Making Marvels

Science and Splendor at the Courts of Europe

Edited by Wolfram Koeppe

View Inside Price: $65.00


November 26, 2019
320 pages, 9 1/2 x 11
320 color illus.
ISBN: 9781588396778
Hardcover

Published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Distributed by Yale University Press

Innovation, technology, and spectacle combine in wondrous works of decorative art and furniture that embody the splendor and luxury of the royal courts of Europe

At once beautiful works of art and technological wonders, the objects featured in Making Marvels demonstrate how European royalty from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment signaled their status through their collections of ingeniously crafted inventions. Featuring 150 exemplary objects ranging from mechanical toys to scientific instruments, timepieces to automata, this groundbreaking study brings to life a glorious period when luxury, a quest for knowledge, scientific invention, and political power combined to produce remarkable works of art. More than frivolous playthings, these works inspired technical innovations that influenced a broad spectrum of activities, including astronomy, engineering, and artisanal craftsmanship. 
 
This remarkable volume explores works in a wide range of materials, including precious metals, gemstones, pietra dura, marble, ivory, wood, bone, shell, glass, and paper. The book’s compelling essays address the layered historical context in which these objects were fashioned and gathered into cabinets of wonder at courts throughout Europe; elucidate their complex blending of art and science; and provide fascinating details about the patrons who commissioned them and the specialists who made them.

Wolfram Koeppe is Marina Kellen French Curator in the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
 

EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
(November 25, 2019–March 1, 2020)

Art of the Royal Court
Treasures in Pietre Dure from the Palaces of Europe

Wolfram Koeppe and Annamaria Giusti; With contributions by

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Vienna Circa 1780
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Wolfram Koeppe

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The Silver Caesars
A Renaissance Mystery

Edited by Julia Siemon; With essays by Ellenor Alcorn, Mary

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