If you step into the home of any palatial residence or beautiful museum, it is likely that your eyes wall fall upon a sculpture. Whether classical or modern, these contoured beautiful pieces are a result of painstaking efforts, numerous hours and the steadiest hands. In fact, for many of these sculptures, it can be hard to imagine that these were crafted by a human hand at all! Below, we take a closer look at what we think are some of the most impressive stone and marble sculptures crafted throughout history.
A creation from one of the most famous artists in history, Michelangelo’s David towers above its spectators at 17 feet. Constructed between 1501 and 1504, David was originally commissioned to be placed on the roof of Florence Cathedral. However, due to its impressive stature, a circle of notable artists were commissioned, including Leonardo Da Vinci and Sandro Botticelli to decide on where it should be placed.
Eventually, the statue was positioned in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence where it remained until 1873, then it was moved to its current position in Accademia Gallery in Florence. A homage to the famous Biblical figure, David encapsulates the height of Florentine influence and art produced during the Renaissance. It has since become one of the most recognised and famous Renaissance sculptures ever produced, notable for its depiction of a young man’s beauty and strength.
The Venus De Milo is one of the most famous surviving ancient Greek sculptures, and is thought to have been constructed between 130 and 100 BC. There have been discussions as to whom the Venus de Milo is; many believe that the statue depicts Aphrodite, the ancient Greek Goddess of love, beauty and desire, however, other scholars believe that it is the Amphitrite, a lesser known sea Goddess and wife of Poseidon.
Discovered in 1820, on the Greek volcanic island of Milos, this stunning sculpture was found by a local peasant Yorgos Kentratos who found it buried within the ancient city ruins. It was then transported to the Louvre Gallery in Paris where it remains.
Though illustrating a harrowing and emotionally distressing mythological legend, it cannot be denied that Bernini’s execution of this is faultless. The Rape of Proserpina is a large Baroque sculpture created by Bernini’s 23 year old hands, showing details that proves Bernini was an artist beyond his age. Detailing the Abduction of Proserpina, it was commissioned by Cardinal Scipione Borghese and today remains in the Galleria Borghese in Rome. Created in 1621 to 1622, one of the most notable features is Bernini’s ability to realistically depict the softness and supple nature of human grip and flesh in such a hard material like marble, and even Bernini’s own son and biograper Domenico called it an ‘amazing contrast of tenderness and cruelty.’
Here at Wrights of Campden, though we may not be able to recreate these stunning stone sculptures for your home, our talented craftsmen can create a range of other stone features – from classically styled balustrades to fireplaces and worktops. To find out more, simply contact us today.