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Sculpture - Stone
After all, if we want to say something is permanent, we say that "it is set in stone". Thus artists have always turned to stone if they wanted to craft something that would stand the test of time. Stone sculptures are also common because individuals will build stone structures so to carve relief sculptures into the walls of these buildings as permanent decorations.
Types of Stone Used by Sculptors
When making a stone sculpture the artist needs to start by choosing the type of stone they wish to use. Every stone has different properties, from the look of the stone to the way it reacts to different tools. Marble is the most famous because it was used to create many of the most famous Italian sculptures. It’s known for its white colour, but this is just part of the story. Marble also comes in pink, green, and shades of black.
Sandstone was very common in the ancient world. Sculpting relief sculptures in sandstone is easy.
Granite is known for the fact that it isn’t one colour but invariably comes packed in an array of colours.
Basalt is a dark and flat coloured stone that is most famous as the building material used to create the giant heads that populate Easter Island.
Important Stone Sculptures
Every student of art should know at least one stone sculpture, the Venus of Willendorf, a nude female figure. The Venus of Willendorf is one of the oldest pieces of artwork we have. It has been dated somewhere in between 25,000 and 28,000 BC. It was found near Willendorf Austria in a site that is thought to date back around 50,000 years. The “Venus” part of the name comes from the fact that academics have long considered the piece to be religious, something like an act of devotion targeting a goddess of fertility. This belief comes from the curvy nature of the body of the Venus of Willendorf artwork. Still, because it’s thirty thousand years old, we’ll never be able to say for certain just why this sculpture was made. It’s mysteries like this that make art history so beguiling.