Artibus et Historiae no. 26 (XIII)1992, ISSN 0391-9064
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JOHN T. PAOLETTI - Wooden Sculpture in Italy as Sacral Presence
Sculpture in wood, painted to reproduce the physical realities of the forms which it represented, seems to have stylistic conventions which are remarkablyconsistent over time and differ from those of marble and bronze sculpture. The devotional and liturgical roles for which such sculpture was created provide both a reason for its conservative style, especially during the fifteenth century, and a possible explanation for the late integration of bronze sculpture into decorative programs for interior spaces. Documentary and textual sources indicate that the placement of wooden sculpture and its use as part of liturgical drama gave it an active functional role to play in the religious life of the culture for which it was made. Critical and historical evaluation of wooden sculpture must, therefore, take these factors into account in any discussion of style and context.