Trivium Art History
Mediums

Marble

The stone that glows like human skin

Perhaps no material is as closely tied to an era as marble is to the classical world. Marble is a pale, metamorphic rock derived from limestone, and though it has been used to make art since before written language, marble is most commonly associated with the heroic, idealized, beautiful sculptures of the human form created at the height of the Greek and Roman empires. The sculptors of these cultures not only developed an unparalleled naturallism in their rendering, but took advantage of marble's most unique characteristic, a property called subsurface scattering. Marble's composition leaves it slightly transparent, allowing light to sink into marble in the same way that it plays across and through human skin, giving human forms captured in marble an etherial, lifelike quality. 

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Female figure

Female figure

4500 BCE-4000 BCE
Early Cycladic female figure

Early Cycladic female figure

3200 BCE-2800 BCE
Cycladic Figure

Cycladic Figure

2800 BCE
Cycladic seated harp player

Cycladic seated harp player

2800 BCE-2700 BCE
Cycladic female figure

Cycladic female figure

2300 BCE-2200 BCE
Moschophoros (calf-bearer)

Moschophoros (calf-bearer)

560 BCE
Peplos Kore

Peplos Kore

530 BCE
Warrior of Capestrano

Warrior of Capestrano

500 BCE
Head of Plato

Head of Plato

370 BCE
Dying Gaul

Dying Gaul

250 BCE
Philosopher

Philosopher

200 BCE
Laocoön and His Sons

Laocoön and His Sons

200 BCE
Athena

Athena

100 BCE
Nero's Bath

Nero's Bath

64 CE
Young Hercules

Young Hercules

69 CE-96 CE
Statue of Aphrodite

Statue of Aphrodite

100 CE
Portrait of Aristotle

Portrait of Aristotle

100 CE
The Braschi Antinous

The Braschi Antinous

138 CE
Emperor Antoninus Pius

Emperor Antoninus Pius

138 CE-161 CE
The Three Graces

The Three Graces

200 CE
Apollo Seated With Lyre

Apollo Seated With Lyre

200 CE
Daughter of Mousaios, Funerary Stele

Daughter of Mousaios, Funerary Stele

250 CE
Floor Mosaic with Ktisis

Floor Mosaic with Ktisis

500 CE-550 CE
Kneeling Male Attendant

Kneeling Male Attendant

921 CE-945 CE
St. Mark

St. Mark

Donatello1411
St. George

St. George

Donatello1415
St. John the Evangelist

St. John the Evangelist

Donatello1408-1415
Prophet Habbakuk

Prophet Habbakuk

Donatello1423-1426
Prophet Habbakuk - Detail

Prophet Habbakuk - Detail

Donatello1423-1426
Assumption of the Virgin

Assumption of the Virgin

Donatello1427

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