Amazing carvings made from marble:

This sculpture below, “The veiled virgin” is most impressive! Marvel at the effect of transparency by the 19th century Italian artist Giovanni Strazza.


Imagine the epic difficulty of modeling a veil on a face on a material that is among the toughest on the planet – marble, mineral hardness 3 on Friedrich Mohs scale. Another problem is that nothing is added – it’s a sculpture made by subtracting. To sculpt a figure, you take a block of marble and “simply take everything off that’s not in the figure.”



Other large sculptures that have beautiful marble veils…


ATT000088This is a monument to the father of Prince Raimondo Sangro Antonio (1685-1757)
The Italian name of the monument Disinganno is often translated as “disappointment.”
“Freedom of the spell” (after 1757) of Franschesko Kvirolo is the most famous of his works. Just look at this netting! All made of a single piece of marble. Kvirolo was the only Neapolitan master who accepted the challenge.
Other great sculptors would not, believing that the network would break into pieces.
Amazing master sculptors for centuries, the art of precise cutting of the stone.

ATT000099How about that texture of the skin in the sculpture by Lorenzo Bernini, which
depicts the abduction of Persephone! Look at the finger pressures on the skin.

Look at the finger pressures on the skin. Beyond anything imaginable! How did they do this? Especially 3-4 centuries ago. No computer enhancement, no graphics, crafting of electric tools.ATT0001010

30 thoughts on “Amazing carvings made from marble:

      1. bkpyett Post author

        Most interesting website Hilary showing such a wide range of subjects, styles and materials. Sculpture is such an expensive area to work in.



        Yes, sculpture is expensive and sadly backbreaking, if you like to think big. The heads were bread and butter (I only did them on commission) while I tried to downsize and the children were growing up. Glad you like them.


      3. bkpyett Post author

        Hilary, I’m just discovering comments in the Pending basket, I didn’t realise I was supposed to check there. Sorry about the delayed reply.
        I did enjoy your sculptures, and shall have to read some of your books!


  1. ChristineR

    These artists must have known all there was to know about anatomy, and would have drawn countless sketches of their live models. Selecting the right marble block. Imagine painstakingly taking away all the marble that does not belong, working with ever finer and delicate tools for cutting, scraping, and polishing – knowing one wrong move could ruin everything! The lighting on the Persephone statue is superb, really bringing out the skin textures. Those transparent veils are incredible, and I love the kneeling lady. Thanks for these visons, Barbara.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Martha Kennedy

    I am so amazed by these. Sometimes I have been able to wrap my head around how they might have wrapped THEIR heads around the problem, but then I lose that whole vision. And without cameras, no photo to show them exactly where the shadows are, nothing static to work from, models, drawings, no electric tools… Breathtaking and awe inspiring.

    Liked by 2 people


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