We may next take up the materials and the technical processes of Greek sculpture. These may be classified as follows:
(1) Wood. Wood was often, if not exclusively, used for the earliest Greek temple-images, those rude xoana, of which many survived into the historical period, to be regarded with peculiar veneration. We even hear of wooden statues made in the developed period of Greek art. But this was certainly exceptional. Wood plays no part worth mentioning in the fully developed sculpture of Greece, except as it entered into the making of gold and ivory statues or of the cheaper substitutes for these.
(2) Stone and marble. Various uncrystallized limestones were frequently used in the archaic period and here and there even in the fifth century. But white marble, in which Greece abounds, came also early into use, and its immense superiority to limestone for statuary purposes led to the abandonment of the latter. The choicest varieties of marble were the Parian and Pentelic. Both of these were exported to every part of the Greek world.
Next Chapter: Purposes of sculpture
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