Neo-classicism v Today

Although the 21st Century has produced many great artists across the various mediums, there are no contemporary sculptors to compare with the neo-classicists of the 18th and 19th Centuries, Canova and Thorvaldsen in particular, who had the vision to create the original concept coupled with the ability to then carve the piece themselves from a block of pure white marble.

The best and most popular works of these neo-classical artisans can be characterized by their order, symmetry, and simplicity of style. This set against a political background which heralded a turning point in attitudes and freedom of expression. A move away from the frivolity of Rococo to the new found freedom and grandeur of neo-classicism.

I have stood in the Louvre and watched the expressions of countless faces as they looked in awe and wonderment at Canova’s Cupid and Psyche. They simply stand there speechless and marvel at its form.

So what is it that they can see?

They may indeed know some of the carving’s history and the attitudes that prevailed during its creation. And for sure they come loaded with expectation and the knowledge that what they are about to behold is considered to be one of the greatest works of sculpture in the world.


And when they stand in front of it, they are not disappointed. You can hear the sighs of appreciation as their eyes make contact with the purity of the marble and the poetic outlines of the figures. It’s the sheer simplicity and integrity of the work which causes this reaction.

The grace and symmetry of the contours jump out at you like a balletic movement which in a way it represents. And when you look into the faces of Cupid and Psyche and see the way they interact with each other and hold each other, you are looking at the classic grandeur of a statue that represents grace and beauty, yet tells the story of an ill fated romance between the two protagonists who to all intents and purposes are real.

But to add to all that, it’s the sheer beauty of the work in the figures and most importantly, the faces, which transcends time and which for me anyway, is what gels with a contemporary audience.



Marble Icons are working closely with interior designers and architects on indoor and outdoor projects where hand carved statuary in pure marble and granite is being used.

Classical recreations in marble in particular are available from Marble Icons, to a quality not seen for generations. These pieces are viewed by specialists in interior design as being as relevant in spacious modern apartments as they are in hotels, yachts or the entrance halls or drawing rooms of country houses.

We are continually developing our range of classical and contemporaty marble statues and we can now undertake commissions for works from either existing designs or clients own concepts. Swimming pools, grand halls and conservatories a speciality.

If you require any further information about our work or you would like to commission a piece for private or corporate use, please Contact us.


Marble Icons has set itself the goal of recreating, in perfect marble in white or many colours, or other valuable stone, the beautiful images which are at the core of the history of art.

Marble Icons choice of sculptures of the Greats is absolutely unique throughout the world ..…and we will work with clients who have specific requirements whether it be by size or material such as white, black or even green marble.

How do we achieve our goal of matching the original work without the help of casts from the original?

  • Firstly we research the original art held in museums in absolute detail.
  • Secondly we produce clay models equivalent in every detail to the original. This process is immensely time consuming as our specialists work towards perfection with the modeler.
  • We then identify the perfect block of marble which in the case of full sized or multiple figure statues might weigh several tonnes.
  • We then hew by hand from the raw marble, until the sculpture emerges to reprise the original work of art.
  • When the sculpture is considered as being as near perfect to the work of the piece in question, it is despatched to the buyer.
  • Marble Icons are currently working on their own original creations and soon these will become significant works of art in their own right.

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