These 10 Most Famous Marble Statues Will Surprise You By Their Story

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There was a time in the past when prehistoric humans were creating images in the caves to make their records because it was the need of an hour[Exciting Discovery In the Field of Cave and Rock Art From 2011 to 2020]. Later when humans became more civilized and kingdom started forming, then the need for art started taking shape because kings and priests were interested to create their replicas on the walls for the upcoming generation.

When humans became the master in creating pictures on walls then they started making sculptures by pruning Marble stone. It started with creating the statues of God, like the one which was placed in the temple of Parthenon, Greece. Some time artists captured each and every human expression in such a way that these sculptures became so lively. Out of those some sculptures became the masterpiece of art.

Leda and the Swan – 1800 A.D

Leda and the Swan is a story and subject in art from Greek mythology in which the god Zeus, in the form of a swan, seduces Leda.

The stories of Greek mythology have entertained people for thousands of years, and even today, the surviving stories have ensured that the names of many figures are still well known.

Zeus was married to Hera, his third immortal wife, but despite being married, Zeus would have many relationships with mortals and immortals, bringing forth a plethora of offspring.

One such relationship was that of Zeus and Leda, a relationship that also produced children for the supreme god.

This Italian Sculpture present at Jai Vilas Palace, Gwalior, India. Belonged to one of the many princely states in India during the time of the British rule.

[This Greek God Has Been Guarding The Delos For Over Two Millennia]

T-Shirt leda and the Swan
Burn Me Today

“DAVID “ by Micheal Angelo – 1500 A.D

David is a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture created in marble between 1501 and 1504 by the Italian artist Michelangelo. David is a 5.17-meter (17.0 ft) marble statue of the Biblical figure David.

On 16 August 1501, Michelangelo was given the official contract to undertake this challenging new task. He began carving the statue early in the morning on 13 September 1501 and worked for more than two years on the massive statue. Its replicas perhaps the most sold as an outdoor statue.

A few interesting facts about David

  1. Michelangelo’s David is massive at 17 feet tall and more than 12,000 pounds and sculpted from a single block of white marble.
  2. Unruly protesters flung a chair that broke the statue’s left arm in three spots during an uprising in 1527.
  3. In 1857, reigning Queen Victoria was so taken aback by the nudity of a replica David statue that she ordered a plaster fig leaf to be cast to cover his genitals before he went on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
  4. Michelangelo exaggerated the size of David’s right hand. Some believe it is a reference to a nickname for the biblical David, which means “strong of hand.”
  5. That David’s eyes are flawed went unnoticed for centuries, perhaps due to the statues’ extreme height. However, the 20th-century Digital Michelangelo Project at Stanford University rendered complete images of the statue which revealed that David’s left eye gazes forward while the right eye is focused on some distant spot.
  6. The statue is now suffering from stress fractures caused by the vibrations of scores of tourists filing past.
  7. During World War II, David was entombed in brick to protect it from damage from airborne bombs.

Apollo and Daphne (Bernini) – 1600 A.D

One day Apollo was belittling Eros(also known as cupid) that Eros’s arrows and abilities were worthless compared to his powers.

Eros decided to teach Apollo a lesson that his powers could even control and bring Apollo under its sway.

Apollo and Daphne is a life-sized Elaborate marble sculpture by Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini, executed between 1622 and 1625. Housed in the Galleria Borghese in Rome, the work depicts the climax of the story of Apollo and Daphne (Phoebus and Daphne) in Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

[Do You Know? Apollo the son of Zeus was born on the island of Delos in Mykonos, a famous tourist destination]

Mythe behind Apollo and Daphne

Eros chose two arrows, one of gold and one of lead. Eros shot Apollo with the gold arrow, which caused overwhelming feelings of love and lust in him. Apollo’s gaze fell upon the maiden Daphne, which he then tried to woo.

Eros then shot Daphne with the lead tipped arrow, which caused Daphne to feel nothing but loathing, disgust, and hatred of Apollo.

So, no matter how charming Apollo was, Daphne wanted to flee from him and just be away from Apollo.

This caused Daphne to run away from Apollo, and for Apollo to chase her. When Apollo had trapped her and was going to overtake her, she prayed to her father, the river god Peneus to save her.

“Destroy the beauty that has injured me, or change the body that destroys my life.” Before her prayer was ended, torpor seized on all her body, and a thin bark closed around her gentle bosom, and her hair became as moving leaves; her arms were changed to waving branches, and her active feet as clinging roots were fastened to the ground—her face was hidden with encircling leaves.

Peneus turned Daphne into a laurel tree. Apollo was so heartbroken that he took up leaves from the tree and made them into a crown of leaves, or tiara. This became a constant symbol of Apollo, also portrayed with his crown of laurel leaves in remembrance of Daphne.

The Rape of Proserpina – 1600 A.D

The Rape of Proserpina is a large Baroque marble sculptural group by Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini, executed between 1621 and 1622.

It depicts the abduction of Proserpina, who is seized and taken to the underworld by the god Pluto.

The word “Rape” is the traditional translation of the Latin raptus, “seized” or “carried off”, and does not refer specifically to sexual violence.

Myth Behind This Abduction

Proserpina is the Latin name for the Greek goddess Persephone. Pluto, king of the Underworld, complained to Jupiter that he alone had no wife.

Jupiter promised him Proserpina, his daughter by Ceres, the goddess of grain and of harvests, and with the collusion of Venus, Jupiter and Pluto planned the abduction.

