In the ancient times, Greeks, Celts, and Etruscans have inhabited Italy. Their rich heritage made Rome emerge as a dominant power. The modern Rome has the remains of that colossal heritage from the grand monument to the exceptionally preserved remains of Pompeii. The 13th century was the golden age of Italian art as it had Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Michelangelo in the leads. Italy retained its rich artistic dominance till the 17th century with mannerism and baroque. From the 19th century onwards, Italy homed many artistic movements like Macchiaioli, Futurism, Metaphysical, Novecento Italiano, Spatialism, Arte Povera, and Transavantgarde. We are here going to explore few of the famous statues in different times in Italy which makes it proud owner.
Some of Italy’s best artists and their works:
This name needs no introduction. Michelangelo is regarded as one of the greatest artists of all time. His versatility was incredible and all his works including poetry, sculptures, paintings, and architectures are timeless. He created two timeless frescos; scenes of Genesis in the ceiling and the Last judgment in alter of the famous Sistine Chapel which created history. Two of his best-known works are Pieta and David-
• Pieta: The Pieta has the sculpture of Virgin Mary holding her only son Jesus. Before sculpting Pieta, Michelangelo was not very well known. In 1498 he was told to create this statue. Within two years he created this timeless sculpture using a single slab of marble.
• David: This masterpiece is a marble male nude is a 17ft long sculpture which was created between 1501 and 1504. The statue represents the biblical hero David. It was once positioned at the high façade of the Florence Cathedral but was moved to the Academia Gallery in Florence 1873.
Donatello can be named as a sculptor who is regarded as second only to Michelangelo in terms of skills and greatness. He left a remarkable feat on the Renaissance. Donatello is regarded as the founder of modern sculpture and was the first to make nude statues. Two of his famous works are David and St George and the dragon.
• David: David was made in the early 1400’s. This artwork is noted as the first nude statue and the first unsupported bronze statue made in the time of Renaissance period. The statue depicts the young David with a baffling smile posing with his foot on the giant Goliath’s head just after killing the giant.
• St George and the dragon: The marble relief is the example for Donatello’s mastership of shallow relief carving. This relief depicts St. George riding his horse with a spear into the dragon’s chest. This was Donatello’s first effort to make a three-dimensional effect on a flat surface.
Apart from them, there was Filippo Brunelleschi who is famous for his works on Cupola of St. Maria del Fiore, Antonio Canova who is famous for his sculpture Cupid and Psyche, Ebe, and Hebe and mary more.
The process of making statues in Italy:
The artist makes an armature or structural framework out of wood, steel pipe etc.
The artist then applies oil based clay onto the armature.
The predetermined parts of the model are removed to make separate molds. After that, specially designed rubber is applied to the separated parts to make the mother mold.
After making the rubber mold, a wax mold is made using processed wax, in which the main component of the sculpture would be poured into.
Each mold is separately fired at 2000 degree Fahrenheit which vitrifies the ceramic slurry and form a harden glass composition. It changes the mold color into white. The wax is then burned out to form a hole inside the mold.
Immediately after, the molten bronze of 1900 degree Fahrenheit temperature is poured into the mold to fill the void. It is then allowed to cool completely.
After that, the parts are reassembled together to form the whole sculpture.
The last step is to finish the bronze. The entire sculpture is blasted with sand to give the perfect color of a classic bronze statue. After that heat is added to the entire sculpture to add chemical to apply the coats of finishing. Weeks later all the bronzes darken.
The sculpture has to mount to its base to place the statue.
Some modern contemporary artists:
Giorgio de Chirico: he was an artist of neoclassical style.
• Artworks: Gare Montparnasse (The Melancholy of Departure), The Double Dream of Spring, The Disquieting Muses, The Enigma of the Hour Metaphysical Interior with Large Factory and more.
Marino Marini: He was also a renounced Italian sculptor and painter.
• Artworks: Head of Stravinsky, Miracolo, Marino from Shakespeare II/V, Cavallo con due to acrobati, The Angel of the City (L’angelo Della città) and more.