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The Case of Giovanni Bastianni-II: A Hung Jury?

Anita F. Moskowitz
Artibus et Historiae
Vol. 27, No. 54 (2006), pp. 201-217
Published by: IRSA s.c.
DOI: 10.2307/20067129
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20067129
Page Count: 17
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The Case of Giovanni Bastianni-II: A Hung Jury?
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Abstract

The view that Giovanni Bastianini (1830-1868) participated in the deceptions regarding his work sold as Renaissance, was questioned in my recent article in this journal (no. 50, 2004). Based in part on the discovery of a damaging letter regarding Bastianini from Alessandro Foresi to the French dealer Davillier, Jeremy Warren has contended that the sculptor did, indeed, act with knowing fraudulent intent. In addition to questioning the validity of Warren's conclusions, this paper argues that Bastianini's generally uncontested reputation as a forger has created a barrier to assessing those sculptures that move beyond the historicizing, while also impeding the search for the names and styles of other masters working in stile. Scholars and curators who assume the important role of connoisseurs of Renaissance sculpture would do well to cast a less jaundiced eye on their collection of "forgeries" and related sculptures.

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