Finding Lost Wax

The Disappearance and Recovery of an Ancient Casting Technique and the Experiments of Medardo Rosso


Volume Editor:
This book is the first scholarly account of how lost wax casting was forgotten and rediscovered around the world thanks to transmission of know-how by Italian founders in the late nineteenth century. Against this backdrop, Medardo Rosso, an Italian sculptor living in Paris, overturned rules of the technique through creative approaches to serial reproduction. His unusual casts prefigured experiments in casting in the modern era. The volume includes art-historical essays by distinguished scholars on the revival of lost wax casting in different countries and a case study of Rosso’s Bambino ebreo series, including scientific analysis and conservation studies.

Podcast interview with Sharon Hecker about this book: #HumanitiesMatter - Remodeling a Lost Wax Technique: The Methods of Medardo Rosso (

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Sharon Hecker, Ph.D. U.C. Berkeley (1999), is a leading authority on Medardo Rosso. Her books include A Moment’s Monument: Medardo Rosso and the International Origins of Modern Sculpture and Postwar Italian Art History Today: Untying ‘The Knot’.
"The book is a mine of useful material. It is the best publication in English on the revival of lost-wax casting in the closing decades of the nineteenth century; it is an essential source for archival detail on Rosso; and it points a way forward for the use of scientific analysis in the study of variant casts."
Patrick Elliott in Sculpture Journal

"... the book is a solid addition to the growing literature of technical art history’s marriage to traditional art history, with interesting insights into Rosso’s working practice."
Jane R. Becker in Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide
Contributors: Sharon Hecker, Francesca Bewer, Ann Boulton, Federico Carò, Penelope Curtis, Francesca Caterina Izzo, Andrew Lacey, Elisabeth Lebon, Massimiliano Marafon, Luc Megens, Austin Nevin, Max Rahrig, Lluïsa Sarries i Zgonc, Ronald E. Street, Yasuko Tsuchikane, Rebecca Wade, Veronika Wiegartz
Art historians, historians of material culture, history, technique, museum curators and conservators, conservation scientists, academic libraries, undergraduates and graduate students, sculptors, foundries, educated laymen, art collectors, dealers, auction houses.
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