As Proserpina gathered violets and lilies in the valley of Henna in Sicily, Pluto appeared suddenly and carried her off to his kingdom.

Her mother Ceres, not to be consoled, sought Proserpina throughout the world, neglected her sacred tasks of giving grains to the world, and all the crops died.

Finally, Ceres appealed to Jupiter, who told her that her daughter was now Pluto’s queen.

Proserpina was restored to her mother, but because she had eaten the pomegranate, of which seven seeds were found in her mouth, Jupiter decreed that she should spend half the year in the upper world and the other half in the lower.

Winged Victory of Samothrace, Louvre, Paris – 200 B.C

The winged goddess of Victory standing on the prow of a ship overlooked the Sanctuary of the Great Gods on the island of Samothrace. The statue is 244 centimeters (8.01 ft) high.

This monument was probably an ex-voto offered by the people of Rhodes in commemoration of a naval victory in the early second century BC. 

This exceptional monument was unearthed in 1863 on the small island of Samothrace in the northwest Aegean.

The goddess of Victory (Nike, in Greek) is shown in the form of a winged woman standing on the prow of a ship, braced against the strong wind blowing through her garments.

With her right hand cupped around her mouth, she announced the event she was dedicated to commemorating. 

The sculpture is one of a small number of major Hellenistic statues surviving in the original, rather than Roman copies. Only Winged Victory’s right-wing isn’t original and was added by mirroring the left-wing.

Winged Victory of Samothrace, Louvre, Paris - 200 B.C
Winged Victory of Samothrace, Louvre, Paris – 200 B.C

Laocoön and His Sons, Vatican Museums – 200 B.C

The statue of Laocoön and His Sons has been one of the most famous ancient sculptures ever since it was excavated in Rome in 1506 and placed on public display in the Vatican Museum in Vatican City, where it remains.

It is very likely the same statue praised in the highest terms by the main Roman writer on art, Pliny the Elder.

The figures are near life-size and the group is a little over 2 m (6 ft 7 in) in height, showing the Trojan priest Laocoön and his sons Antiphantes and Thymbraeus being attacked by sea serpents.

Various dates have been suggested for the statue, ranging from about 200 BC to the 70s AD.

Amazing facts

When the statue was discovered, Laocoön’s right arm was missing, along with part of the hand of one child and the right arm of the other, and various sections of the snake. The older son, on the right, was detached from the other two figures.

 In about 1510 Bramante, the Pope’s architect, held an informal contest among sculptors to make replacement right arms.

In 1906 an archaeologist, art dealer and director of the Museo Barracco, discovered a fragment of a marble arm in a builder’s yard in Rome, close to where the group was found.

It remained in their storerooms for half a century. In 1957 the museum decided that this arm—bent, as Michelangelo had suggested—had originally belonged to this Laocoön, and replaced it.

Venus de Milo 100 B.C

This graceful statue of a goddess has intrigued and fascinated since its discovery on the island of Melos in 1820.

Created sometime between 130 and 100 BC, slightly larger than life size at 203 cm (6 ft 8 in) high

Is it Aphrodite, who was often portrayed half-naked, or the sea goddess Amphitrite, who was venerated on Melos?

The statue reflects sculptural research during the late Hellenistic Period: classical in essence, with innovatory features such as the spiral composition, the positioning in space, and the fall of the drapery over the hips.

The goddess originally wore metal jewelry — bracelet, earrings, and headband — of which only the fixation holes remain.

Marble Statue Group of the Three Graces 100 B.C

These young girls, linked in a dance-like pose, represent The Three Graces: Aglaia (Beauty), Euphrosyne (Mirth), and Thalia (Abundance).

They bestow what is most pleasurable and beneficent in nature and society: fertility and growth, beauty in the arts, harmonious reciprocity between men.

In mythology, they play an attendant role, gracing festivals, and organizing dances.

This carefully calculated frieze-like composition is typical of classicizing art of the second and first centuries B.C.

The Townley Discobolus – 500 B.C

The Townley Discobolus, a Graeco-Roman copy of a fifth-century BC bronze statue of an athlete stooping to throw the discus, was excavated at Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli near Rome in 1791.

The head is wrongly restored and should be turned to watch the discus and seems clear that the head is not original to the torso.

Nevertheless, it is unquestionably antique and has been matched with consummate skill. It is probable that the two statues which provided the head and torso originated from the same quarry at Carrara.

The Yakshi – 300 B.C

The Mauryan Empire reached its zenith under the Hindu emperor Ashoka (304-232 BC), who was responsible for a flowering of Buddhist art and architecture across India in the third century BC.

This Yakshi, or female nature divinity, often called the Venus de Milo of India, is a masterpiece of freestanding Ashokan sculpture; made of Chunar sandstone, she holds a yak’s tail flywhisk (cauri), a sign of honor.

This piece, dated broadly to c.300 BC-AD 100 and found at Didargani, Bihar possesses a powerful monumentality and voluptuous realism, with sensuous folds of flesh and an hourglass waist.

The slight bend in the impression of graceful motion, which some observers have described as the ‘gait of a swan’, while the fine gloss of contrasts starkly with the meticulously carved details of her adornments.

More Marble Outdoor Statues May Interest You

References

http://musee.louvre.fr/oal/victoiredesamothrace/victoiredesamothrace_acc_en.html

https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/256403

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