Characteristics of Marble Sculptures

Marble indefinitely is a commonly used material when it comes to sculpting. The transparency, clarity and finish have made it a popular choice among sculptors. 

It happens to be a favourite solution of many Greek artists like Phidias, Myron, Polykleitos, Praxiteles, Donatello, Michelangelo, Bernini, Canova and Rodin as their successors. 

During the Bronze period, marble was highly valued by sculptors and architects with the invention of metal tools. 

Sculptors are fond of marble because it’s simply easy to work with; initially, it’s soft, but it becomes rigid and dense with time. This makes it long-lasting. It’s also available in multiple shades and patterns. 

So why wouldn’t anyone invest in this three-dimensional form of art?

 

ⓒ www.designtoscano.com
ⓒ www.designtoscano.com

 

Using Marble For Sculptural Specific Manufacturing 

Marble is produced due to a process called metamorphism, which means a gradual change in form. And so, it is a metamorphic rock of recrystallized Calcite or Dolomite.  

It is produced due to the changes by intense pressure or heat composition of sedimentary or igneous rocks. These rocks already exist on the earth’s surface. Therefore, Marble is as natural as it can get! 

Have you ever taken a whole 360-degree tour of a Marble sculpture? Stopped and noticed all of it’s details?

If you have, you’ll notice that it’s usually glowing. Unless it’s not taken care of, we’ll keep that topic for another day!

 

ⓒ blazepress.com
ⓒ blazepress.com

 

Because of its low refractory calcite refraction index, Marble stone allows light to pass through it, just like the human skin does. This results in the fancy “waxy” look that gives a figurative perception to the rock. Luxurious, isn’t it? 

A sculpture’s perfection lies in its details. The specifications, the way it’s carved, the idea behind it, everything enhances its overall look. And, Marble as a rock has a much finer grain in comparison to the next best substitute material, limestone

This makes it much easier for the sculptor to render the smallest of details. Which is why, Marble sculptures look so realistic!

 

ⓒ Pinterest
ⓒ Pinterest

 

Major Marble Types

The most common types of commercial Marbles are Pentelic, Parian, and Carrara. The most common form was the close-grained golden-toned Pentelic variety. 

The Parthenon of Athens, also known as The Elgin Marbles, is carved with the Pentelic. 

Another common type is the Parian Marble, a transparent white stone with a coarser grain obtained from the Naxos and Paros Aegean islands. The revered Mausoleum at Halicarnassus was built using this type.

 

ⓒ Pinterest
ⓒ Pinterest

 

The third type, pure white Carrara Marble found in Carrara and Pietra Santa in Tuscany, was used for the masterpiece; Apollo Belvedere

A lesser-known fact is that the Carrara was Michelangelo’s favourite! 

While most Marble stones are pure white, most sculptors avoided opting for this look because it made it impossible to see the gentle curves of the body or the drapes of a woman. Hence, most Greek sculptures were off-white in colour.

 

ⓒ CHRISTOPHER SIWICKI
ⓒ CHRISTOPHER SIWICKI

 

Ofcourse, Marbles vary in shape and size because of their composition and texture. 

 

Marble Finishing

A fascinating fact is that from Early Classical Greek Art onwards, no Marble sculpture was complete before it was painted and decorated. 

A general rule was that statues or reliefs located high up where details were less visible to viewers were decorated with more non-naturalistic colour pigments. 

Whereas those sculptures that were positioned closer to the observer’s eye were painted with more realistic-looking colours. 

 

ⓒ ASSOCIATION OF ART HISTORIANS 2009
ⓒ ASSOCIATION OF ART HISTORIANS 2009

 

Features like the eyes, eyebrows, eyelids and hair were coloured, and the skin was left up to the painter to decide! And voila, that explains the make of a sculpture. 

 

ⓒ www.howlnewyork.com
ⓒ www.howlnewyork.com

 

Before you go away, go check out our exquisite collection of all things Marble at Marblising.

We assure to produce something remarkable out of anything you’d like custom-made! Hurry! 

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