The Sculptor as Architect

Session sponsored by the European Architectural History Network

Early modern architects were never just architects; they were also painters, carpenters, sculptors, goldsmiths, instrument makers and decorators. In recent years, scholars have dedicated considerable attention to the relationship between painting (and more fundamentally, disegno) and the production and presentation of architecture. But there remains a significant lacuna in the scholarship regarding the intersection between sculpture and architecture, or more broadly, between the facture of artistic objects – carved, cast, molded or poured – and the construction of architectural spaces. 

How did the skills of the goldsmith or sculptor transfer to the production of architecture and vice versa? 

This session invites contributions that consider how the skills inherent in the practices of early modern of sculpture transferred to the production of architecture and vice versa. Possible areas of inquire include: 

  • the production of models and their employment in sculpture and architecture
  • foundry practices and casting techniques that were applied in sculpture, artillery and architecture
  • the training and skills of specific sculptors/founders/architects
  • the relationship between Kleinarchitektur, architectural models and actual buildings
  • material knowledge and the production of sculpture and architecture 
  • the distinction (theoretical and physical) between sculpture and architectural ornament  

Please send proposals by 24 July 2021 to Elizabeth Merrill ( and Nele De Raedt ( Your proposal should include a title, 150-word abstract, and one-paragraph biographical CV.  

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