19th CENTURY SCULPTURE, by Maurice Rheims, translated by Robert E. Wolf (Abrams, $37.50). Of all the 19th-century sculptors, only Canova, Carpeaux, and Rodin are widely remembered - genuises that they were - and the rest most often forgotten. Maurice Rheims takes into account not only the geniuses, but the rest as well. Rheims recognizes fully the public function of 19th-century sculpture, whether for a public square or a Victorian living room. He devotes chapters not only to the major sculptors and the main movements (including the Neo-classic, Romantic, Populist, and Symbolist) but also to the prevailing genres or subject matter - historical and military subjects, portraits, caricature, funerary art. Especially fascinating for what they show of Victorian sensibilities are his chapters on sensualism, kitsch, the unusual and the bizarre. Although Rheims relates the movements and genres mainly to French culture, the parallels to British and American culture are readily apparent and his illustrations - some 633 with 10 in color - come from all over Western Europe and America. This work will bring grandma's old, half-forgotten statues out of the attic.
MASTERPIECES OF WESTERN SCULPTURE: From Medieval to Modern, by Howard Hibbard (Harper & Row, $35). Although picture books surveying the history of art abound for armchair connoisseurs and diletantes, not all the noteworthy. Especially good, however, is Howard Hibbard's Masterpieces of Western Sculpture. Through 148 beautiful full-color plates and 57 additional black-and-white illustrations, Hibbard chronicles the history of Western sculpture from the 10th century polychromed crucifix of Archbishop Gero in Cologne cathedral to Christo's "Running Fence" meandering across the hills of California. Each of the plates has its own note, and each period covered by the plates has a readable, intelligent introduction. The book is a joy to behold and to read.
HENRY MOORE: Sculpture and Environment, photographs and text by David Finn; commentaries by Henry Moore (Abrams, $55). Henry Moore probably has more sculptures set in public places than any other conteriporary artist. David Finn, acutely sensitive to Moore's art and interested in the placement of his statues, has photographed a representative sampling of Moore's sculpture found all over the world - England, Japan, Denmark, Australia, the United States - in front of museums and coprorate office buildings, on university campuses and in public squares. With his photographs at hand, usually one in full color and several taken from different angles in black and white, he then discusses the placement of each sculpture and its surrounding environment. Moore himself, looking at Finn's photographs, also makes brief comments about the placement of his work, what he likes and what he doesn't like. The two views, of the admirer and the artist, are not only useful to an arthitect or city-planner interested in incorporating sculpture into his plans, but also give the general reader a greater awareness of Moore's work.