - Bernini and the Total Work of Art
Bernini Part Two! We discuss how Bernini sought to combine color, sculpture light and architecture into a single, unified, and total work of art. But Bernini went beyond even that, by creating what can be described as 'layered realities' within several of his works resulting in some of the richest and most complex sculptures ever created.
Jan 11, 2015
Episode 14 - Bernini, Part One
Apollo and Daphne, Pluto and Persephone, The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa... Never has a single sculptor produced as many absolute masterpieces as Gianlorenzo Bernini. In this first of a two-part episode, Jason discusses Bernini's biography and his important early works which initiated the Baroque Era of sculpture.
Jan 05, 2015
Episode 13 - Can Art Die?
Following up on the Elgin Marbles debate, Jason explores the nature of public art, and whether or if a work of art can cease to be. How fragmented, altered, abused, displaced, and appropriated can a sculpture be before it is a relic, rather than a sculpture?
Dec 28, 2014
Episode 12 - Christmas Special - Oscar Wilde's The Happy Prince
Taking a break over the holidays, Jason gives a reading of Oscar Wilde's classic short story. Happy Holidays Everyone!
Dec 21, 2014
Episode 11 - News and Notes December 2014
News and Notes! Current events covered in this episode include the lastest chapter in the 2 century old controversy surrounding the elgin marbles, a group of statuary taken from the Parthenon in Greece and brought to England. Also, information on TRAC, or The Representaional Art Conference, taking place in 2015.
Dec 14, 2014
Episode 10 - From Apprentice to Academy
Whether it's at a university degree program or in a small private atelier, most figurative sculptors today train at schools, rather than as apprentices to professional sculptors. But what was the first art school in Europe? why was it created? Your host Jason Arkles details the history of the rise of the academy as a way to train artists in a more varied, eclectic, and intellectually challenging program than traditional apprenticeships allowed.
Dec 07, 2014
Episode 09 - Giambologna
Giambologna's remarkable and prolific career is the missing link between the Renaissance and the Baroque, between Michelangelo and Bernini, and between medieval and modern conceptions of how a sculptor's career is conducted. So many elements which Giambologna pioneered in his work - casting works in editions, jobbing out technical aspects of sculpture to specialists, and the decorative, small scale female nude for popular consumption - are still with us today.
Nov 30, 2014
Episode 08 - Cellini, in his own words
The sculptor of the famous Perseus and Medusa, Benvenuto Cellini, might have been a one-hit wonder if it were not for his other masterpiece, his Autobiography - the first from an artist. In his book, Cellini details the construction and casting of his Perseus - a precious firsthand account of a Renaissance sculptor at work - as well as his exploits as a nasty, brutish, jealous, pandering thug who murdered and raped his way through life. Your shameless host Jason Arkles brings the Autobiography to life in a dramatic reading, complete with cheap sound effects and silly voices.
Nov 23, 2014
Episode 07 - News and Notes November 2014
In this Episode, Jason provides a forum for current events in the world of figurative sculpture. Notable exhibitions in museums around the world, exhibition opportunities for sculptors, and listener mail.
Nov 16, 2014
Episode 06 - Michelangelo, man and Myth
The Divine Michelangelo - The man could do no wrong. ...At least, according to Michelangelo. One of his lasting legacies, apart from his art, is the mythology about his life and work that he himself perpetuated through the commissioning of a biography. But legends aside, Michelangelo still is one of the gresatest artists ever to have lived. This episode discusses his early years as an artist, his training and his influences, his early successes and even his (gasp!) mistakes. he was only human, after all (despite rumors to the contrary).
Nov 09, 2014
Episode 05 - Canons of proportion
The history of canons of proportions and their use by sculptors is discussed in this week's episode. From the Egyptians up to the present day, artists have sought the key to caputring an ideal, or a norm, in human form. As it happens, notions of ideals - and of what we consider normal - change over time, which has given rise to dozens of canons practiced by different artists at different times. Host Jason Arkles discusses several, and how artists have always sought to tie the measurements of the human form to other notions of perfection- be it the sacred, or geometry - or even sacred geometry.
Nov 02, 2014
Episode 04 - Alberti and De Statua
If you sculpt, you probably have a small library of how-to sculpture manuals. Sculptors writing about sculpture goes way back - but how far back? In this episode, Host Jason Arkles discusses the f sculpture manual that was written during the early renaissance by the original Renaissance Man, Leon Battista Alberti. A personal friend of Donatello, Brunelleschi, and Ghiberti, Alberti's treatise on the science and practice of sculpture during the early Renaissance show us just how much in common we have with the past masters- and how much we might be able to learn from them.
Oct 26, 2014
Episode 03 - What is Clay?
Have you heard the old studio saying that clay gets better the more you use it? how and why does that work? In this shop talk eposide, Jason discusses more than you ever wanted to know about clay - its composition, its properties, and how we can alter our own clay to get it to do what we want. be sure to check out the episode's image gallery over at, were there are plenty of images and even a few videos detailing how to recycle your clay and change its workability for the better.
Oct 19, 2014
Ep.02 - Donatello, an Introduction
In this episode, The life and work of Donatello are discussed, in relation to his influence for all European sculpture which followed. Host Jason Arkles makes a case for Donatello as being the single most influential sculptor in the last 700 years.
Oct 12, 2014
Episode 01 - Introduction, and The End
Jason introduces himself, explains what this podcast is all about, and why he calls it The Sculptor's Funeral; and then, discusses the near-death experience of figurative sculpture during the 20th century.
Oct 05, 2014