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In an attempt to embody his idea of the world around him, an ancient man made one of the very first stone sculptures, later called the Neolithic Venus. This exaggerated, even grotesque depiction of the female body, according to scientists, symbolized fertility, the great Goddess Mother, the eternal symbol of the infinity of life.
The era of great ancient civilizations was also marked by the creation of magnificent stone sculptures, it is enough to recall the powerful Assyrian winged lions and buffaloes, sphinxes and gods of Egypt and amazingly beautiful Roman marble copies of ancient Greek statues, which were mostly made of bronze. Until now, the imagination is shocked by the figure of the winged Nika of Samothrace, although without her head, but over the centuries has not lost her unusual expression.
Sculpture of Nika of Samothrace in the Louvre
In the Middle Ages, stone sculpture was mainly intended to create religious images and capture the images of rulers for centuries. Sculptures of numerous temples, for example, the cathedral of Rouen and Notre Dame de Paris, have survived to this day, but have not preserved the names of their creators.
Statue of David in Florence by Michelangelo
Statues of the Renaissance are striking in the realism of the image and their artistic perfection. The technique of stone processing reached the heights in the famous statue of David by Michelangelo Buonarotti. This ingenious master perfectly knew the human body and no less masterfully owned a chisel. His David is not only perfect, he is executed very realistically, it seems that real blood flows through his marble veins.
Gradually, the sculpture becomes more and more chamber and ceases to be an adornment of only city squares, churches and palaces. Small statues are made for parks and decoration of fountains; more and more products decorate the life of aristocrats and wealthy bourgeois. The stone for such a sculpture is used less and less, mainly marble as the most expensive type of material. Antonio Canova became famous for its sculptural groups of extraordinary beauty.
If we talk about the new time, then the most impressive and innovative are stone statues of Auguste Rodin. His original versions of Kiss made an indelible impression on the audience, striking with the realism of the image and the power of feelings.
The latest time was marked by rapid changes in art, which affected sculpture. New forms and trends arose, and stone sculpture lost the realism of the image, fully consistent with avant-garde ideas about art. Modern materials came into fashion, and stone as an expensive and difficult to process material began to be used quite rarely.
Jose Manuel Lopez CastroJose Manuel Lopez CastroJose Manuel Lopez Castro
New time - new images and technologies. For example, the Spanish sculptor José Manuel Lopez Castro knows how to handle granite and quartz difficult to work as if it were soft clay. His work is simple, unique and very impressive. What will happen in the future with stone sculpture, time will tell.