Rome: Detail of Michelangelo’s Moses, Adolphe Braun
Adolphe Braun
Rome: Detail of Michelangelo’s Moses
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Adolphe Braun

Rome: Detail of Michelangelo’s Moses, ca. 1875

48.6 x 36.1 cm
63.8 x 47.8 cm
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Acquired in 2011 with support from the Kulturstiftung der Länder and the Hessischer Kulturstiftung, property of the Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.
Not on display


About the Work

Owing to their immovability, sculptures were gratifying motifs for photographers. Every shot nevertheless posed many challenges. Meticulous calculations of the light were necessary to capture the plasticity of the threedimensional works in the best way possible. Depending on the surface structure, various reflections might appear, and they were to be avoided. In the case of Michelangelo’s famous Moses from the tomb of Pope Julius II in Rome, Adolphe Braun concentrated on the upper body. The indeterminate dark background sets off the silhouette and three-dimensional forms of the white marble to particularly striking effect. To conceal the niche behind the sculpture, the photographer applied an asphalt

solution to the negative. He moreover retraced certain details—for example the prophet’s left eye and the tip of his beard—with grey ink to heighten the contrasts.

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