Amalie Skovmøller

Amalie Skovmøller

Tenure Track Assistant Professor

Primary fields of research

I deal with art, especially sculptures, in the broadest chronological sense from antiquity to the present day.

I research ancient polychromy, especially the painting of ancient white marble sculptures and the functions and purposes of portraits and sculptures in the Roman Republic and through the Imperial period. I am particularly interested in antique color perception and the multisensory experiences with polychrome sculptures; in physical contexts and as cultural constructions, sculptures as material and social agents, and the manipulation of the materials and the technical processing of them (including in particular marble). I am particularly interested in theories of materiality, colors and light (the sensuality of colors and surfaces) -as bearing elements in the experience of sculptures in relation to space and atmosphere- in ancient as well as recent contexts.


In addition, I work with the reception of antique sculpture, especially in the 18th and 19th centuries. I have worked extensively with the idea of ​​white marble, as a concept and phenomenon, in the formation of the aesthetic-philosophical sculptural concept of neoclassicism. My research is based on analyzes of artistic practices, with a focus on the sculptors' workshop practices and surface textures, and at the same time art criticism based on archival material. I am particularly interested in the monochrome ideal, and the discussion of sculptural polychrome from the 1750s to the late 1800s, and how the neoclassical concept of sculpture affects contemporary art today.

Current research

From 2022-2025, I am involved in "Moving Monuments: The Material Lives of Sculptures from the Danish Colonial Era", developed together with project PI professor in art history Mathias Danbolt and supported by the Novo Nordisk Foundation's Investigator Grant. The project explores the aesthetic and material afterlife of monumental sculpture within the context of Danish colonial history. The empirical starting point is a wide range of public sculptures dated to the 18th and 19th centuries, and my focus will be on the white marble sculptures produced by the Danish sculptor Johannes Wiedewelt (1731-1802) for King Frederik V. I have particular interested in the different types of white marble that Wiedewelt worked in, which came from Carrara in northern Italy and Bergen in Norway, and the networks that made it possible for large blocks to be extracted from the mountains and transported to his workshop in Copenhagen. Exploring Wiedewelt’s marble networks, I will map the extraction, circulation and consumption of different types of white marble throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.

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