Birth of Marble Sculpture

From the end of the seventh century B.C., some sculptor used marble, instead of limestone, for their works. Although the marble was produced from Naxos or Mt. Pentelikon, near Athens, the former is coarse and only used for local works, and the latter began to be used regularly only in the fifth century B.C. Marble used in this period was almost produced from Palos, which was approved by later authors.

Since the marble was too hard to work by bronze instruments, which were able to serve for limestone sculpture, iron instruments were invented. Recent studies revealed that drills were already used in this period, besides ordinally tools such as point, flat and claw chisels.

Typical works of this period are "Kouroi", youth figures, and "Korai" girl figures. It was believed that these sculptures represented gods or goddesses. It was, however, turned out these represented various figures, such as dedicators, athletes and dead persons, other than deities. Therefore the comprehensive terms have been applied.


J.Boardman "Greek Sculpture: the Archaic Period"(1991)
G.M.A.Richter "Korai"(1968); "Kouroi"(1970)