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Sculpture is the branch of the
visual arts The visual arts are Art#Forms, genres, media, and styles, art forms such as painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics (art), ceramics, photography, video, filmmaking, design, crafts and architecture. Many artistic disciplines such as p ...

visual arts
that operates in
three dimensions Three-dimensional space (also: 3-space or, rarely, tri-dimensional space) is a geometric setting in which three values (called parameter A parameter (from the Ancient Greek language, Ancient Greek wikt:παρά#Ancient Greek, παρά, ''par ...
. It is one of the
plastic arts Plastic arts are art form Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination Imagination is the ability to produce and simulate novel objects, sensations, and ideas in the mind File:Descartes mind ...
. Durable sculptural processes originally used
carving Carving is the act of using tools to shape something from a material by scraping away portions of that material. The technique can be applied to any material that is solid enough to hold a form even when pieces have been removed from it, and y ...

carving
(the removal of material) and modelling (the addition of material, as clay), in
stone A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its chemical composition and the way in which it is formed. Rocks form the Earth's outer solid layer, th ...

stone
,
metal A metal (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...

metal
,
ceramics A ceramic is any of the various hard, brittle, heat-resistant and corrosion-resistant Corrosion is a Erosion, natural process that converts a refined metal into a more chemically stable form such as oxide, hydroxide, carbonate or sulfide. It ...
,
wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. ...

wood
and other materials but, since
Modernism Modernism is both a philosophical movement A philosophical movement refers to the phenomenon defined by a group of philosophers A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and ...
, there has been an almost complete freedom of materials and process. A wide variety of materials may be worked by removal such as carving, assembled by
welding Welding is a process that joins materials, usually s or s, by using high to melt the parts together and allowing them to cool, causing . Welding is distinct from lower temperature metal-joining techniques such as and , which do not the base ...

welding
or modelling, or moulded or
cast Cast may refer to: Music * Cast (band) Cast are an English indie rock band formed in Liverpool Liverpool is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in Merseyside, England. Its population in 2019 was approxim ...

cast
. Sculpture in stone survives far better than works of art in perishable materials, and often represents the majority of the surviving works (other than
pottery Pottery is the process and the products of forming vessels and other objects with and other materials, which are fired at high temperatures to give them a hard, durable form. Major types include , and . The place where such wares are mad ...

pottery
) from ancient cultures, though conversely traditions of sculpture in wood may have vanished almost entirely. However, most ancient sculpture was brightly painted, and this has been lost."Gods in Color: Painted Sculpture of Classical Antiquity" September 2007 to January 2008, The Arthur M. Sackler Museum
Sculpture has been central in religious devotion in many cultures, and until recent centuries large sculptures, too expensive for private individuals to create, were usually an expression of religion or politics. Those cultures whose sculptures have survived in quantities include the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean, India and China, as well as many in Central and South America and Africa. The
Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junction, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western world, countries that ide ...
tradition of sculpture began in
ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era wa ...
, and Greece is widely seen as producing great masterpieces in the
classical Classical may refer to: European antiquity *Classical antiquity, a period of history from roughly the 7th or 8th century B.C.E. to the 5th century C.E. centered on the Mediterranean Sea *Classical architecture, architecture derived from Greek and ...
period. During the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
,
Gothic Gothic or Gothics may refer to: People and languages *Goths or Gothic people, the ethnonym of a group of East Germanic tribes **Gothic language, an extinct East Germanic language spoken by the Goths **Crimean Gothic, the Gothic language spoken by ...
sculpture represented the agonies and passions of the Christian faith. The revival of classical models in the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...

Renaissance
produced famous sculptures such as
Michelangelo Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (; 6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564), known simply as Michelangelo (), was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet of the High Renaissance In art history, the High Renaissance was ...

Michelangelo
's
statue A statue is a free-standing sculpture in which the realistic, full-length figures of persons or animals are carved or Casting (metalworking), cast in a durable material such as wood, metal or stone. Typical statues are life-sized or close to ...

statue
of ''
David David (; ) (traditional spelling), , ''Dāwūd''; grc-koi, Δαυΐδ, Dauíd; la, Davidus, David; gez , ዳዊት, ''Dawit''; xcl, Դաւիթ, ''Dawitʿ''; cu, Давíдъ, ''Davidŭ''; possibly meaning "beloved one". is described in th ...

David
''. Modernist sculpture moved away from traditional processes and the emphasis on the depiction of the human body, with the making of constructed sculpture, and the presentation of
found object A found object (a loan translation In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional ...
s as finished art works.


Types

A basic distinction is between sculpture "in the round", free-standing sculpture such as
statue A statue is a free-standing sculpture in which the realistic, full-length figures of persons or animals are carved or Casting (metalworking), cast in a durable material such as wood, metal or stone. Typical statues are life-sized or close to ...

statue
s, not attached (except possibly at the base) to any other surface, and the various types of
relief Relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of the same material. The term ''wikt:relief, relief'' is from the Latin verb ''relevo'', to raise. To create a sculpture in relief is to give the ...
, which are at least partly attached to a background surface. Relief is often classified by the degree of projection from the wall into low or
bas-relief Relief is a sculptural technique in which the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of the same material. The term ''relief Relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background o ...
,
high relief Relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of the same material. The term ''relief Relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of th ...
, and sometimes an intermediate
mid-relief Relief is a sculptural technique in which the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of the same material. The term ''relief Relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background o ...
.
Sunk-relief Relief is a sculptural technique in which the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of the same material. The term ''relief Relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background o ...
is a technique restricted to
ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). Civilizations are intimately associated with additional char ...

ancient Egypt
. Relief is the usual sculptural medium for large figure groups and narrative subjects, which are difficult to accomplish in the round, and is the typical technique used both for
architectural sculptureArchitectural sculpture is the use of sculptural techniques by an architect and/or sculptor in the design of a building, bridge A bridge is a Nonbuilding structure, structure built to Span (engineering), span a physical obstacle, such as a body ...
, which is attached to buildings, and for small-scale sculpture decorating other objects, as in much
pottery Pottery is the process and the products of forming vessels and other objects with and other materials, which are fired at high temperatures to give them a hard, durable form. Major types include , and . The place where such wares are mad ...

pottery
, metalwork and
jewellery Jewellery or jewelry consists of decorative items worn for personal adornment 150px, The principal adornment of these girls from the Bundu tribe in Sierra Leone is the adornment of bodies and faces with markings produced by the smearing on by ...

jewellery
. Relief sculpture may also decorate
stele A stele ( ),Anglicized plural steles ( ); Greek plural stelai ( ), from Greek , ''stēlē''. The Greek plural is written , ''stēlai'', but this is only rarely encountered in English. or occasionally stela (plural ''stelas'' or ''stelæ''), ...

stele
s, upright slabs, usually of stone, often also containing inscriptions. Another basic distinction is between subtractive carving techniques, which remove material from an existing block or lump, for example of stone or wood, and modelling techniques which shape or build up the work from the material. Techniques such as
casting Casting is a manufacturing Manufacturing is the creation or Production (economics), production of goods with the help of equipment, Work (human activity), labor, machines, tools, and chemical or biological processing or formulation. It is th ...

casting
, stamping and moulding use an intermediate matrix containing the design to produce the work; many of these allow the production of several copies. The term "sculpture" is often used mainly to describe large works, which are sometimes called
monumental sculpture The term monumental sculpture is often used in art history and Art criticism, criticism, but not always consistently. It combines two concepts, one of function, and one of size, and may include an element of a third more subjective concept. It is ...

monumental sculpture
, meaning either or both of sculpture that is large, or that is attached to a building. But the term properly covers many types of small works in three dimensions using the same techniques, including coins and
medal A medal or medallion is a small portable artistic object, a thin disc, normally of metal, carrying a design, usually on both sides. They typically have a commemorative purpose of some kind, and many are given as awards. They may be intend ...

medal
s,
hardstone carving Hardstone carving is a general term in art history and archaeology for the artistic carving of predominantly semi-precious stones (but also of gemstones), such as jade, rock crystal (clear quartz), agate, onyx, jasper, serpentinite, or carnelian, ...
s, a term for small carvings in stone that can take detailed work. The very large or "colossal" statue has had an enduring appeal since
antiquity Antiquity or Antiquities may refer to Historical objects or periods Artifacts * Antiquities, objects or artifacts surviving from ancient cultures Eras Any period before the European Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages ...
; the largest on record at is the 2018 Indian
Statue of Unity The ''Statue of Unity'' is a colossal statue of India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of co ...

Statue of Unity
. Another grand form of portrait sculpture is the
equestrian statue An equestrian statue is a statue of a rider mounted on a horse, from the Latin ''eques'', meaning 'knight', deriving from ''equus'', meaning 'horse'. A statue of a riderless horse is strictly an equine statue. A full-sized equestrian statue is a d ...
of a rider on horse, which has become rare in recent decades. The smallest forms of life-size portrait sculpture are the "head", showing just that, or the
bust Bust commonly refers to: * A woman's breast The breast is one of two prominences located on the upper ventral region of the torso of primates. In females, it serves as the mammary gland, which produces and secretes milk to feed infants. Bo ...
, a representation of a person from the chest up. Small forms of sculpture include the
figurine A figurine (a diminutive form of the word ''figure'') or statuette is a small, three-dimensional sculpture Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. It is one of the plastic arts. Durable sculptural p ...

figurine
, normally a statue that is no more than tall, and for reliefs the
plaquette Peter Flötner, ''Vanitas'', 1535–1540, gilt bronze A plaquette (, ''small plaque'') is a small low relief sculpture in bronze Bronze is an alloy consisting primarily of copper Copper is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry ...

plaquette
, medal or coin. Modern and contemporary art have added a number of non-traditional forms of sculpture, including
sound sculpture Sound art is an artistic discipline in which sound In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural science that studies matte ...
,
light sculpture
light sculpture
,
environmental art Environmental art is a range of artistic practices encompassing both historical approaches to nature in art and more recent ecological and politically motivated types of works. Environmental art has evolved away from formal concerns, for example ...
,
environmental sculpture Environmental sculpture is sculpture that creates or alters the environment for the viewer, as opposed to presenting itself figurally or monumentally before the viewer. A frequent trait of larger environmental sculptures is that one can actually en ...
, street art sculpture,
kinetic sculpture thumbnail, Naum Gabo, ''Kinetic Construction'', also titled ''Standing Wave'' (1919–20) Kinetic art is art from any medium that contains movement perceivable by the viewer or depends on motion for its effect. Canvas paintings that extend th ...

kinetic sculpture
(involving aspects of physical motion),
land art Land art, variously known as Earth art, environmental art, and Earthworks, is an art movement that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, largely associated with Great Britain and the United StatesArt in the modern era: A guide to styles, schools, & mov ...

land art
, and
site-specific art, ''Site-specific installation,'' 1996, Menil Collection, Houston TX, USA Image:Place du 6-Décembre-1989, Montreal.jpg, 300px, ''Nef pour quatorze reines'' by Rose-Marie Goulet, a memorial to the École Polytechnique Massacre, featuring sculpture, ...
. Sculpture is an important form of
public art Public art is art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligenc ...

public art
. A collection of sculpture in a garden setting can be called a
sculpture garden The Esplanade Ernest-Cormier, a sculpture garden in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, with Melvin Charney's work ''Colonnes allégoriques''.A sculpture garden or sculpture park is an outdoor garden dedicated to the presentation of sculpture Sculpture ...
.


