The Aesthetics of Marble: From Late Antiquity to the Present
Dario Gamboni, Gerhard Wolf, Jessica N. Richardson (Eds)
For millennia, marble has been a material of choice for art and architecture, a sign of luxury, and a material laden with meaning. It lends itself to being carved, polished, and sliced for a vast range of uses and to a variety of effects. While we know much about its physical qualities, its place as a trade commodity, and the history of its use, a focused study of this material’s aesthetics has yet to be seen. Looking beyond marble’s iconology, this volume engages closely with the phenomenology and anthropology of materials, bringing to light the nuanced aesthetic qualities of marble.
Drawing from theoretical propositions and empirical case studies centered on the Mediterranean from late antiquity to the present, the essays in The Aesthetics of Marble illuminate the material appeal of marble and its iconic potential. They examine the range of roles this material can play: from solid marble cladding in architecture to supple marble carvings mimicking human bodies, and from its political and philosophical connotations to modern digital de- and rematerializing of marble. Attention is also devoted to the sculptured object: to labor, technology, and artists’ sensitivity to the qualities of stone and its veining. This volume brings a new aesthetic discussion to this material, rich in history, variation, and possibility.