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7 Exhibits of Real and ‘Imagined’ Collections

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Chapter Summary

Over half of the works discovered during the research for this book were pieces whose small size and luxury character suggest that they originally adorned residential interiors or were exhibits in collections. The majority of these pieces are held in museums, and very few have a documented past going back further than the 19th century. Objects made from alabaster also had the facility to charm with the beauty of their material. The ease with which it could be worked meant that it was not hard to achieve the coveted precision of detail that would dazzle the viewer. Alabaster Kleinplastik modelled on ancient works was also appreciated at the Danish court, where the Mechelen sculptor Gert van Egen made his career. What set them apart from other scientific collections was the layout of the display, which used theatrical props typical of Baroque art, designed to amaze the viewer.

Keywords: Baroque art; Danish court; Kleinplastik; scientific collections

10.1163/9789004277083_009
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