Purposes and subjects

One of the most common purposes of sculpture is in some form of association with religion.
Cult image In the practice of religion Religion is a - of designated and practices, , s, s, , , , , or , that relates humanity to , , and elements; however, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion. Different r ...
s are common in many cultures, though they are often not the colossal statues of deities which characterized
ancient Greek art Ancient Greek art stands out among that of other ancient cultures for its development of naturalistic but idealized depictions of the human body, in which largely nude male figures were generally the focus of innovation. The rate of stylistic dev ...
, like the
Statue of Zeus at Olympia The Statue of Zeus at Olympia was a giant seated figure, about tall, made by the Greek sculptor Phidias of the Parthenon to his Friends'' (1868) by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema Phidias or Pheidias (; grc, Φειδίας, ''Pheidias'';   ...
. The actual cult images in the innermost sanctuaries of
Egyptian temple Egyptian temples were built for the official worship of the gods A deity or god is a supernatural being considered divinity, divine or sacred. The ''Oxford Dictionary of English'' defines deity as "a God (male deity), god or goddess (in a poly ...

Egyptian temple
s, of which none have survived, were evidently rather small, even in the largest temples. The same is often true in
Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic religions, are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent. These religions, which include Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, ...

Hinduism
, where the very simple and ancient form of the
lingam A lingam ( sa, लिङ्ग , lit. "sign, symbol or mark"), sometimes referred to as linga or Shiva linga, is an abstract or Aniconism, aniconic representation of the Hinduism, Hindu Hindu deities, god Shiva in Shaivism. The original meanin ...

lingam
is the most common.
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and ...

Buddhism
brought the sculpture of religious figures to East Asia, where there seems to have been no earlier equivalent tradition, though again simple shapes like the '' bi'' and ''
congCong may refer to: *Cong (vessel), a form of jade artifact from ancient China *Cong (surname), (叢/丛) a Chinese surname *Cong, County Mayo, a village in the Republic of Ireland *Cong Weixi (1933–2019), Chinese author influential in the post-Mao ...
'' probably had religious significance. Small sculptures as personal possessions go back to the earliest prehistoric art, and the use of very large sculpture as
public art Public art is art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligenc ...

public art
, especially to impress the viewer with the power of a ruler, goes back at least to the
Great Sphinx Great may refer to: Descriptions or measurements * Great, a relative measurement in physical space, see Size File:Comparison of planets and stars (sheet by sheet) (Oct 2014 update).png, A size comparison illustration comparing the sizes of vario ...
of some 4,500 years ago. In
archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complexity, complex topic or Substance theory, substance into smaller parts in order to gain a better underst ...
and art history the appearance, and sometimes disappearance, of large or monumental sculpture in a culture is regarded as of great significance, though tracing the emergence is often complicated by the presumed existence of sculpture in wood and other perishable materials of which no record remains;See for example Martin Robertson,
A shorter history of Greek art
', p. 9, Cambridge University Press, 1981,
The
totem pole pole (left) and Kwakwaka'wakw pole (right) at Thunderbird Park (Victoria, British Columbia), Thunderbird Park in Victoria, British Columbia, Victoria, Canada. Totem poles ( hai, gyáaʼaang) are monumental carvings, a type of Northwest Coast art, ...

totem pole
is an example of a tradition of monumental sculpture in wood that would leave no traces for archaeology. The ability to summon the resources to create monumental sculpture, by transporting usually very heavy materials and arranging for the payment of what are usually regarded as full-time sculptors, is considered a mark of a relatively advanced culture in terms of social organization. Recent unexpected discoveries of ancient Chinese
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the Three-age sys ...
figures at
Sanxingdui Sanxingdui () is the name of an archaeological site and a major Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civi ...
, some more than twice human size, have disturbed many ideas held about early Chinese civilization, since only much smaller bronzes were previously known. Some undoubtedly advanced cultures, such as the
Indus Valley civilization The Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC), also known as the Indus Civilisation, was a Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric that was characterized by the use of , in some areas , and other early features of urban . The Bronze Age is ...

Indus Valley civilization
, appear to have had no monumental sculpture at all, though producing very sophisticated figurines and seals. The
Mississippian culture The Mississippian culture was a Native American Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans in the United Sta ...
seems to have been progressing towards its use, with small stone figures, when it collapsed. Other cultures, such as ancient Egypt and the Easter Island culture, seem to have devoted enormous resources to very large-scale monumental sculpture from a very early stage. The collecting of sculpture, including that of earlier periods, goes back some 2,000 years in Greece, China and Mesoamerica, and many collections were available on semi-public display long before the modern
museum A museum ( ; plural museums or, rarely, musea) is a building or institution that cares for and displays a collection Collection or Collections may refer to: * Cash collection, the function of an accounts receivable department * Collec ...

museum
was invented. From the 20th century the relatively restricted range of subjects found in large sculpture expanded greatly, with abstract subjects and the use or representation of any type of subject now common. Today much sculpture is made for intermittent display in galleries and museums, and the ability to transport and store the increasingly large works is a factor in their construction. Small decorative
figurine A figurine (a diminutive form of the word ''figure'') or statuette is a small, three-dimensional sculpture Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. It is one of the plastic arts. Durable sculptural p ...

figurine
s, most often in ceramics, are as popular today (though strangely neglected by
modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recov ...
and
Contemporary art Contemporary art is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and ...

Contemporary art
) as they were in the
Rococo Rococo (, also ), less commonly Roccoco or Late Baroque, is an exceptionally ornamental and theatrical style of architecture, art and decoration which combines asymmetry, scrolling curves, gilding, white and pastel colors, sculpted molding, ...
, or in ancient Greece when Tanagra figurines were a major industry, or in East Asian and
Pre-Columbian art Pre-Columbian art refers to the visual arts of indigenous peoples of the Caribbean, North, Central, and South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relativ ...
. Small sculpted fittings for furniture and other objects go well back into antiquity, as in the
Nimrud ivories The Nimrud ivories are a large group of small carved ivory plaques and figures dating from the 9th to the 7th centuries BC that were excavated from the Assyrian city of Nimrud (in modern Ninawa in Iraq Iraq ( ar, ٱلْعِرَاق, '; k ...
,
Begram ivories The Begram ivories are a group of over a thousand decorative plaques, small figures and inlays, carved from ivory and bone, and formerly attached to wooden furniture, that were excavated in the 1930s in Bagram (Begram), Afghanistan. They are rare a ...
and finds from the tomb of
Tutankhamun Tutankhamun (, egy, wikt:twt-ꜥnḫ-jmn, twt-ꜥnḫ-jmn ''Təwātə-ʿānəḫ-amānə'', ; Egyptological pronunciation ''Tūt-anḫ-āmen'', ;  1341 1323 BC), commonly referred to as King Tut, was an ancient Egyptian phara ...

Tutankhamun
. Portrait sculpture began in Egypt, where the
Narmer Palette The Narmer Palette, also known as the Great Hierakonpolis Palette or the Palette of Narmer, is a significant Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bordered by th ...

Narmer Palette
shows a ruler of the 32nd century BCE, and
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
, where we have 27 surviving
statues of Gudea Approximately twenty-seven statues of Gudea Gudea (Sumerian language, Sumerian: , ''Gu3-de2-a'') was a ruler (''Ensí, ensi'') of the state of Lagash in Southern Mesopotamia, who ruled circa 2080–2060 BC (short chronology) or 2144-2124 BC ( ...
, who ruled
Lagash Lagash (cuneiform: LAGAŠKI; Sumerian language, Sumerian: ''Lagaš''), or Shirpurla, was an ancient city state located northwest of the junction of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers and east of Uruk, about east of the modern town of Ash Shatrah, ...

Lagash
c. 2144–2124 BCE. In ancient Greece and Rome, the erection of a portrait statue in a public place was almost the highest mark of honour, and the ambition of the elite, who might also be depicted on a coin. In other cultures such as Egypt and the Near East public statues were almost exclusively the preserve of the ruler, with other wealthy people only being portrayed in their tombs. Rulers are typically the only people given portraits in Pre-Columbian cultures, beginning with the
Olmec colossal heads The Olmec colossal heads are stone representations of human heads sculpted from large basalt boulders. They range in height from . The heads date from at least 900 BC and are a distinctive feature of the Olmec civilization of ancient Mesoamerica.Di ...
of about 3,000 years ago. East Asian portrait sculpture was entirely religious, with leading clergy being commemorated with statues, especially the founders of monasteries, but not rulers, or ancestors. The Mediterranean tradition revived, initially only for tomb effigies and coins, in the Middle Ages, but expanded greatly in the Renaissance, which invented new forms such as the personal portrait
medal A medal or medallion is a small portable artistic object, a thin disc, normally of metal, carrying a design, usually on both sides. They typically have a commemorative purpose of some kind, and many are given as awards. They may be intend ...

medal
. Animals are, with the human figure, the earliest subject for sculpture, and have always been popular, sometimes realistic, but often imaginary monsters; in China animals and monsters are almost the only traditional subjects for stone sculpture outside tombs and temples. The kingdom of plants is important only in jewellery and decorative reliefs, but these form almost all the large sculpture of Byzantine art and
Islamic art About the concept of visual arts The visual arts are Art#Forms, genres, media, and styles, art forms such as painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics (art), ceramics, photography, video, filmmaking, design, crafts and architecture. M ...

Islamic art
, and are very important in most Eurasian traditions, where motifs such as the
palmette File:Terracotta architectural plaque with lotus and palmette designs MET DP258363 (cropped).jpg, Etruscan civilization, Etruscan architectural plaque with palmettes, from late 4th century BC, painted terracotta, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art ...

palmette
and vine scroll have passed east and west for over two millennia. One form of sculpture found in many prehistoric cultures around the world is specially enlarged versions of ordinary tools, weapons or vessels created in impractical precious materials, for either some form of ceremonial use or display or as offerings.
Jade Jade is a mineral, much used in some cultures as jewellery and for ornaments, mostly known for its green varieties, though it appears naturally in other colors as well, notably yellow and white. Jade can refer to either of two different silica ...

Jade
or other types of greenstone were used in China,
Olmec The Olmecs () were the earliest known major Mesoamerica Mesoamerica is a historical and important region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characterist ...
Mexico, and
Neolithic Europe Neolithic Europe is the period when Neolithic technology was present in Europe, roughly between 7000 BCE (the approximate time of the first farming societies in Greece) and c. 1700 BCE (the beginning of the Bronze Age in Nordic Bronze Age, Scandi ...
, and in early Mesopotamia large pottery shapes were produced in stone. Bronze was used in Europe and China for large axes and blades, like the Oxborough Dirk.


