Friday, August 4

The Majestic Marble Quarries of Northern Italy

The serpentine road of Torano's "marble valley."
"The story of Italian marble is the story of difficult motion: violent, geological, haunted by failure and ruin and lost fortunes, marred by severed fingers, crushed dreams, crushed men. Rarely has a material so inclined to stay put been wrenched so insistently out of place and carried so far from its source; every centimeter of its movement has had to be earned. 'There is no avoiding the tyranny of weight,' the art historian William E. Wallace once put it. He was discussing the challenge, in Renaissance Italy, of installing Michelangelo’s roughly 17,000-pound statue of the biblical David. This was the final stage of an epic saga that, from mountain to piazza, actually began before Michelangelo’s birth and involved primitive and custom-engineered machinery and, above all, great sweating armies of groaning, straining men. But the tyranny of weight was in effect long before that, and long after, and it remains in effect today. ..."
NY Times
NY Times: The Most Dazzling Private Collection of Marble (Video)
The Atlantic: The Marble of Michelangelo's Dreams
Michelangelo's Unrealized Marble Dream Comes True in Italian Quarry
YouTube: "ll Capo” (The Chief): a striking look at marble quarrying in the Italian Alps, Carving Marble with Traditional Tools, Quarrying and carving marble, Frilli Gallery The carving of a marble block Putto Cecioni

Workers known as "Tecchiaioli" examine marble at the Cervaiole quarry on Monte Altissimo in the Apuan Alps, Tuscany, Italy, July 18, 2017.