Already in ancient times, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans mastered the art of making sculptures and statues from stone. And still today, works made of marble, limestone or sandstone remain an integral part of the sculptural repertoire. Stone sculpting requires both great artisanship and artistic skills.

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Stone - A Versatile Sculptural Material

Stone is one of the few materials from which humans have been making works of art for thousands of years. Already in ancient times, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans produced sculptures, statues, and figures from stone. Often, gods or rulers were honoured with gigantic stone statues. One of the oldest known sculptures created by human hands is made of stone: The famous Venus of Willendorf is about 25,000 years old and was sculpted from limestone. From these beginnings of sculpture, stone has been able to assert itself as a material right up to current contemporary art. Many types of stone are suitable for stone sculptures, including marble, granite, sandstone, or limestone. These different types of stone can be used to create objects of almost any size - small, handy stone figures, as well as reliefs, imposing stone statues, sculptural groups or monumental, abstract stone sculptures for public spaces. Among the most famous sculptors of art history who worked with stone are Praxiteles in the Classical epoch, Michelangelo and Donatello in the Renaissance, Johann Gottfried Schadow in Classicism, and Alfred Hrdlicka and Karl Prantl in 20th-century contemporary art.

Stone Sculpture: Art and Craft Combined

Like no other art discipline, stone sculpture combines artistic design skills with artisanship and technical skills. When creating stone figures, the material is removed from a block with a hammer and chisel until there is only the desired shape left. The surface can be finished by grinding and polishing. For this work process, the stone sculptor must possess both the skills of a stonemason and those of a sculptor. After all, working with stone requires a profound knowledge of the material, the right techniques, strength, and endurance as well as creativity, spatial thinking, and artistic skill. The work steps must be carried out in a well-considered manner because there is little to no possibility for post-correction. Here, in our online shop, you can purchase a beautiful selection of stone sculptures.

Stone - A Material With Individual Character

Different types of stone, as natural products, possess unique characteristics. They differ in terms of colour, hardness, and structure or grain. Consequently, all sculptures made of stone are very individual in character. Depending on their intended use, artists select the appropriate stone. For example, white marble is particularly suitable for life-size statues. However, the type of stone used by the artists also depended on the region in which they lived, as transportation over long distances, as is common today, was not possible at all times.

As one of the hardest materials found in nature, stone can also carry a symbolic meaning. It can stand for indestructibility, durability, and hardness. So, if, for example, a monument of stone was erected for a king, it could also symbolise the claim to his eternal rule.