Materials and techniques

The materials used in sculpture are diverse, changing throughout history. The classic materials, with outstanding durability, are metal, especially
bronze Bronze is an alloy An alloy is an admixture of metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appear ...

bronze
, stone and pottery, with wood, bone and
antler Antlers are extensions of an animal's skull found in members of the deer Deer or true deer are ed s forming the Cervidae. The two main groups of deer are the , including the , the (wapiti), the , and the ; and the , including the ( ...

antler
less durable but cheaper options. Precious materials such as
gold Gold is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elemen ...

gold
,
silver Silver is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical ele ...

silver
,
jade Jade is a mineral, much used in some cultures as jewellery and for ornaments, mostly known for its green varieties, though it appears naturally in other colors as well, notably yellow and white. Jade can refer to either of two different silica ...

jade
, and
ivory Ivory is a hard, white material from the tusk Tusks are elongated, continuously growing front teeth A tooth (plural teeth) is a hard, calcification, calcified structure found in the jaws (or mouths) of many vertebrates and used to Mastica ...
are often used for small luxury works, and sometimes in larger ones, as in
chryselephantine Chryselephantine sculpture (from Greek grc, χρυσός, chrysós, gold, label=none, and grc, ελεφάντινος, elephántinos, ivory, label=none) is sculpture made with gold Gold is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), ...
statues. More common and less expensive materials were used for sculpture for wider consumption, including
hardwood Hardwood is wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and ...

hardwood
s (such as
oak An oak is a tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, the definition of a tree may be narrower, including on ...

oak
,
box/boxwood
box/boxwood
, and lime/linden);
terracotta Terracotta, terra cotta, or terra-cotta (; Italian language, Italian: "baked earth", literally "cooked earth", from the Latin ''terra cocta''), a type of earthenware, is a clay-based ceramic glaze, unglazed or glazed ceramic, where the Pottery f ...

terracotta
and other
ceramic A ceramic is any of the various hard, brittle, heat-resistant and corrosion-resistant Corrosion is a Erosion, natural process that converts a refined metal into a more chemically stable form such as oxide, hydroxide, carbonate or sulfide. ...

ceramic
s, wax (a very common material for models for casting, and receiving the impressions of
cylinder seal . Linescan camera image (reversed to resemble an impression). A cylinder seal is a small round cylinder, typically about one inch (2 to 3 cm) in length, engraved with written characters or figurative scenes or both, used in ancient times to ...
s and engraved gems), and cast metals such as
pewter Pewter () is a malleable Ductility is a mechanical property commonly described as a material's amenability to drawing Drawing is a form of visual art in which an artist uses instruments to mark paper Paper is a thin sheet materia ...
and
zinc Zinc is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical element ...

zinc
(spelter). But a vast number of other materials have been used as part of sculptures, in ethnographic and ancient works as much as modern ones. Sculptures are often
paint Paint is any pigmented liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible In fluid mechanics Fluid mechanics is the branch of physics concerned with the mechanics Mechanics (Ancient Greek, Greek: ) is the area of physics concerned wi ...

paint
ed, but commonly lose their paint to time, or restorers. Many different painting techniques have been used in making sculpture, including
tempera Tempera (), also known as egg tempera, is a permanent, fast-drying painting medium consisting of colored pigment A pigment is a colored material that is completely or nearly insoluble in water. In contrast, dyes are typically soluble, at le ...

tempera
,
oil painting Oil painting is the process of painting Painting is the practice of applying paint Paint is any pigmented liquid, liquefiable, or solid mastic composition that, after application to a substrate in a thin layer, converts to a ...
,
gilding Gilding is a decorative technique for applying a very thin coating of gold Gold is a chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an ...
, house paint, aerosol, enamel and sandblasting. Many sculptors seek new ways and materials to make art. One of
Pablo Picasso Pablo Ruiz Picasso (25 October 1881 – 8 April 1973) was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker 300px, Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait'', etching">Self-portrait.html" ;"title="Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait">Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait'', et ...

Pablo Picasso
's most famous sculptures included
bicycle A bicycle, also called a bike or cycle, is a human-powered transport, human-powered or motorized bicycle, motor-powered, bicycle pedal, pedal-driven, single-track vehicle, having two bicycle wheel, wheels attached to a bicycle frame, frame, ...

bicycle
parts.
Alexander Calder Alexander Calder (; July 22, 1898 – November 11, 1976) was an American Sculpture, sculptor known both for his innovative mobile (sculpture), mobiles (kinetic sculptures powered by motors or air currents) that embrace chance in their aesthetic, a ...

Alexander Calder
and other modernists made spectacular use of painted
steel Steel is an alloy An alloy is an admixture of metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appe ...

steel
. Since the 1960s, acrylics and other plastics have been used as well.
Andy Goldsworthy Andy Goldsworthy (born 26 July 1956) is a British sculptor, photographer and environmentalist Image:Voynet Montreuil 2008-01-06.jpg, Dominique Voynet, 2008 An environmentalist is a person who is concerned with and/or advocates for the protect ...
makes his unusually ephemeral sculptures from almost entirely natural materials in natural settings. Some sculpture, such as
ice sculpture of 2009 Ice sculpture is a form of sculpture Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. It is one of the plastic arts. Durable sculptural processes originally used carving (the removal of material) and model ...

ice sculpture
, , and gas sculpture, is deliberately short-lived. Recent sculptors have used
stained glass The term stained glass refers to coloured glass as a material and to works created from it. Throughout its thousand-year history, the term has been applied almost exclusively to the windows of churches and other significant religious buildings ...

stained glass
, tools, machine parts, hardware and consumer packaging to fashion their works. Sculptors sometimes use
found objects Found object is a loan translation In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional ...
, and
Chinese scholar's rocks ''Gongshi'' (), also known as scholar's rocks, are naturally occurring or shaped rocks A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its Chemical co ...
have been appreciated for many centuries.


Stone

is an ancient activity where pieces of rough natural
stone A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its chemical composition and the way in which it is formed. Rocks form the Earth's outer solid layer, th ...
are shaped by the . Owing to the permanence of the material, evidence can be found that even the earliest societies indulged in some form of stone work, though not all areas of the world have such abundance of good stone for carving as Egypt, Greece, India and most of Europe.
Petroglyph A petroglyph is an image created by removing part of a rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals ...

Petroglyph
s (also called rock engravings) are perhaps the earliest form: images created by removing part of a rock surface which remains ''in situ'', by incising, pecking, carving, and abrading.
Monumental sculpture The term monumental sculpture is often used in art history and Art criticism, criticism, but not always consistently. It combines two concepts, one of function, and one of size, and may include an element of a third more subjective concept. It is ...

Monumental sculpture
covers large works, and
architectural sculptureArchitectural sculpture is the use of sculptural techniques by an architect and/or sculptor in the design of a building, bridge A bridge is a Nonbuilding structure, structure built to Span (engineering), span a physical obstacle, such as a body ...
, which is attached to buildings.
Hardstone carving Hardstone carving is a general term in art history and archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complexity, complex topic or Substance t ...
is the carving for artistic purposes of
semi-precious A gemstone (also called a fine gem, jewel, precious stone, or semi-precious stone) is a piece of mineral In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Ea ...
stones such as
jade Jade is a mineral, much used in some cultures as jewellery and for ornaments, mostly known for its green varieties, though it appears naturally in other colors as well, notably yellow and white. Jade can refer to either of two different silica ...

jade
,
agate Agate is a common rock formation, consisting of chalcedony and quartz as its primary components, consisting of a wide variety of colors. Agates are primarily formed within Volcanic rock, volcanic and Metamorphic rock, metamorphic rocks. The orn ...

agate
,
onyx Onyx primarily refers to the parallel banded variety of the silicate mineral Silicate minerals are rock-forming mineral In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "dis ...

onyx
,
rock crystal Quartz is a hard, crystalline mineral composed of silicon and oxygen atoms. The atoms are linked in a continuous framework of SiO4 silicon-oxygen Tetrahedral molecular geometry, tetrahedra, with each oxygen being shared between two tetrahedra, g ...
,
sard Image:K700i-acat(111).jpg, 200px, SARD Supra is a Japanese tuning company and racing team from Toyota, Aichi, mainly competing in the Super GT series and specialising in Toyota tuning parts. History The company was formed in 1972 as Sigma Autom ...
or
carnelian Carnelian (also spelled cornelian) is a brownish-red mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and a specific crystal stru ...

carnelian
, and a general term for an object made in this way.
Alabaster Alabaster is a mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and a specific crystal structure that occurs naturally in pure fo ...

Alabaster
or mineral
gypsum Gypsum is a soft sulfate mineral The sulfate minerals are a class of mineral In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with ...

gypsum
is a soft mineral that is easy to carve for smaller works and still relatively durable.
Engraved gems File:Cameo prince Louvre MR54 (cropped).jpg, 300px, Relief Cameo (carving), cameo of a Roman prince. Perhaps 14th century. An engraved gem, frequently referred to as an intaglio, is a small and usually semi-precious gemstone that has been carved, i ...
are small carved gems, including cameos, originally used as
seal ring A seal is a device for making an impression in wax , a typical wax ester. Image:Beeswax foundation.jpg, Commercial honeycomb foundation, made by pressing beeswax between patterned metal rollers. Waxes are a diverse class of organic compounds ...
s. The copying of an original statue in stone, which was very important for ancient Greek statues, which are nearly all known from copies, was traditionally achieved by "
pointing Pointing is a gesture A gesture is a form of non-verbal communication or non-vocal communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy), enti ...

pointing
", along with more freehand methods. Pointing involved setting up a grid of string squares on a wooden frame surrounding the original, and then measuring the position on the grid and the distance between grid and statue of a series of individual points, and then using this information to carve into the block from which the copy is made.


Metal

Bronze Bronze is an alloy An alloy is an admixture of metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appear ...

Bronze
and related
copper alloy Copper alloys are metal alloys An alloy is an admixture of metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lust ...
s are the oldest and still the most popular metals for
cast Cast may refer to: Music * Cast (band) Cast are an English indie rock band formed in Liverpool Liverpool is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in Merseyside, England. Its population in 2019 was approxim ...

cast
metal sculptures; a cast
bronze sculpture Image:Liu Ding.jpg, Chinese ritual bronze, a Late Shang ''Ding (vessel), dǐng''. Bronze is the most popular metal for Casting (metalworking), cast metal sculptures; a cast bronze sculpture is often called simply a "bronze". It can be used for ...

bronze sculpture
is often called simply a "bronze". Common bronze alloys have the unusual and desirable property of expanding slightly just before they set, thus filling the finest details of a mould. Their strength and lack of brittleness (ductility) is an advantage when figures in action are to be created, especially when compared to various
ceramic A ceramic is any of the various hard, brittle, heat-resistant and corrosion-resistant Corrosion is a Erosion, natural process that converts a refined metal into a more chemically stable form such as oxide, hydroxide, carbonate or sulfide. ...

ceramic
or stone materials (see
marble sculpture Marble Marble is a composed of recrystallized , most commonly or . Marble is typically not , although there are exceptions. In , the term ''marble'' refers to metamorphosed , but its use in more broadly encompasses unmetamorphosed limest ...

marble sculpture
for several examples).
Gold Gold is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elemen ...

