The 4 Best Stone Sculptures

Auguste Rodin’s ‘Christ and Mary Magdalene’

One of the many remaining stone sculptures whose origins are rooted in religion, Rodin’s ‘Christ and Mary Magdalene’ is a truly special piece. It depicts a dying Jesus nailed to the cross; a nude Mary Magdalene adorning his chest, grieving her imminent loss. For this piece, Rodin employed Michelangelo’s ‘non finite’ effect; the two figures are perfectly shaped and polished, while the surrounding stone is rough and un-carved. ‘Christ and Mary Magdalene’ is one of very few sculptures that the French misfit did not cast in bronze, making it all the more interesting.

Jacob Epstein’s ‘Genesis’

Jacob Epstein’s depiction of a heavily pregnant woman caused controversy when first completed, as a degree of it’s artistic style is taken from practices further afield than Europe. At the time, an aggressive colonial mentality was still rife, and far-away lands and cultures were still considered ugly and uncivilised by those not so well-educated in their histories and cultural practices. Epstein was among the first sculptors to seek inspiration outside of the confines of his formal artistic education.

Colleen Madamombe’s ‘Sisters’

Contemporary African artist Colleen Madamombe is known for the way she contrasts sculpted and un-sculpted stone to her advantage. The rough, oxidised stone has a slightly different colour than the polished stone. Madamombe uses the colour of the oxidised stone to create extra effects. With her piece ‘Sisters’, the faces and hands of the two women are polished, while the rest of the stone has been left untouched, manipulated just slightly to depict strands of hair and patterned clothes.

Constantin Brancusi’s ‘The Kiss’

Constantin Brancusi’s ‘The Kiss’ depicts a man and a woman in a deep romantic embrace; there is a slight curve of the woman’s breast but no other differentiating features between them. There is just one thin line separating them, and their arms curve all the way around their figures, creating a sweet and tender effect. Another very famous addition.