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Marble is perhaps the most popular material used in sculpture. Many artists prefer marble for its dual nature: it is soft and easy to work with in its early stages, and then becomes heavy and dense with age. But while marble is popular as a medium, it is also rarer than other types of rock, making marble sculptures especially valuable.
Before classical antiquity, stone sculpture was primarily made from materials such as limestone, clay, or sandstone. The popularity of marble sculpture began with its use in standing male nude statues and standing draped female statues, two of the most common themes in the sculpture of classical antiquity.
Renaissance artists, fueled with the desire to emulate the artists of classical antiquity, also preferred marble to other materials. Because of this, the superior nature of marble has carried over through Baroque and Neoclassical eras through the 20th century, when artists began to explore more modern approaches to sculpture through mobile and abstract art movements.
Michelangelo used marble to create two of his most powerful masterpieces: "David" and "Pieta"
The creation of a large-scale marble statue took an ancient Greek sculptor about 12 months from start to finish
The look of marble can vary greatly from one statue to another due to its chemical composition and other factors such as weathering