Gold
is the softest and most precious metal, and very important in
jewellery Jewellery or jewelry consists of decorative items worn for personal adornment 150px, The principal adornment of these girls from the Bundu tribe in Sierra Leone is the adornment of bodies and faces with markings produced by the smearing on by ...

jewellery
; with
silver Silver is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical ele ...

silver
it is soft enough to be worked with hammers and other tools as well as cast;
repoussé and chasing ''Repoussé'' () or ''repoussage'' () refer to a metalworking technique in which a malleable metal is shaped by hammering from the reverse side to create a design in low relief. Chasing, chased work, or embossing refer to a similar technique, ...
are among the techniques used in gold and
silversmithing A silversmith is a metalworking, metalworker who crafts objects from silver. The terms ''silversmith'' and ''goldsmith'' are not exactly synonyms as the techniques, training, history, and guilds are or were largely the same but the end product m ...
.
Casting Casting is a manufacturing Manufacturing is the creation or Production (economics), production of goods with the help of equipment, Work (human activity), labor, machines, tools, and chemical or biological processing or formulation. It is th ...

Casting
is a group of manufacturing processes by which a liquid material (bronze, copper, glass, aluminum, iron) is (usually) poured into a mould, which contains a hollow cavity of the desired shape, and then allowed to solidify. The solid casting is then ejected or broken out to complete the process, although a final stage of "cold work" may follow on the finished cast. Casting may be used to form hot liquid metals or various materials that ''cold set'' after mixing of components (such as
epoxies The Epoxies were an American New wave music, new wave band from Portland, Oregon, formed in 2000. Heavily influenced by new wave, the band jokingly described themselves as robot garage rock. Members included FM Static on synthesizers, guitarist V ...
,
concrete Concrete is a composite material A composite material (also called a composition material or shortened to composite, which is the common name) is a material Material is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a ter ...

concrete
,
plaster Plaster is a building material used for the protective or decorative coating of walls and ceilings and for moulding and casting decorative elements. In English, "plaster" usually means a material used for the interiors of buildings, while "rend ...
and
clay Clay is a type of fine-grained natural soil Surface-water- gley developed in glacial till, Northern Ireland.">Northern_Ireland.html" ;"title="glacial till, Northern Ireland">glacial till, Northern Ireland. Soil is a mixture of organic m ...

clay
). Casting is most often used for making complex shapes that would be otherwise difficult or uneconomical to make by other methods. The oldest surviving casting is a copper Mesopotamian frog from 3200 BCE. Specific techniques include
lost-wax casting On the left is an example of a rubber mould, often used in the lost-wax process, and on the right is the finished bronze sculpture. Lost-wax casting (also called " investment casting", "precision casting", or ''cire perdue'' which has been ad ...
, plaster mould casting and sand casting. Welding is a process where different pieces of metal are fused together to create different shapes and designs. There are many different forms of welding, such as Oxy-fuel welding, Stick welding, MIG welding, and TIG welding. Oxy-fuel is probably the most common method of welding when it comes to creating steel sculptures because it is the easiest to use for shaping the steel as well as making clean and less noticeable joins of the steel. The key to Oxy-fuel welding is heating each piece of metal to be joined evenly until all are red and have a shine to them. Once that shine is on each piece, that shine will soon become a 'pool' where the metal is liquified and the welder must get the pools to join, fusing the metal. Once cooled off, the location where the pools joined are now one continuous piece of metal. Also used heavily in Oxy-fuel sculpture creation is forging. Forging is the process of heating metal to a certain point to soften it enough to be shaped into different forms. One very common example is heating the end of a steel rod and hitting the red heated tip with a hammer while on an anvil to form a point. In between hammer swings, the forger rotates the rod and gradually forms a sharpened point from the blunt end of a steel rod.


Glass

Glass may be used for sculpture through a wide range of working techniques, though the use of it for large works is a recent development. It can be carved, though with considerable difficulty; the Roman Lycurgus Cup is all but unique. There are various ways of Early American molded glass, moulding glass: hot casting can be done by ladling molten glass into moulds that have been created by pressing shapes into sand, carved graphite or detailed plaster/silica moulds. Kiln casting glass involves heating chunks of glass in a kiln until they are liquid and flow into a waiting mould below it in the kiln. Hot glass can also glassblowing, be blown and/or hot sculpted with hand tools either as a solid mass or as part of a blown object. More recent techniques involve chiseling and bonding plate glass with polymer silicates and UV light.


Pottery

Pottery is one of the oldest materials for sculpture, as well as clay being the medium in which many sculptures cast in metal are originally modelled for casting. Sculptors often build small preliminary works called maquettes of ephemeral materials such as plaster, plaster of Paris, wax, unfired clay, or plasticine. Many cultures have produced pottery which combines a function as a vessel with a sculptural form, and small
figurine A figurine (a diminutive form of the word ''figure'') or statuette is a small, three-dimensional sculpture Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. It is one of the plastic arts. Durable sculptural p ...

figurine
s have often been as popular as they are in modern Western culture. Stamps and moulds were used by most ancient civilizations, from Ancient Roman pottery, ancient Rome and Mesopotamia to China.


Wood carving

Wood carving has been extremely widely practiced, but survives much less well than the other main materials, being vulnerable to decay, insect damage, and fire. It therefore forms an important hidden element in the art history of many cultures. Outdoor wood sculpture does not last long in most parts of the world, so that we have little idea how the
totem pole pole (left) and Kwakwaka'wakw pole (right) at Thunderbird Park (Victoria, British Columbia), Thunderbird Park in Victoria, British Columbia, Victoria, Canada. Totem poles ( hai, gyáaʼaang) are monumental carvings, a type of Northwest Coast art, ...

totem pole
tradition developed. Many of the most important sculptures of China and Japan in particular are in wood, and the great majority of African sculpture and that of Oceania and other regions. Wood is light, so suitable for masks and other sculpture intended to be carried, and can take very fine detail. It is also much easier to work than stone. It has been very often painted after carving, but the paint wears less well than the wood, and is often missing in surviving pieces. Painted wood is often technically described as "wood and polychrome". Typically a layer of gesso or plaster is applied to the wood, and then the paint is applied to that.


Social status of sculptors

Worldwide, sculptors have usually been tradesmen whose work is unsigned; in some traditions, for example China, where sculpture did not share the prestige of literati painting, this has affected the status of sculpture itself. Even in
ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era wa ...
, where sculptors such as Phidias became famous, they appear to have retained much the same social status as other artisans, and perhaps not much greater financial rewards, although some signed their works. In the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
artists such as the 12th-century Gislebertus sometimes signed their work, and were sought after by different cities, especially from the Trecento onwards in Italy, with figures such as Arnolfo di Cambio, and Nicola Pisano and his son Giovanni Pisano, Giovanni. Goldsmiths and jewellers, dealing with precious materials and often doubling as bankers, belonged to powerful guilds and had considerable status, often holding civic office. Many sculptors also practised in other arts; Andrea del Verrocchio also painted, and Giovanni Pisano, Michelangelo, and Jacopo Sansovino were Architecture, architects. Some sculptors maintained large workshops. Even in the Renaissance the physical nature of the work was perceived by Leonardo da Vinci and others as pulling down the status of sculpture in the arts, though the reputation of Michelangelo perhaps put this long-held idea to rest. From the High Renaissance artists such as Michelangelo, Leone Leoni and Giambologna could become wealthy, and ennobled, and enter the circle of princes, after a period of sharp argument over the relative status of sculpture and painting. Much decorative sculpture on buildings remained a trade, but sculptors producing individual pieces were recognised on a level with painters. From the 18th century or earlier sculpture also attracted middle-class students, although it was slower to do so than painting. Women sculptors took longer to appear than women painters, and were less prominent until the 20th century.


Anti-sculpture movements

Aniconism remained restricted to Judaism, which did not accept figurative sculpture until the 19th century, before expanding to Early Christianity, which initially accepted large sculptures. In Christianity and Buddhism, sculpture became very significant. Christian Eastern Orthodoxy has never accepted monumental sculpture, and Islam has consistently rejected nearly all figurative sculpture, except for very small figures in reliefs and some animal figures that fulfill a useful function, like the famous lions supporting a fountain in the Alhambra. Many forms of Protestantism also do not approve of religious sculpture. There has been much iconoclasm of sculpture from religious motives, from the Early Christians, the Beeldenstorm of the Protestant Reformation to the 2001 destruction of the Buddhas of Bamyan by the Taliban.


History


Prehistoric periods


Europe

The earliest undisputed examples of sculpture belong to the Aurignacian culture, which was located in Europe and southwest Asia and active at the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic. As well as producing some of the earliest known cave art, the people of this culture developed finely-crafted stone tools, manufacturing pendants, bracelets, ivory beads, and bone-flutes, as well as three-dimensional figurines. The 30 cm tall Löwenmensch figurine, Löwenmensch found in the Hohlenstein Stadel area of Germany is an anthropomorphic lion-man figure carved from woolly mammoth ivory. It has been dated to about 35–40,000BP, making it, along with the Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest known uncontested example of figurative art. Much surviving prehistoric art is small portable sculptures, with a small group of female Venus figurines such as the Venus of Willendorf (24–26,000BP) found across central Europe. The Swimming Reindeer of about 13,000 years ago is one of the finest of a number of Magdalenian carvings in bone or antler of animals in the art of the Upper Paleolithic, although they are outnumbered by engraved pieces, which are sometimes classified as sculpture. Two of the largest prehistoric sculptures can be found at the Trois Frères, Tuc d'Audobert caves in France, where around 12–17,000 years ago a masterful sculptor used a spatula-like stone tool and fingers to model a pair of large bison in clay against a limestone rock. With the beginning of the Mesolithic in Europe figurative sculpture greatly reduced, and remained a less common element in art than relief decoration of practical objects until the Roman period, despite some works such as the Gundestrup cauldron from the European Iron Age and the Bronze Age Trundholm sun chariot.


Ancient Near East

From the ancient Near East, the over-life sized stone Urfa Man from modern Turkey comes from about 9,000 BCE, and the 'Ain Ghazal Statues from around 7200 and 6500 BCE. These are from modern Jordan, made of lime plaster and reeds, and about half life-size; there are 15 statues, some with two heads side by side, and 15 busts. Small clay figures of people and animals are found at many sites across the Near East from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic, and represent the start of a more-or-less continuous tradition in the region. File:Loewenmensch2.jpg, Löwenmensch figurine, Löwenmensch, from Hohlenstein-Stadel, now in Ulmer Museum, Ulm, Germany, the oldest known anthropomorphic animal-human statuette, Aurignacian era, c.35–40,000BP File:Venus von Willendorf 01.jpg, Venus of Willendorf, c.24,000–26,000BP File:Venus-de-Laussel-vue-generale-noir.jpg, Venus of Laussel c.27,000BP, an Upper Palaeolithic carving, Bordeaux museum, France File:Speerschleuder LaMadeleine.jpg, ''Creeping Hyena,'' c.12–17,000BP, Elephant and mammoth ivory, mammoth ivory, found in Abri de la Madeleine, La Madeleine, France File:GLAM Ice Age 238.jpg, ''Swimming Reindeer'' c.13,000 BP, female and male swimming reindeer – late Magdalenian period, found at Montastruc, Tarn et Garonne, France File:Urfa man.jpg, Urfa Man, in the Şanlıurfa Museum; sandstone, 1.80 meters, c. 9,000 BCE File:Stone statue, late Jomon period.JPG, A Jōmon dogū figure, 1st millennium BCE, Japan File:Solvognen-00100.jpg, The Trundholm sun chariot, perhaps 1800–1500 BCE; this side is gilding, gilded, the other is "dark".


