The Monument Stone: An Eternal Link of Past Civilizations
The use of the stone in monument reflects purposes, ideologies, and symbolisms referable to different traditions, thus determining the intrinsic value both historical and cultural, of each monument. The stone sends a message which exceeds the threshold of emotion conveyed by the significance of the monument; its use belongs to the history of civilizations of the Mediterranean area, one after another influenced through the appealing and the assimilation. The research has clarified the architectural devising of the past, its influence on the artistic language as well as the relationship with ancient tradition. Nevertheless, some fundamental problems concerning the use tendencies in different historical periods, above all as regards ornamental stones, are still extant. The reading of the stone and marble employment is complex; their selection criteria depend on the symbolic significance suggested by political and religious circumstances.
For the stones used as building material, a close relationship between the material employed and the geology of the sites reinforces the concept of the constructions as product of local stone resources; it seems even truer as far as possible remote is the epoch of the monument. For the marble, the history is too complex. A reading of an historic route out of Rome regarding the reuse of the ancient marbles is offered by two historic cities, Venice and Constantinople, which makes explicit this recovery culture in different chronological and geographical contexts. The two historic cities, where the reuse of Roman marble elements as spolia was conditioned by different ideological finalities and economic disposals, boast, after Rome, the highest quantity of the most precious marbles of antiquity. In time, the power of expression, soaked in spiritual and emotional harmonies, has contributed to the innovation of styles and traditions, which has never confined cultural values to a secondary role. The artist’s creativity, arisen from the authentic emotion of rediscovering the same marble elements each time, places the suggestions and the experiences in a wider horizon, again leading to the progress of man and to the very source of human feeling. From this point of view, the same Roman marbles, each time rediscovered and shared, send us a cultural message: monument stones are an eternal link of past civilizations.
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