Very often we can read in the news section about disputes concerning construction works executed using poor materials, unsuitable for the required use; for example, marbles with a big capacity of absorption should not be used in external walls, as through the slow humidity absorption they will start falling apart after a few years. Yet the Ancient Roman realized with competence almost 3 millions buildings and lots of them are still to admire.
Antonio Canova, who lived at the turn of the 19th century, is the greatest sculptor of my adoptive land, the Veneto region.
Man of humble origins, he lost his father at a very young age, once his mother remarried after a short time, he was left to the foster care of his paternal grandfather, who raised him very strictly.
Let’s move from the splendour of Rome to the marbles extracted and processed in Italy nowadays.
Our country is producer of the prized marble called “Bianco di Carrara”. This kind of white marble has a low refraction index that allows light to “penetrate” the surface of the stone before being reflected, producing a special brightness.
Italy’s luck is having been the beating heart of the Roman culture, a civilization that throughout its one thousand and two hundred years of history conquered the Mediterranean and all countries on it overlooking.
Ancient Romans’ luck was to have conquered the civilisation with the highest culture: the Greeks.
Every era had artists that were considered the best of their time, obviously when some of them had to work at the same time on the same city, contrasts often became harsh and irreverent even if sometime they smack of gibe.
A historical episode is related to the realization of the Fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza Navona. Continue reading “The River’s Fountain in Piazza Navona”
Marbles from Istria to Venice.
My origins are in Istria, a wonderful land that borders the Alpine chain with an expanse of endless hills where my family owned some quarries. In that area, washed by the Quieto River, we had our quarries of the Roman era; they do not exist anymore because of the neglect of those who succeeded us and because of a lack of suitable means for a rational cultivation. Until the mid-seventies of the last century, before the advent of technology, of mechanical specific tools and of the synthetic diamond cutting, the transport of marble blocks weighing tens of tons to the places of work was a very strenuous challenge. Continue reading “Processing techniques, the history of tools and their use in time”
For sure with this piece I’m becoming a blogger and I will try to arouse the curiosity of those who do not belong to this trade, but love to read about one the more ancient material, part of the human history ever since: the marble.
I will not describe too many details, I will tell you stories, curiosities and anecdotes belonging to this theme, as this for me is a fascinating world worth of being discovered.
Without any obligation of precision, I would like to start romanticizing a curiosity about the life of the Renaissance’s Sculptor par excellence, Michelangelo Buonarroti. Much has been said and written about him, doubtless still during his life he has been a milestone of art. Continue reading “Michelangelo vs. Julius II’s tomb”