Ancient Near East

The Protoliterate period in
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
, dominated by Uruk, saw the production of sophisticated works like the Warka Vase and
cylinder seal . Linescan camera image (reversed to resemble an impression). A cylinder seal is a small round cylinder, typically about one inch (2 to 3 cm) in length, engraved with written characters or figurative scenes or both, used in ancient times to ...
s. The Guennol Lioness is an outstanding small limestone figure from Elam of about 3000–2800 BCE, part human and part lioness. A little later there are a number of figures of large-eyed priests and worshippers, mostly in alabaster and up to a foot high, who attended temple cult images of the deity, but very few of these have survived. Sculptures from the Sumerian and Akkadian Empire, Akkadian period generally had large, staring eyes, and long beards on the men. Many masterpieces have also been found at the Royal Cemetery at Ur (c. 2650 BCE), including the two figures of a ''Ram in a Thicket'', the ''Copper Bull'' and a bull's head on one of the Lyres of Ur. From the many subsequent periods before the ascendency of the Neo-Assyrian Empire in the 10th century BCE Mesopotamian art survives in a number of forms:
cylinder seal . Linescan camera image (reversed to resemble an impression). A cylinder seal is a small round cylinder, typically about one inch (2 to 3 cm) in length, engraved with written characters or figurative scenes or both, used in ancient times to ...
s, relatively small figures in the round, and reliefs of various sizes, including cheap plaques of moulded pottery for the home, some religious and some apparently not. The Burney Relief is an unusually elaborate and relatively large (20 x 15 inches, 50 x 37 cm)
terracotta Terracotta, terra cotta, or terra-cotta (; Italian language, Italian: "baked earth", literally "cooked earth", from the Latin ''terra cocta''), a type of earthenware, is a clay-based ceramic glaze, unglazed or glazed ceramic, where the Pottery f ...

terracotta
plaque of a naked winged goddess with the feet of a bird of prey, and attendant owls and lions. It comes from the 18th or 19th centuries BCE, and may also be moulded. Stone stelae, votive offerings, or ones probably commemorating victories and showing feasts, are also found from temples, which unlike more official ones lack inscriptions that would explain them; the fragmentary Stele of the Vultures is an early example of the inscribed type, and the Assyrian Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III a large and solid late one. The conquest of the whole of Mesopotamia and much surrounding territory by the Assyrians created a larger and wealthier state than the region had known before, and very grandiose art in palaces and public places, no doubt partly intended to match the splendour of the art of the neighbouring Egyptian empire. Unlike earlier states, the Assyrians could use easily carved stone from northern Iraq, and did so in great quantity. The Assyrians developed a style of extremely Assyrian sculpture#Palace reliefs, large schemes of very finely detailed narrative low reliefs in stone for palaces, with scenes of war or hunting; the British Museum has an outstanding collection, including the ''Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal'' and the Lachish reliefs showing a campaign. They produced very little sculpture in the round, except for colossal guardian figures of the human-headed lamassu, which are sculpted in high relief on two sides of a rectangular block, with the heads effectively in the round (and also five legs, so that both views seem complete). Even before dominating the region they had continued the cylinder seal tradition with designs which are often exceptionally energetic and refined. File:Guennol Lioness.jpg, The Guennol Lioness, 3rd millennium BCE, high File:Statue Gudea Met 59.2.jpg, One of 18 Statues of Gudea, a ruler around 2090 BCE File:Lilith Periodo de Isin Larsa y Babilonia.JPG, The Burney Relief, First Babylonian dynasty, Old Babylonian, around 1800 BCE File:Sculpted reliefs depicting Ashurbanipal, the last great Assyrian king, hunting lions, gypsum hall relief from the North Palace of Nineveh (Irak), c. 645-635 BC, British Museum (16722368932).jpg, Part of the ''Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal'', c. 640 BCE, Nineveh


Ancient Egypt

The
monumental sculpture The term monumental sculpture is often used in art history and Art criticism, criticism, but not always consistently. It combines two concepts, one of function, and one of size, and may include an element of a third more subjective concept. It is ...

monumental sculpture
of ancient Egypt is world-famous, but refined and delicate small works exist in much greater numbers. The Egyptians used the distinctive technique of sunk relief, which is well suited to very bright sunlight. The main figures in reliefs adhere to the same figure convention as in painting, with parted legs (where not seated) and head shown from the side, but the torso from the front, and a standard set of proportions making up the figure, using 18 "fists" to go from the ground to the hair-line on the forehead. This appears as early as the
Narmer Palette The Narmer Palette, also known as the Great Hierakonpolis Palette or the Palette of Narmer, is a significant Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bordered by th ...

Narmer Palette
from Dynasty I. However, there as elsewhere the convention is not used for minor figures shown engaged in some activity, such as the captives and corpses. Other conventions make statues of males darker than females ones. Very conventionalized portrait statues appear from as early as Dynasty II, before 2,780 BCE, and with the exception of the Amarna art, art of the Amarna period of Ahkenaten, and some other periods such as Dynasty XII, the idealized features of rulers, like other Egyptian artistic conventions, changed little until after the Greek conquest. Egyptian pharaohs were always regarded as deities, but other deities are much less common in large statues, except when they represent the pharaoh ''as'' another deity; however the other deities are frequently shown in paintings and reliefs. The famous row of four colossal statues outside the Abu Simbel temples, main temple at Abu Simbel each show Rameses II, a typical scheme, though here exceptionally large. Small figures of deities, or their animal personifications, are very common, and found in popular materials such as pottery. Most larger sculpture survives from
Egyptian temple Egyptian temples were built for the official worship of the gods A deity or god is a supernatural being considered divinity, divine or sacred. The ''Oxford Dictionary of English'' defines deity as "a God (male deity), god or goddess (in a poly ...

Egyptian temple
s or tombs; by Dynasty IV (2680–2565 BCE) at the latest the idea of the Ka statue was firmly established. These were put in tombs as a resting place for the Ancient Egyptian concept of the soul, ''ka'' portion of the soul, and so we have a good number of less conventionalized statues of well-off administrators and their wives, many in wood as Egypt is one of the few places in the world where the climate allows wood to survive over millennia. The so-called reserve heads, plain hairless heads, are especially naturalistic. Early tombs also contained small models of the slaves, animals, buildings and objects such as boats necessary for the deceased to continue his lifestyle in the afterworld, and later ''Ushabti'' figures. File:Narmer Palette, Egypt, c. 3100 BC - Royal Ontario Museum - DSC09726.JPG, Facsimile of the
Narmer Palette The Narmer Palette, also known as the Great Hierakonpolis Palette or the Palette of Narmer, is a significant Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bordered by th ...

Narmer Palette
, c. 3100 BCE, which already shows the canonical Egyptian profile view and proportions of the figure File:King Menkaura (Mycerinus) and queen.jpg, Menkaura (Mycerinus) and queen, Old Kingdom, Dynasty 4, 2490–2472 BCE. The formality of the pose is reduced by the queen's arm round her husband File:GD-EG-Caire-Musée120.JPG, Wooden tomb models, Dynasty XI; a high administrator counts his cattle File:Tuthankhamun Egyptian Museum.jpg, Tutankhamun's mask, c. late Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt, Eighteenth dynasty, Egyptian Museum File:BM, AES Egyptian Sulpture ~ Colossal bust of Ramesses II, the 'Younger Memnon' (1250 BC) (Room 4).jpg, ''The Younger Memnon'' c. 1250 BCE, British Museum File:Egypte louvre 066.jpg, Osiris on a lapis lazuli pillar in the middle, flanked by Horus on the left, and Isis on the right, 22nd dynasty, Louvre File:Ka Statue of horawibra.jpg, The ka statue provided a physical place for the ka to manifest. Egyptian Museum, Cairo File:Block statue Pa-Akh-Ra CdM.jpg, Block statue of Pa-Ankh-Ra, ship master, bearing a statue of Ptah. Late Period of Ancient Egypt, Late Period, c. 650–633 BCE, Cabinet des Médailles


Europe


Ancient Greece

The first distinctive style of ancient Greek sculpture developed in the Early Bronze Age Cycladic period (3rd millennium BCE), where marble figures, usually female and small, are represented in an elegantly simplified geometrical style. Most typical is a standing pose with arms crossed in front, but other figures are shown in different poses, including a complicated figure of a harpist seated on a chair. The subsequent Minoan civilization, Minoan and Mycenaean Greece, Mycenaean cultures developed sculpture further, under influence from Syria and elsewhere, but it is in the later Archaic Greece, Archaic period from around 650 BCE that the kouros developed. These are large standing statues of naked youths, found in temples and tombs, with the Kore (sculpture), kore as the clothed female equivalent, with elaborately dressed hair; both have the "archaic smile". They seem to have served a number of functions, perhaps sometimes representing deities and sometimes the person buried in a grave, as with the Kroisos Kouros. They are clearly influenced by Egyptian and Syrian styles, but the Greek artists were much more ready to experiment within the style. During the 6th century Greek sculpture developed rapidly, becoming more naturalistic, and with much more active and varied figure poses in narrative scenes, though still within idealized conventions. Sculptured pediments were added to Greek temple, temples, including the Parthenon in Athens, where the remains of the pediment of around 520 using figures in the round were fortunately used as infill for new buildings after the Persian sack in 480 BCE, and recovered from the 1880s on in fresh unweathered condition. Other significant remains of architectural sculpture come from Paestum in Italy, Corfu, Delphi and the Temple of Aphaea in Aegina (much now in Munich). Most Greek sculpture originally included at least some colour; the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Museum in Copenhagen, Denmark, has done extensive research and recreation of the original colours. File:Head figurine Spedos Louvre Ma2709.jpg, Cycladic statue 2700–2300 BCE. Head from the figure of a woman, H. File:Goulandris Master - Cycladic Female Figurine - Walters 23253.jpg, Cycladic Female Figurine, c. 2500–2400 BCE, high File:Exhibit Archaeologycal Museum Athens.JPG, Mycenae, 1600−1500 BCE. Silver rhyton with gold horns and rosette on the forehead File:Marble statue of a kouros (youth) MET DT263.jpg, Lifesize New York Kouros, c. 590–580 BCE, Metropolitan Museum of Art File:028MAD Sphinx.jpg, The "Naxos, Naxian Sphinx" from Delphi, 570–560 BCE, the figure high File:ACMA 679 Kore 1.JPG, ''Peplos Kore'', c. 530 BCE, Athens, Acropolis Museum File:Aphaia pediment Laomedon E-XI Glyptothek Munich 85.jpg, Late Archaic warrior from the east pediment of the Temple of Aphaea, c. 500 File:Limestone sarcophagus- the Amathus sarcophagus MET DT257.jpg, The Amathus sarcophagus, from Amathus, Cyprus, 2nd quarter of the 5th century BCE Archaic Greece, Archaic period, Metropolitan Museum of Art


