A few texts that have stuck in my mind regarding bronze are Benvenuto Cellini’s autobiography (written 1558-1563) and Michael Cole’s “Cellini’s Blood,” The Art Bulletin 81.2 (June 1999): 215-235. The former includes dramatic descriptions of the heating and pouring of bronze and the artist’s control over nature and relationship with alchemical experimentation. The latter is combines notions of material begetting material through association–bronze and blood, blood and coral–and deftly threads various concepts from mythology and theory to suffuse the works and their creation with a knowledge of their material and the conceptual natures of each material.
Unfortunately, I have not been able to read Cole’s book on Cellini and sculpture, but a review of it can be found HERE. I would be very interested in reading the chapter on Cellini’s work with gold. I include here an image of his famed salt cellar I was able to see in Vienna:
(photo by Andre Durand from HERE)