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Book details
  • SubGenre:Art
  • Language:English
  • Pages:342
  • Format:Paperback
  • Paperback ISBN:9780692072332

Striking Figures

Figurative Door Knockers from the Renaissance to the Twentieth Century

by Roy Ysla

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Striking Figures is an art book which examines over 200 historic door knockers, ranging from antiquity to the twentieth century. It is divided into 3 sections. The first explores the forging and casting techniques utilized to create a menagerie of real and fantastic animal door knockers. The history of this art form, symbolism, national, cultural and stylistic differences are explored. The second section of the book catalogs over 200 wrought iron and bronze pieces, giving the dimensions, countries of origin, estimated ages, provenances, references and forging techniques involved. Each door knocker is identified with a photograph. In the third section each of the 227 pieces is photographed in large format which allow metal artists, blacksmiths and other interested readers to examine each one in detail.
The book, Striking Figures, is a compilation of over 200 antique wrought iron, bronze and brass figurative door knockers spanning the last 400 years. The origins are explored and detailed information is listed for each piece, including size, country of origin, provenance and estimated age. The text is complemented with over 500 photographs, large and small. The forward is written by Tom Latané, master metalsmith. Door knockers are enduring examples of applied art, dating back to antiquity and affirming the human need for adornment and meaning in everyday objects and demonstrating that both art and function can coexist in harmony. In today's busy world there is often little time to stop and consider the aesthetic in little quotidian objects. This book offers such an opportunity.These small, but alluring sculptural objects, are enticing to see and touch and reflect an artistic range from delightful folk art motifs to masterpieces of technical virtuosity and visual pleasure.
About the author
Roy Ysla is a metal artist with studios in Kensington, Maryland and Verbania, Italy. He creates large-scale sculptural pieces and small-scale jewelry. He holds an MFA in studio art and has exhibited his metalwork in the United States and Europe. He has taught English in high school and history in college. Additionally, he has worked as a translator and a physician. His lifelong interest in the history of the metal arts as well as his many years of wandering in and out of countless museums, galleries, obscure antique shops, workshops, and auction houses has lead to his collection of more than 200 historic figurative door knockers, which is documented in this book. This book is an homage to the many anonymous blacksmiths, locksmiths, and sculptors who created these works. With this volume, he invites you to page back through history and enjoy these unique and largely under-appreciated small-scale sculptures known as door knockers.
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