Version classiqueVersion mobile

Middle Ages without borders: a conversation on medievalism

Tommaso di Carpegna Falconieri
Pierre Savy
Lila Yawn

e) A Disneyland of death: history and spectacle at Forest Lawn Memorial-Park, Glendale, California

3) Replicating Michelangelo: anti-modern and postmodern monuments in Los Angeles and Paris

James Fishburne

Texte intégral

1Replicas have long been relegated to the realm of kitsch. However, they form a vital component of Michelangelo’s legacy, as they have helped make him a synecdoche for Old World artistic achievement. This paper analyzes two prominent examples of Michelangelo re-creations—one in California and the other in Paris—in order to draw conclusions about how his corpus has been mobilized for differing purposes yet with surprisingly similar outcomes. The world’s largest collection of full-scale marble replicas of Michelangelo sculptures is located at Forest Lawn Memorial-Park in Glendale, California. These statues, which include the Vatican Pietà, Moses, and David, among others, were produced in Florence in the 1920s and 1930s. Their production and export were facilitated by a government that was promoting Italian culture at home and abroad. Created at the height of modernism, they are testaments to conservative artistic values and anti-modern tastes. Michelangelo’s Dying Slave is housed in the Musée du Louvre, while twelve copies of the statue—each an astonishing two-stories tall—adorn the exterior of the Commissariat de Police in Paris’s twelfth arrondissement. Built in 1991 by Manolo Nunez-Yanowski and Miriam Teitelbaum, the structure is conspicuously postmodern. It references the city’s rich cultural heritage, while simultaneously appearing to comment on mass production. There is great power in the ubiquity provided by these and other replicas. This paper considers how they impact the visual field, alter cognitive experiences, and shape the canon of Western art.


Forest Lawn Museum Director

© Publications de l’École française de Rome, 2021

Licence OpenEdition Books

Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search