By the classical period, roughly the 5th and 4th centuries, monumental sculpture was almost entirely composed of marble or bronze; with cast bronze becoming the preferred medium for major works by the early 5th century, many pieces of sculpture that are now only known in marble copies made for the Roman market were originally made...
Marble is a dense, hard stone used for both sculpting and as a building material. It comes in various colors and textures, usually after being weathered by exposure to the atmosphere. Marble has been used since ancient times for sculptures because of its beauty and longevity. Sculptures made from marble do not need to be coated in any way except to clean off any dirt or grease from construction work.
Bronze is a metal alloy consisting of 79%-90% copper and 10%-21% zinc. Bronze was first produced around 1100 B.C. in China and later improved upon in Egypt, Greece, and Rome. It is more resistant to corrosion than iron and can be cast into almost any shape convenient for use. Because of this, bronze became the standard medium for large-scale artwork until the modern era when steel began to replace it.
Bronze sculptures tend to be more realistic than marble ones due to the ability of bronze artists to accurately model human forms.
The Romans, like the Greeks, worked in stone, precious metals, glass, and terracotta, but their finest work was in bronze and marble. However, because metal has always been in great demand for re-use, the majority of surviving Roman sculptures are in marble. Marble is a porous material that absorbs water and bacteria, which can cause deterioration of the sculpture.
Marble was imported from all over the Mediterranean region and even further afield. It was used to build monuments, such as temples and statues, houses, including baths, and public buildings. The most famous example of ancient Rome and its culture is the Colosseum - built out of marble extracted from around the empire.
In addition to being useful for construction, marble was prized for its beauty. Sculptors added detail using tools such as hammers and chisels, creating a more realistic look. They also used color to enhance the appearance of statues, applying paint with brushes and knives.
Some scholars believe that some Roman sculptures may have been made from wood, but this is not proven.
The Romans used stone as a decorative feature in both public and private spaces. They cut symbols into gravestones to honor the dead, and included messages on tombstones for those who lived far away and wanted to share stories or memories with their loved ones. These symbols helped keep spirits up while missing someone very much.
Sculptures made of marble, stone, and clay were popular among Roman artists. Furthermore, the ancient Romans created concrete and employed it to create sculptures. People sculptures were so popular that Roman artists would create a large number of them at the same time, much like a factory.
The earliest known sculptor in Rome was Myron, who is said to have come from Chios in Greece. He is believed to have developed a new type of sculpture which became very popular in Athens. This type of sculpture used proportionate sizes for all its parts - head, torso, arms, and legs - and showed each in its proper relation to the other. Such a sculpture could not be moved because there was no way to re-create the exact proportions between each part.
In about 556 B.C., another Greek artist named Phidias came to Rome. It is said that he was the best sculptor in Athens at the time. He brought with him many new techniques which had been invented by his own hand and also ideas that came from other countries such as Egypt and Italy. One of these techniques was called "polychromy". This means using more than one color to paint a sculpture. Previously, only black or white had been used.
Phidias set up shop in Athens and soon became famous for his beautiful works.
For their enormous sculptures, the Greeks utilized a range of materials, including limestone, marble (which quickly became the stone of choice—particularly Parian marble), wood, bronze, terra cotta, chryselephantine (a mixture of gold and ivory), and even iron. The most popular material used for major sculptures was bronze.
Bronze is an alloy of copper with a small amount of zinc. Although silver has been used in place of copper, this alloy is the basis for almost all modern metals used in equipment that is exposed to heat or chemicals. Bronze has been important to the development of civilization because it is hard enough to use in tools but also rigid enough to make objects that can be finely crafted. Copper is relatively easy to work with because it's so soft, but without adding other elements, it won't stand up to heat or wear-and-tear like bronze will.
Greek sculptors took inspiration from real people to create their art. They started with a rough outline of the body, then added features such as arms, legs, and heads. If the sculpture is going to be painted, they would add colors at this stage too. Finally, they polished the surface to give it a mirror finish.
Statues usually measure between 1 and 2 meters (3-6 feet) high and are commonly placed on pedestals for display or storage.
Sculptures included entire statues, busts (head sculptures), reliefs (sculptures that were part of a wall), and sarcophagi (sculptures on tombs). Sculptures were used by the Ancient Romans to decorate a variety of locations, including public buildings, public parks, and private residences and gardens. They were also used as war trophies and as gifts between allies.
Sculptors had many tools at their disposal, but the most important one was the knife. Used for cutting marble, granite, limestone, and clay, it also served as a tool for scraping excess material off of forms or figures before adding them to their respective places. The ancient Roman sculptor also used his knife to adjust facial features or to remove minor flaws in a piece's execution.
The ancient Roman sculptor worked mostly with soft materials such as clay or wax. To create a sculpture out of hard materials such as stone, the artist would first need to mold the sculpture into a rough shape. Next, he would add more detailed elements such as hair, eyes, and clothes. Finally, he would polish the sculpture until it was smooth and shiny.
In addition to being decorated with fine art, sculptures also played an important role in educating people about history and mythology. Sculptures depicted events from Roman history and mythologies, which helped people learn more about themselves and their world.
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