Thursday, March 27, 2014

Marble and Veils

Wondering what I would post today, I checked my emails after friend Dino had been working on my computer remotely.   One of the emails was an onsend about beautifully crafted veiled marble statues.  The work is amazing so I set it out below:

This sculpture below, “The Veiled Virgin”, is the work of an Italian artist of the nineteenth century, Giovanni Strazza. 

Think of the epic difficulty of modelling a veil on a face of a material that is among the toughest on the planet, marble (mineral hardness 3 - Friedrich Mohs scale ) . Another problem is that marble has nothing added. It is a sculpture made ​​by subtracting 100 % . 

There are large sculptures that created beautiful marble veils:

Think of the level of difficulty to carve without breaking it:

This 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", but not in the conventional sense of it, and "Freedom of the Spell " (after 1757). It is by Franschesko Kvirolo, the most famous of his works and is made of a single piece of marble and pumice. Kvirolo was the only Neapolitan master who accepted the challenge . Other great sculptors wouldn’t, believing that the stone break into pieces .

Wonder at the texture of skin in the following sculpture by Lorenzo Berdini , which depicts the abduction of Persephone. Look at the finger pressure on the skin. 

The sculptor was only 23 years old when he made it in 1621.

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I had a quick look at some other examples and came across a comment that the depiction of veiled women was a technique called "wet drapery" in English. It was used to overcome taboos on portraying naked women, only men being allowed to be so portrayed.

I don't know that I accept that veiling of women in marble statues was the equivalent of a wet t shirt, notwithstanding that some of the above statues embody an eroticism that they would not have if unveiled.  

Some other examples of veiled statues:

The Veiled Christ, Museo Cappella Sanservo

Detail from The Veiled Christ

By Pietro Rossi

Raffaele Monti — The Sleep of Sorrow and the Dream of Joy

Undine Rising from the Waters, by Chauncey Bradley

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  1. Really Beautiful and amazing sculptures; Looks like designers and craftsmen are so professional in their field. I think it’s really difficult for crafting a veil with marble but you done it beautifully.

    Marble Mantels

  2. Any information regards the technique "wet Drapery"? .. it is mentioned frequently but cannot find any information on the actual steps and process's involved. Also Francesco Queirolo is credited with the Sculpture you present as "Disinganno" ... and maybe there is a translation issue but the piece is not "made" with Pumice ... Ive read that the "net" was alledgedly sculpted by using pumice ,... that of course is patently ridiculous.

  3. The marble veiling is amazing. I do not tire of looking at the various examples. Thanks.


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