Sculpture Journal

‘Plaister of Paris is […] a production of Derbyshire’: practical geology and the plaster revolution in British sculptors’ workshops, 1745–1845

Sculpture Journal (2019), 28, (3), 299–314.

Abstract

The growth in the use of plaster in British sculptors’ workshops in the later eighteenth and early nineteenth century is well recorded, although how the material was perceived remains relatively obscure. This article looks at how the material of plaster of Paris was described in the contemporary literature on geology, practical science and manufacturing in this period. Drawing principally on texts known to the sculptor and geologist Sir Francis Chantrey, along with manuscript sources and other material, the article aims to place the growth in plaster sculpture between 1745 and 1845 within the context of British practical geology and manufacturing.

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Author details

Sullivan, M. G.