=Classical

= There are fewer original remains from the first phase of the Classical period, often called the Severe style; free-standing statues were now mostly made in bronze, which always had value as scrap. The Severe style lasted from around 500 in reliefs, and soon after 480 in statues, to about 450. The relatively rigid poses of figures relaxed, and asymmetrical turning positions and oblique views became common, and deliberately sought. This was combined with a better understanding of anatomy and the harmonious structure of sculpted figures, and the pursuit of naturalistic representation as an aim, which had not been present before. Excavations at the Temple of Zeus, Olympia since 1829 have revealed the largest group of remains, from about 460, of which many are in the Louvre. The "High Classical" period lasted only a few decades from about 450 to 400, but has had a momentous influence on art, and retains a special prestige, despite a very restricted number of original survivals. The best known works are the Parthenon Marbles, traditionally (since Plutarch) executed by a team led by the most famous ancient Greek sculptor Phidias, active from about 465–425, who was in his own day more famous for his colossal
chryselephantine Chryselephantine sculpture (from Greek grc, χρυσός, chrysós, gold, label=none, and grc, ελεφάντινος, elephántinos, ivory, label=none) is sculpture made with gold Gold is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), ...
Statue of Zeus at Olympia The Statue of Zeus at Olympia was a giant seated figure, about tall, made by the Greek sculptor Phidias of the Parthenon to his Friends'' (1868) by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema Phidias or Pheidias (; grc, Φειδίας, ''Pheidias'';   ...
(c. 432), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, his ''Athena Parthenos'' (438), the cult image of the Parthenon, and ''Athena Promachos'', a colossal bronze figure that stood next to the Parthenon; all of these are lost but are known from many representations. He is also credited as the creator of some life-size bronze statues known only from later copies whose identification is controversial, including the ''Hermes Ludovisi, Ludovisi Hermes''. The High Classical style continued to develop realism and sophistication in the human figure, and improved the depiction of drapery (clothes), using it to add to the impact of active poses. Facial expressions were usually very restrained, even in combat scenes. The composition of groups of figures in reliefs and on pediments combined complexity and harmony in a way that had a permanent influence on Western art. Relief could be very high indeed, as in the Parthenon illustration below, where most of the leg of the warrior is completely detached from the background, as were the missing parts; relief this high made sculptures more subject to damage. The Late Classical style developed the free-standing female nude statue, supposedly an innovation of Praxiteles, and developed increasingly complex and subtle poses that were interesting when viewed from a number of angles, as well as more expressive faces; both trends were to be taken much further in the Hellenistic period.


=Hellenistic

= The Hellenistic art, Hellenistic period is conventionally dated from the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE, and ending either with the final conquest of the Greek heartlands by Roman Republic, Rome in 146 BCE or with the final defeat of the last remaining successor-state to Alexander's empire after the Battle of Actium in 31 BCE, which also marks the end of Republican Rome.Alexander The Great and the Hellenistic Age, p. xiii. Green P. . It is thus much longer than the previous periods, and includes at least two major phases: a "Pergamene" style of experimentation, exuberance and some sentimentality and vulgarity, and in the 2nd century BCE a classicising return to a more austere simplicity and elegance; beyond such generalizations dating is typically very uncertain, especially when only later copies are known, as is usually the case. The initial Pergamene style was not especially associated with Pergamon, from which it takes its name, but the very wealthy kings of that state were among the first to collect and also copy Classical sculpture, and also commissioned much new work, including the famous Pergamon Altar whose sculpture is now mostly in Berlin and which exemplifies the new style, as do the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (another of the Seven Wonders), the famous ''Laocoön and his Sons'' in the Vatican Museums, a late example, and the bronze original of ''The Dying Gaul'' (illustrated at top), which we know was part of a group actually commissioned for Pergamon in about 228 BCE, from which the Ludovisi Gaul was also a copy. The group called the Farnese Bull, possibly a 2nd-century marble original, is still larger and more complex, Hellenistic sculpture greatly expanded the range of subjects represented, partly as a result of greater general prosperity, and the emergence of a very wealthy class who had large houses decorated with sculpture, although we know that some examples of subjects that seem best suited to the home, such as children with animals, were in fact placed in temples or other public places. For a much more popular home decoration market there were Tanagra figurines, and those from other centres where small pottery figures were produced on an industrial scale, some religious but others showing animals and elegantly dressed ladies. Sculptors became more technically skilled in representing facial expressions conveying a wide variety of emotions and the portraiture of individuals, as well representing different ages and races. The reliefs from the Mausoleum are rather atypical in that respect; most work was free-standing, and group compositions with several figures to be seen in the round, like the ''Laocoon'' and the Pergamon group celebrating victory over the Gauls became popular, having been rare before. The Barberini Faun, showing a satyr sprawled asleep, presumably after drink, is an example of the moral relaxation of the period, and the readiness to create large and expensive sculptures of subjects that fall short of the heroic. After the conquests of Alexander Hellenistic culture was dominant in the courts of most of the Near East, and some of Central Asia, and increasingly being adopted by European elites, especially in Italy, where Magna Graecia, Greek colonies initially controlled most of the South. Hellenistic art, and artists, spread very widely, and was especially influential in the expanding Roman Republic and when it encountered Buddhism in the easternmost extensions of the Hellenistic area. The massive so-called Alexander Sarcophagus found in Sidon in modern Lebanon, was probably made there at the start of the period by expatriate Greek artists for a Hellenized Persian governor. The wealth of the period led to a greatly increased production of luxury forms of small sculpture, including engraved gems and cameos, jewellery, and gold and silverware. File:Reggio calabria museo nazionale bronzi di riace.jpg, The Riace Bronzes, very rare bronze figures recovered from the sea, c. 460–430 File:Hermes and the infant Dionysus by Praxiteles.jpg, ''Hermes and the Infant Dionysos'', possibly an original by Praxiteles, 4th century File:Italia del sud, due statuette femminili dolenti, 350-300 ac. ca.JPG, Two elegant ladies, pottery figurines, 350–300 File:Bronze statuette of a horse MET DP120125.jpg, ''Bronze Statuette of a Horse,'' late 2nd – 1st century BCE Metropolitan Museum of Art File:Nike of Samothrake Louvre Ma2369 n4.jpg, ''The Winged Victory of Samothrace'', c. 190 BCE, Louvre File:Venus de Milo Louvre Ma399 n4.jpg, ''Venus de Milo'', c. 130–100 BCE, Culture of Greece, Greek, the Louvre File:Laocoon Pio-Clementino Inv1059-1064-1067.jpg, ''Laocoön and his Sons'', Greek, (Late Hellenistic art, Hellenistic), perhaps a copy, between 200 BCE and 20 CE, white marble, Vatican Museum File:0 Apollon du Belvédère - Cortile Ottagono - Museo Pio-Clementino - Vatican (2).JPG, Leochares, ''Apollo Belvedere'', c. 130–140 CE. Roman copy after a Greek bronze original of 330–320 BCE. Vatican Museums


Europe after the Greeks


=Roman sculpture

= Early Roman art was influenced by the art of Greece and that of the neighbouring Etruscan art, Etruscans, themselves greatly influenced by their Greek trading partners. An Etruscan speciality was near life size tomb effigies in
terracotta Terracotta, terra cotta, or terra-cotta (; Italian language, Italian: "baked earth", literally "cooked earth", from the Latin ''terra cocta''), a type of earthenware, is a clay-based ceramic glaze, unglazed or glazed ceramic, where the Pottery f ...

terracotta
, usually lying on top of a sarcophagus lid propped up on one elbow in the pose of a diner in that period. As the expanding Roman Republic began to conquer Greek territory, at first in Southern Italy and then the entire Hellenistic world except for the Parthian Empire, Parthian far east, official and Roman patrician, patrician sculpture became largely an extension of the Hellenistic style, from which specifically Roman elements are hard to disentangle, especially as so much Greek sculpture survives only in copies of the Roman period. By the 2nd century BCE, "most of the sculptors working at Rome" were Greek, often enslaved in conquests such as that of Corinth (146 BCE), and sculptors continued to be mostly Greeks, often slaves, whose names are very rarely recorded. Vast numbers of Greek statues were imported to Rome, whether as booty or the result of extortion or commerce, and temples were often decorated with re-used Greek works. A native Italian style can be seen in the tomb monuments, which very often featured portrait busts, of prosperous middle-class Romans, and Roman portraiture, portraiture is arguably the main strength of Roman sculpture. There are no survivals from the tradition of masks of ancestors that were worn in processions at the funerals of the great families and otherwise displayed in the home, but many of the busts that survive must represent ancestral figures, perhaps from the large family tombs like the Tomb of the Scipios or the later mausolea outside the city. The famous bronze head supposedly of Lucius Junius Brutus is very variously dated, but taken as a very rare survival of Italic style under the Republic, in the preferred medium of bronze. Similarly stern and forceful heads are seen on coins of the Late Republic, and in the Imperial period coins as well as busts sent around the Empire to be placed in the basilicas of provincial cities were the main visual form of imperial propaganda; even Londinium had a near-colossal statue of Nero, though far smaller than the 30-metre-high Colossus of Nero in Rome, now lost. The Romans did not generally attempt to compete with free-standing Greek works of heroic exploits from history or mythology, but from early on produced historical works in relief, culminating in the great Roman triumphal columns with continuous narrative reliefs winding around them, of which those commemorating Trajan's Column, Trajan (CE 113) and Column of Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius (by 193) survive in Rome, where the Ara Pacis ("Altar of Peace", 13 BCE) represents the official Greco-Roman style at its most classical and refined. Among other major examples are the earlier re-used reliefs on the Arch of Constantine and the base of the Column of Antoninus Pius (161), Campana reliefs were cheaper pottery versions of marble reliefs and the taste for relief was from the imperial period expanded to the sarcophagus. All forms of luxury small sculpture continued to be patronized, and quality could be extremely high, as in the silver Warren Cup, glass Lycurgus Cup, and large cameos like the Gemma Augustea, Gonzaga Cameo and the "Great Cameo of France". For a much wider section of the population, moulded relief decoration of Ancient Roman pottery, pottery vessels and small figurines were produced in great quantity and often considerable quality. After moving through a late 2nd-century "baroque" phase, in the 3rd century, Roman art largely abandoned, or simply became unable to produce, sculpture in the classical tradition, a change whose causes remain much discussed. Even the most important imperial monuments now showed stumpy, large-eyed figures in a harsh frontal style, in simple compositions emphasizing power at the expense of grace. The contrast is famously illustrated in the Arch of Constantine of 315 in Rome, which combines sections in the new style with roundels in the earlier full Greco-Roman style taken from elsewhere, and the ''Portrait of the Four Tetrarchs, Four Tetrarchs'' (c. 305) from the new capital of Constantinople, now in Venice. Ernst Kitzinger found in both monuments the same "stubby proportions, angular movements, an ordering of parts through symmetry and repetition and a rendering of features and drapery folds through incisions rather than modelling... The hallmark of the style wherever it appears consists of an emphatic hardness, heaviness and angularity—in short, an almost complete rejection of the classical tradition". This revolution in style shortly preceded the period in which Christianity was adopted by the Roman state and the great majority of the people, leading to the end of large religious sculpture, with large statues now only used for emperors. However, rich Christians continued to commission reliefs for sarcophagi, as in the Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus, and very small sculpture, especially in ivory, was continued by Christians, building on the style of the consular diptych. File:Museo archeologico di Firenze, coperchio di sepolcro muliebre da Tuscania, terracotta con tracce di policromia III sec. d.c.JPG, Etruscan art, Etruscan sarcophagus, 3rd century BCE File:Capitoline Brutus Musei Capitolini MC1183 02.jpg, The "Capitoline Brutus", dated to the 3rd or 1st century BCE File:Statue-Augustus.jpg, ''Augustus of Prima Porta'', statue of the emperor Augustus, 1st century CE. Vatican Museums File:Tomba dei decii, dalla via ostiense, 98-117 dc..JPG, Tomb relief of the Decii, 98–117 CE File:Claudius Pio-Clementino Inv243.jpg, Bust of Emperor Claudius, c. 50 CE, (reworked from a bust of emperor Caligula), It was found in the so-called Otricoli basilica in Lanuvium, Italy, Vatican Museums File:COMMODE HERCULE.jpg, Commodus dressed as Hercules, c. 191 CE, in the late imperial "baroque" style File:Venice – The Tetrarchs 03.jpg, ''Portrait of the Four Tetrarchs, The Four Tetrarchs'', c. 305, showing the new anti-classical style, in Porphyry (geology), porphyry, now San Marco, Venice File:Great Cameo of France CdM Paris Bab264 white background.jpg, The hardstone carving, cameo gem known as the "Great Cameo of France", c. 23 CE, with an allegory of Augustus and his family


