Inganno - the art of deception : imitation, reception, and deceit in early modern art


    • Gregory, Sharon
    • Hickson, Sally


Inganno - the art of deception : imitation, reception, and deceit in early modern art

edited by Sharon Gregory and Sally Anne Hickson

(Visual culture in early modernity)

Ashgate, c2012

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Includes bibliographical references and index



The essays contained in this volume address issues surrounding the use, dissemination, and reception of copies and even deliberate forgeries within the history of art, focusing on paintings, prints and sculptures created and sold from the sixteenth century to the eighteenth century. The essays also probe contemporary sensibilities about the art of "inganno," or deception, sometimes even viewed as pleasurable deception, in the making and viewing of copies among artists and their audiences. Through specific case studies, the contributors explore the fine line between imitations and fakes, distinctions between the practice of copying as a discipline within the workshop and the willful misrepresentation of such copies on the part of artists, agents and experts in the evolving art market. They attempt to address the notion of when a copy becomes a fake and when thoughtful repetition of a model, emulation through imitation, becomes deliberate fraud. The essays also document developing taxonomies of professionals within the growth of the "business of art" from the workshops of the Renaissance to the salons and galleries of eighteenth-century London. As a whole, this volume opens up a new branch of art historical research concerned with the history and purpose of the copy.


  • Contents: Introduction, Sharon Gregory and Sally Anne Hickson
  • Artistic devotion: imitations of art and nature in Italian Renaissance writings on art, Steven Stowell
  • 'Quel nuovo studio e fatica': Pontormo, DA rer and other prints, Sharon Gregory
  • 'Ad ogni maniera': Tintoretto imitates Veronese?, Allison Sherman
  • Imitation, emulation, forgery? Copies of Albrecht DA rer's Feast of the Rosegarlands, Andrea Bubenik
  • How copies may shed light on the reception of Raphael, Cathleen Hoeniger
  • Finding, fixing, and faking in Ghiberti's third Commentarii, Lynn Catterson
  • 'Antichissimo': authority, authenticity and duplicity in the 16th-century Roman antiquities market, Sally Anne Hickson
  • Giuseppe Orologi's Inganno - the art of deception and the deception of art, Sally Anne Hickson
  • 'Such is picture dealing': Noel Joseph Desenfans (1745-1807) and the perils of purchasing in 18th-century London, Kristin Campbell
  • Index.

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