CHAPTER VI
SCULPTURE: MATERIAL, SPACE, AND COLOURING

Relations to Material. -- The modern sculptor works almost entirely in clay, and thinks rather of the purpose and destination of his work than of the material. But in early Greek art the distinction of the material is important. The sculptor in marble was also a stone mason, and cut his statue out of the solid block, as indeed did Michael Angelo. The sculptor in bronze not only furnished a clay model to the caster, but went carefully over the result of the fount, repairing flaws, chasing with a tool, sometimes adding curls, or a wreath, or a swordbelt, and the like. Works in bronze and in terra-cotta are alike in being formed in moulds, as opposed to marble sculpture. But between figures in bronze and figures in terra-cotta there is the strongest contrast of character, the soft clay lacking all the decisiveness and precision which is appropriate to work in metal. In making moulds the artist must have had this distinction always before him. In fact, in regard to sharpness and clearness of fabric, marble comes halfway between bronze and terra-cotta.

Down to the middle of the sixth century the history of Greek sculpture runs in three parallel lines which seldom cross one another; each school had its own material or class of materials to which it commonly confined itself.1

____________________
1
A most useful repertory of passages relating to the Greek sculptors is published by Mr. H. Stuart Jones, Ancient Writers on Greek Sculpture, 1895.

-74-

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