=Early Medieval and Byzantine

= The Early Christians were opposed to monumental religious sculpture, though continuing Roman traditions in portrait busts and sarcophagus reliefs, as well as smaller objects such as the consular diptych. Such objects, often in valuable materials, were also the main sculptural traditions (as far as is known) of the barbaric civilizations of the Migration period, as seen in the objects found in the 6th-century burial treasure at Sutton Hoo, and the jewellery of Scythian art and the hybrid Christian and animal style productions of Insular art. Following the continuing Byzantine tradition, Carolingian art revived ivory carving, often in panels for the treasure bindings of grand illuminated manuscripts, as well as crozier heads and other small fittings. Byzantine art, though producing superb ivory reliefs and architectural decorative carving, never returned to monumental sculpture, or even much small sculpture in the round. However, in the West during the Carolingian and Ottonian periods there was the beginnings of a production of monumental statues, in courts and major churches. This gradually spread; by the late 10th and 11th century there are records of several apparently life-size sculptures in Anglo-Saxon art, Anglo-Saxon churches, probably of precious metal around a wooden frame, like the Golden Madonna of Essen. No Anglo-Saxon example has survived, and survivals of large non-architectural sculpture from before 1,000 are exceptionally rare. Much the finest is the Gero Cross, of 965–970, which is a crucifix, which was evidently the commonest type of sculpture; Charlemagne had set one up in the Palatine Chapel in Aachen around 800. These continued to grow in popularity, especially in Germany and Italy. The rune stones of the Nordic countries, Nordic world, the Pictish stones of Scotland and possibly the high cross reliefs of Christian Great Britain, were northern sculptural traditions that bridged the period of Christianization. File:Byzantine ivory 801.jpg, ''Archangel Ivory'', 525–550, Constantinople File:Saint Remigius binding Medieval Picardie Museum.jpg, Late Carolingian art, Carolingian ivory panel, probably meant for a book-cover File:Triptych Harbaville Louvre OA3247 recto.jpg, The Harbaville Triptych, Byzantine art, Byzantine
ivory Ivory is a hard, white material from the tusk Tusks are elongated, continuously growing front teeth A tooth (plural teeth) is a hard, calcification, calcified structure found in the jaws (or mouths) of many vertebrates and used to Mastica ...
, mid-10th century


=Romanesque

= From about 1000 there was a general rebirth of artistic production in all Europe, led by general economic growth in production and commerce, and the new style of Romanesque art was the first medieval style to be used in the whole of Western Europe. The new cathedrals and pilgrim's churches were increasingly decorated with architectural stone reliefs, and new focuses for sculpture developed, such as the Tympanum (architecture), tympanum over church doors in the 12th century, and the inhabited Capital (architecture)#Romanesque and Gothic capitals, capital with figures and often narrative scenes. Outstanding abbey churches with sculpture include in France Abbey of la Madaleine, Vézelay, Vézelay and Moissac Abbey, Moissac and in Spain Abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos, Silos. Romanesque art was characterised by a very vigorous style in both sculpture and painting. The capitals of columns were never more exciting than in this period, when they were often carved with complete scenes with several figures. The large wooden crucifix was a German innovation right at the start of the period, as were free-standing statues of the enthroned Madonna, but the high relief was above all the sculptural mode of the period. Compositions usually had little depth, and needed to be flexible to squeeze themselves into the shapes of capitals, and church typanums; the tension between a tightly enclosing frame, from which the composition sometimes escapes, is a recurrent theme in Romanesque art. Figures still often varied in size in relation to their importance portraiture hardly existed. Objects in precious materials such as ivory and metal had a very high status in the period, much more so than monumental sculpture — we know the names of more makers of these than painters, illuminators or architect-masons. Metalwork, including decoration in Vitreous enamel, enamel, became very sophisticated, and many spectacular shrines made to hold relics have survived, of which the best known is the Shrine of the Three Kings at Cologne Cathedral by Nicholas of Verdun. The bronze Gloucester candlestick and the Baptismal font at St Bartholomew's Church, Liège, brass font of 1108–17 now in Liège are superb examples, very different in style, of metal casting, the former highly intricate and energetic, drawing on manuscript painting, while the font shows the Mosan style at its most classical and majestic. The bronze doors, a triumphal column and other fittings at St. Mary's Cathedral, Hildesheim, Hildesheim Cathedral, the Gniezno Doors, and the doors of the Basilica di San Zeno in Verona are other substantial survivals. The aquamanile, a container for water to wash with, appears to have been introduced to Europe in the 11th century, and often took fantastic zoomorphic forms; surviving examples are mostly in brass. Many wax impressions from impressive seals survive on charters and documents, although Romanesque coins are generally not of great aesthetic interest. The Cloisters Cross is an unusually large
ivory Ivory is a hard, white material from the tusk Tusks are elongated, continuously growing front teeth A tooth (plural teeth) is a hard, calcification, calcified structure found in the jaws (or mouths) of many vertebrates and used to Mastica ...
crucifix, with complex carving including many figures of prophets and others, which has been attributed to one of the relatively few artists whose name is known, Master Hugo, who also illuminated manuscripts. Like many pieces it was originally partly coloured. The Lewis chessmen are well-preserved examples of small ivories, of which many pieces or fragments remain from croziers, plaques, pectoral crosses and similar objects. File:Renier de Huy JPG0.jpg, Baptismal font at St Bartholomew's Church, Liège, ''Baptism of Jesus, Baptism of Christ'', 1107–1118 File:02 Basilique Ste-Marie-Madeleine de Vézelay - Tympan.jpg, The tympanum of Vézelay Abbey, Burgundy (region), Burgundy, France, 1130s File:Cathedral of Ourense (Spain).jpg, ''Facade,'' Cathedral of Ourense 1160, Spain File:Apóstoles del Pórtico de la Gloria.jpg, ''Pórtico da Gloria'', Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Galicia (Spain), Galicia, Spain, c. 12th–13th centuries


= Gothic

= The Gothic period is essentially defined by Gothic architecture, and does not entirely fit with the development of style in sculpture in either its start or finish. The facades of large churches, especially around doors, continued to have large typanums, but also rows of sculpted figures spreading around them. The statues on the Western (Royal) Portal at Chartres Cathedral (c. 1145) show an elegant but exaggerated columnar elongation, but those on the south transept portal, from 1215 to 1220, show a more naturalistic style and increasing detachment from the wall behind, and some awareness of the classical tradition. These trends were continued in the west portal at Reims Cathedral of a few years later, where the figures are almost in the round, as became usual as Gothic spread across Europe. In Italy Nicola Pisano (1258–1278) and his son Giovanni Pisano, Giovanni developed a style that is often called Proto-Renaissance, with unmistakable influence from Roman sarcophagi and sophisticated and crowded compositions, including a sympathetic handling of nudity, in relief panels on their Pulpit (Siena Cathedral), pulpit of Siena Cathedral (1265–68), the Fontana Maggiore in Perugia, and Giovanni's Pulpit by Giovanni Pisano in Sant'Andrea, Pistoia, pulpit in Pistoia of 1301. Another revival of classical style is seen in the International Gothic work of Claus Sluter and his followers in Burgundy (historical region), Burgundy and Flanders around 1400. Late Gothic sculpture continued in the North, with a fashion for very large wooden sculpted altarpieces with increasingly virtuoso carving and large numbers agitated expressive figures; most surviving examples are in Germany, after much iconoclasm elsewhere. Tilman Riemenschneider, Veit Stoss and others continued the style well into the 16th century, gradually absorbing Italian Renaissance influences. Life-size tomb effigies in stone or alabaster became popular for the wealthy, and grand multi-level tombs evolved, with the Scaliger Tombs of Verona so large they had to be moved outside the church. By the 15th century there was an industry exporting Nottingham alabaster altar reliefs in groups of panels over much of Europe for economical parishes who could not afford stone retables. Small carvings, for a mainly lay and often female market, became a considerable industry in Paris and some other centres. Types of ivories included small devotional polyptychs, Virgin and Child from the Sainte-Chapelle, single figures, especially of the Virgin, mirror-cases, combs, and Casket with Scenes of Romances (Walters 71264), elaborate caskets with scenes from Romances, used as engagement presents. The very wealthy collected extravagantly elaborate jewelled and enamelled metalwork, both secular and religious, like the Duc de Berry's Holy Thorn Reliquary, until they ran short of money, when they were melted down again for cash. File:Chartres2006 077.jpg, West portal of Chartres Cathedral (c. 1145) File:Chartres cathedral 023 martyrs S TTaylor.JPG, South portal of Chartres Cathedral (c. 1215–1220) File:Reims6.jpg, West portal at Reims Cathedral, Annunciation group File:Pisa.Baptistery.pulpit02.jpg, Nicola Pisano, ''Nativity'' and ''Adoration of the Magi'' from the pulpit of the Pisa Baptistery File:Bamberger Dom-Bamberger Reiter.JPG, The Bamberg Horseman 1237, near life-size stone
equestrian statue An equestrian statue is a statue of a rider mounted on a horse, from the Latin ''eques'', meaning 'knight', deriving from ''equus'', meaning 'horse'. A statue of a riderless horse is strictly an equine statue. A full-sized equestrian statue is a d ...
, the first of this kind since antiquities, antiquity. File:French - Casket with Scenes of Romances - Walters 71264 - Top.jpg, Lid of the Casket with Scenes of Romances (Walters 71264), Walters Casket, with the ''Siege of the Castle of Love'' at left, and jousting. Paris, 1330–1350 File:Siege castle love Louvre OA6933.jpg, ''Siege of the Castle of Love'' on a mirror-case in the Musée du Louvre, Louvre, 1350–1370; the ladies are losing. File:Pietà Naumburg Cathedral 01a.jpg, Central German Pietà, 1330–1340 File:Dijon mosesbrunnen4.jpg, Claus Sluter, David (biblical king), David and a prophet from the ''Well of Moses'' File:Holy Thorn Reliquary base.jpg, Base of the Holy Thorn Reliquary, a ''Resurrection of the Dead'' in gold, enamel and gems File:English - Resurrection - Walters 27308.jpg, Section of a panelled altarpiece with ''Resurrection of Christ'', English, 1450–1490, Nottingham alabaster with remains of colour File:Rothenburg ob der Tauber 2011 St Jakob 002.JPG, Detail of the Last Supper from Tilman Riemenschneider's ''Altar of the Holy Blood'', 1501–1505, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Bavaria


