Majestic artistic marble sculpture of a winged lion
Marble: Rosso Asiago
Client: private company
Location: Treviso – Italy
A large-scale marble sculpture
With a huge block of red marble from the quarries on the Altopiano di Asiago, we created an imposing and monumental artistic sculpture depicting a winged lion with its right paw on a sphere. It all began with a single block of Rosso Asiago marble: 330 centimetres long, 160 centimetres wide and 190 centimetres high, with a volume of 10 cubic metres and a total weight of 260 quintals.
Stefano Facchini personally went to the quarry several times to choose the “right” one from a wide range of blocks. Even during the cold winter months, when the blocks were covered in a white blanket of snow, offering a breathtaking backdrop.
Block selection is based on size, which is a matter of mathematics, and on physical and chemical characteristics such as quality, texture and grain. Some blocks were discarded because they were too small, others because they were unevenly coloured or had faults or veins that could affect the strength of the material. Each vein is different from the others and makes each block unique and exclusive, but if it is in the wrong place, it can compromise the harmony of the aesthetic result, or if it is very thick, in jargon “soft”, it can split and open, making the work very fragile.
It is essential to imagine the final result and Stefano Facchini is a master of this.
Eye and mind picture the final result already by looking at a rough block, no school teaches this, only experience is the master.
Large scale artistic marble sculpture
We specialise in large-format artworks. The larger the size of the work, the higher the risk; this constant challenge is what motivates us to do our best already at the stage of choosing the marble block.
Artistic drawing expresses a masterpiece right from the paper
In order to best define with the client the dimensions, proportions, posture and characteristics of the different elements of the winged lion, we made several freehand sketches and artistic drawings, then produced a small clay model. Once the overall design was complete, we placed the 1:1 scale artistic drawing on a wooden frame and took it to the chosen installation area to assess the final effect in real life with the client. This drawing was then taped to the wall of our workshop to serve as an immediate reference point during the sculpting process.
The winged lion slowly emerges
The block was reduced to a length of 260 cm and a width of 120 cm, while maintaining the same height. The total weight was thus reduced to around 160 quintals. During an initial flush cutting phase, the block was shaped with the external profile of the lion to reduce its weight to 95 quintals.
Hand sculpting makes each piece unique and exclusive
A skilled worker expertly manoeuvred a radio-controlled self-propelled crane into our workshop to transfer the huge piece of sculpted rock onto a specially erected elevated structure. For a few months, the red boulder remained in the same place while we worked around it.
For the entire sculptural component, we did not use pantographs, robots, sophisticated numerically controlled machines or even artificial intelligence. The work was done by the precious and skilful hands of our sculptors.
We drew the lion with all its elements freehand on the marble block and then began the actual hand work. Day after day, we slowly removed material from the huge block to bring out the shape and beauty of the winged lion and transform it into a monumental artistic sculpture. The most delicate stages were the sculpting of the snout, especially the eyes and mouth, and the curved, slender tail. The expression had to be what the client wanted: the lion had to be majestic and proud, but not aggressive or frightening.
The belly, paws and the inside of the ball were also very complex to create, as there was no freedom of movement during the process.
The wings were carved separately from two pieces of the same block and then attached to the work at right angles.
The hours of manual work were many, almost 1500 hours of carving and polishing. The master craftsman Stefano Facchini, a designer, two sculptors and an ornamentalist were involved, a team of about three people for four months of work.
Sculpture guards the entrance of a company
The work was delivered and installed in front of the main entrance of a prestigious company in the Veneto region and is illuminated at night by LED spotlights, making the lion even more striking and majestic.
The finished sculpture is 260 cm long, 120 cm wide, 220 cm high and weighs around 50 quintals.
It was officially unveiled at the beginning of 2023.
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