Quarrying marble - Carrara, Toscana, Italia
Cracks, picks, polish—and teeth. Sounds like dentistry, but the pearly whites here are blocks of Carrara marble.

Quarrying and carving marble

Michelangelo, David, marble, 1501-04 (Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence)- detail
Where’s Goliath? David scans for his enemy. This colossal sculpture is itself a giant of High Renaissance art.

Michelangelo, David

Michelangelo, Slaves (commonly referred to as the Dying Slave and the Rebellious Slave), marble, 2.09 m high, 1513-15 (Musée du Louvre, Paris) -detail
Bound to rock, these figures struggle to escape their marble prisons. One closes his eyes; the other looks to God.

Michelangelo, Slaves

Michelangelo, Pietà (detail)
Can stone be that soft? Contrast defines this sculpture. Mary is sweet but strong, and Christ, real yet ideal.

Michelangelo, Pietà

Saint Peter's Basilica- detail
The greatest minds of the High Renaissance worked on this vast church. Construction took more than a century.

Saint Peter’s Basilica

Michelangelo, Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, 1508-12, fresco (Vatican, Rome) - detail
God created the world in seven days, but it took Michelangelo four years to depict it on this remarkable ceiling.

Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel

Michelangelo, Moses- detail
The Hebrew prophet at the center of this tomb exudes energy and power, from his intense gaze to his twisted pose.

Michelangelo, Moses