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(Above photo - Classical Marble Busts )
One of the most preferred materials for making busts in classical times was marble. That is why you are likely to find all kinds of classical marble busts on the market today. When you buy one, you can use it as a decoration in your home. For example, you may display it on a console table and anywhere else you may want it.
What Is a Classical Marble Bust?
(Above photo - Marble Bust William Shakespeare - English Elizabethan Playwright Hamlet )
People define busts differently. While some may include into this category sculptures with a head and neck, others only call those with up to a chest busts. So, the definition to choose all depends on what you consider a bust.
Generally, a bust is a sculpture representing the upper part of the human body. It may depict the head, neck, and sometimes the chest. Other classical marble busts even had shoulders. While some busts stood on their bases, others featured a plinth. From Ancient Egypt to classical Greece and Rome, busts were used to show how important individuals appeared in real life. A good example is the limestone bust of Nefertiti, an Ancient Egyptian queen.
(Above photo - Marble busts - Roman Emperors, Greek Gods, Blackamoors etc )
Classical marble busts made it possible for artists to depict an individual’s unique characteristics without putting in a lot of work and money. If you compare it with a full-blown sculpture, this was easier, cheaper, and faster to make. Besides, the sculpture occupied much less space in the home. The best thing about the bust is that it was a three-dimensional representation of an individual’s portrait.
How Did Classical Busts Come About?
In classical antiquity, busts were created up to the neck. However, these were not standalone sculptures, but had either existed as part of full-bodied creations or were meant to complete existing works of art. Today, they are made to pass as full-blown busts.
There is very little distinction between the busts made by the Greeks and those created by the Romans. However, it is suggested that the romans made these sculptures as a representation of death masks of family members who had passed away. In most cases, the death masks were made from wax and kept in the atrium of the house. Gradually, the wax death masks were slowly replaced by sculptures, which we refer to as classical marble busts.
This practice continued right through the Middle Ages and the renaissance when popular busts were created. During the renaissance, artists in France and Italy took up the practice of making marble sculptures on a more serious note. Only that they preferred to make busts of women rather than women.
(Above photo - Large range of classical marble busts in our Hertfordshire showroom )
One of the well-known 17th-century artists to have specialized in making busts is Gian Lorenzo Bernini. He is famed for having made portraits of famous people like cardinals, popes, and monarchs from other countries. For example, he made the bust of France’s Louis XIV and England’s King Charles. These could have been made from different materials, but they remain good examples of a form of art that sought to create like-like portraits of famous people.
Do you need a classical marble bust today? Why don’t you reach out to us?
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