14th-15th June 2019
Department for Art History, University of Vienna
"Marbre, c'est une pierre opaque, compacte, prenant un beau poli, remplie pour l'ordinaire de veines & de taches de différentes couleurs." (Encyclopédie)
This rather mundane account of “marble” published in the Encyclopédieby Denis Diderot and Jean-Baptiste le Rond d’Alembert describes in few words the qualities of a material that had fascinated humans since antiquity. The aesthetic characteristics of this stone – the translucency of Carrara marble or the exquisite crystals of Parian marble – have made it the most frequently used material of art since antiquity. Moreover, marble’s endurance imbued it with a sense of eternity, which it transferred to the sculpture and architecture in which it was used...