Forgery, Replica, Fiction
Temporalities of German Renaissance Art
But Wood shows that over the course of the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, emerging replication technologies—such as woodcut, copper engraving, and movable type—altered the relationship between artifacts and time. Mechanization highlighted the artifice, materials, and individual authorship necessary to create an object, calling into question the replica’s ability to represent a history that was not its own. Meanwhile, print catalyzed the new discipline of archaeological scholarship, which began to draw sharp distinctions between true and false claims about the past. Ultimately, as forged replicas lost their value as historical evidence, they found a new identity as the intentionally fictional image-making we have come to understand as art.
“A remarkably rich, learned, and ingeniously argued history of error, falsehood, referential confusion, forgery, and fraud in an age before fictionality. I am utterly taken aback by both the ambition of this book and the analytical brilliance Christopher Wood displays throughout in pursuing his argument and its truly far-reaching implications.”