Renaissance

Renaissance sculpture proper is often taken to begin with the famous competition for the doors of the Florence Baptistry in 1403, from which the trial models submitted by the winner, Lorenzo Ghiberti, and Filippo Brunelleschi survive. Ghiberti's doors are still in place, but were undoubtedly eclipsed by his second pair for the other entrance, the so-called ''Gates of Paradise'', which took him from 1425 to 1452, and are dazzlingly confident classicizing compositions with varied depths of relief allowing extensive backgrounds. The intervening years had seen Ghiberti's early assistant Donatello develop with seminal statues including his ''David (Donatello), Davids'' in marble (1408–09) and bronze (1440s), and his Equestrian statue of Gattamelata, as well as reliefs. A leading figure in the later period was Andrea del Verrocchio, best known for his
equestrian statue An equestrian statue is a statue of a rider mounted on a horse, from the Latin ''eques'', meaning 'knight', deriving from ''equus'', meaning 'horse'. A statue of a riderless horse is strictly an equine statue. A full-sized equestrian statue is a d ...
of Bartolomeo Colleoni in Venice; his pupil Leonardo da Vinci designed an equine sculpture in 1482 ''Leonardo's horse, The Horse'' for Milan, but only succeeded in making a clay model which was destroyed by French archers in 1499, and his other ambitious sculptural plans were never completed. The period was marked by a great increase in patronage of sculpture by the state for public art and by the wealthy for their homes; especially in Italy, public sculpture remains a crucial element in the appearance of historic city centres. Church sculpture mostly moved inside just as outside public monuments became common. Portrait sculpture, usually in busts, became popular in Italy around 1450, with the Naples, Neapolitan Francesco Laurana specializing in young women in meditative poses, while Antonio Rossellino and others more often depicted knobbly-faced men of affairs, but also young children. The portrait
medal A medal or medallion is a small portable artistic object, a thin disc, normally of metal, carrying a design, usually on both sides. They typically have a commemorative purpose of some kind, and many are given as awards. They may be intend ...

medal
invented by Pisanello also often depicted women; relief
plaquette Peter Flötner, ''Vanitas'', 1535–1540, gilt bronze A plaquette (, ''small plaque'') is a small low relief sculpture in bronze Bronze is an alloy consisting primarily of copper Copper is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry ...

plaquette
s were another new small form of sculpture in cast metal. Michelangelo was an active sculptor from about 1500 to 1520, and his great masterpieces including his ''
David David (; ) (traditional spelling), , ''Dāwūd''; grc-koi, Δαυΐδ, Dauíd; la, Davidus, David; gez , ዳዊት, ''Dawit''; xcl, Դաւիթ, ''Dawitʿ''; cu, Давíдъ, ''Davidŭ''; possibly meaning "beloved one". is described in th ...

David
'', ''Pieta (Michelangelo), Pietà'', ''Moses (Michelangelo), Moses'', and pieces for the Tomb of Pope Julius II and Medici Chapel could not be ignored by subsequent sculptors. His iconic David (1504) has a ''contrapposto'' pose, borrowed from classical sculpture. It differs from previous representations of the subject in that David is depicted before his battle with Goliath and not after the giant's defeat. Instead of being shown victorious, as Donatello and Verocchio had done, David looks tense and battle ready. File:Ghiberti-porta.jpg, Lorenzo Ghiberti, panel of the ''Sacrifice of Isaac'' from the Florence Baptistry doors; :File:Abraham (Gates of Paradise) 01.JPG, oblique view here File:Cantoria Della Robbia OPA Florence 6.jpg, Luca della Robbia, detail of ''Cantoria'', c. 1438, Museo dell'Opera del Duomo (Florence), Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence File:Florence - David by Donatello.jpg, Donatello, ''David (Donatello), David'' c. 1440s, Bargello Museum, Florence File:Firenze.PalVecchio.Donatello.JPG, Donatello, ''Judith and Holofernes (Donatello), Judith and Holofernes'', c. 1460, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence File:Francesco Laurana pushkin.jpg, Francesco Laurana, female bust (cast) File:Verrochioorsanmichelle.jpg, Verrocchio, ''Christ and St. Thomas (Verrocchio), Doubting Thomas'', 1467–1483, Orsanmichele, Florence File:Michelangelos David.jpg,
Michelangelo Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (; 6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564), known simply as Michelangelo (), was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet of the High Renaissance In art history, the High Renaissance was ...

Michelangelo
, ''
David David (; ) (traditional spelling), , ''Dāwūd''; grc-koi, Δαυΐδ, Dauíd; la, Davidus, David; gez , ዳዊት, ''Dawit''; xcl, Դաւիթ, ''Dawitʿ''; cu, Давíдъ, ''Davidŭ''; possibly meaning "beloved one". is described in th ...

David
'', c. 1504, Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence File:'Dying Slave' Michelangelo JBU001.jpg,
Michelangelo Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (; 6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564), known simply as Michelangelo (), was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet of the High Renaissance In art history, the High Renaissance was ...

Michelangelo
, ''Dying Slave'', c. 1513–1516


Mannerist

As in painting, early Italian Mannerist sculpture was very largely an attempt to find an original style that would top the achievement of the High Renaissance, which in sculpture essentially meant Michelangelo, and much of the struggle to achieve this was played out in commissions to fill other places in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence, next to Michelangelo's ''David''. Baccio Bandinelli took over the project of ''Hercules and Cacus'' from the master himself, but it was little more popular than it is now, and maliciously compared by Benvenuto Cellini to "a sack of melons", though it had a long-lasting effect in apparently introducing relief panels on the pedestal of statues for the first time. Like other works of his, and other Mannerists, it removes far more of the original block than Michelangelo would have done. Cellini's bronze ''Perseus with the head of Medusa'' is certainly a masterpiece, designed with eight angles of view, another Mannerist characteristic, but is indeed mannered compared to the ''David''s of Michelangelo and Donatello. Originally a goldsmith, his famous gold and enamel Cellini Salt Cellar, Salt Cellar (1543) was his first sculpture, and shows his talent at its best. As these examples show, the period extended the range of secular subjects for large works beyond portraits, with mythological figures especially favoured; previously these had mostly been found in small works. Small bronze figures for collector's Cabinet (room), cabinets, often mythological subjects with nudes, were a popular Renaissance form at which Giambologna, originally Flemish but based in Florence, excelled in the later part of the century, also creating life-size sculptures, of which two joined the collection in the Piazza della Signoria. He and his followers devised elegant elongated examples of the ''figura serpentinata'', often of two intertwined figures, that were interesting from all angles. File:Fontainebleau escalier roi.jpg, Stucco overdoor at palace of Fontainebleau, Fontainebleau, probably designed by Primaticcio, who painted the oval inset, 1530s or 1540s File:Persee-florence.jpg, Benvenuto Cellini, ''Perseus with the head of Medusa'', 1545–1554 File:Samson slaying a philistine.jpg, Giambologna, ''Samson Slaying a Philistine'', about 1562 File:Giambologna raptodasabina.jpg, Giambologna, ''Abduction of a Sabine Woman, Rape of the Sabine Women'', 1583, Florence, Italy, 13' 6" (4.1 m) high, marble


Baroque and Rococo

In Baroque sculpture, groups of figures assumed new importance, and there was a dynamic movement and energy of human forms— they spiralled around an empty central vortex, or reached outwards into the surrounding space. Baroque sculpture often had multiple ideal viewing angles, and reflected a general continuation of the Renaissance move away from the relief to sculpture created in the round, and designed to be placed in the middle of a large space—elaborate fountains such as Bernini's Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Rome, 1651), or those in the Gardens of Versailles were a Baroque speciality. The Baroque style was perfectly suited to sculpture, with Gian Lorenzo Bernini the dominating figure of the age in works such as ''The Ecstasy of St Theresa'' (1647–1652). Much Baroque sculpture added extra-sculptural elements, for example, concealed lighting, or water fountains, or fused sculpture and architecture to create a transformative experience for the viewer. Artists saw themselves as in the classical tradition, but admired Hellenistic and later Roman sculpture, rather than that of the more "Classical" periods as they are seen today. The Protestant Reformation brought an almost total stop to religious sculpture in much of Northern Europe, and though secular sculpture, especially for portrait busts and tomb monuments, continued, the Dutch Golden Age has no significant sculptural component outside goldsmithing. Partly in direct reaction, sculpture was as prominent in Roman Catholic church, Roman Catholicism as in the late Middle Ages. Statues of rulers and the nobility became increasingly popular. In the 18th century much sculpture continued on Baroque lines—the Trevi Fountain was only completed in 1762.
Rococo Rococo (, also ), less commonly Roccoco or Late Baroque, is an exceptionally ornamental and theatrical style of architecture, art and decoration which combines asymmetry, scrolling curves, gilding, white and pastel colors, sculpted molding, ...
style was better suited to smaller works, and arguably found its ideal sculptural form in Ceramic art#Porcelain, early European porcelain, and interior decorative schemes in wood or plaster such as those in French domestic interiors and Architecture of cathedrals and great churches#Rococo, Austrian and Bavarian pilgrimage churches. File:Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon - Louis XIV 1.jpg, Bust of Louis XIV, 1686, by Antoine Coysevox File:Francesco Mochi Santa Verónica 1629-32 Vaticano.jpg, Saint Veronica by Francesco Mochi (1640), Saint Peter's Basilica File:Perseus Andromeda Puget Louvre MR2076.jpg, Pierre Paul Puget, ''Perseus and Andromeda'', 1715, Musée du Louvre File:Bustelli Liebesgruppe Der gestörte Schläfer BNM.jpg, Franz Anton Bustelli,
Rococo Rococo (, also ), less commonly Roccoco or Late Baroque, is an exceptionally ornamental and theatrical style of architecture, art and decoration which combines asymmetry, scrolling curves, gilding, white and pastel colors, sculpted molding, ...
Nymphenburg Porcelain group


Neo-Classical

The Neoclassical sculpture, Neoclassical style that arrived in the late 18th century gave great emphasis to sculpture. Jean-Antoine Houdon exemplifies the penetrating portrait sculpture the style could produce, and Antonio Canova's nudes the idealist aspect of the movement. The Neoclassical period was one of the great ages of public sculpture, though its "classical" prototypes were more likely to be Roman copies of Hellenistic sculptures. In sculpture, the most familiar representatives are the Italian Antonio Canova, the Englishman John Flaxman and the Dane Bertel Thorvaldsen. The European neoclassical manner also took hold in the United States, where its pinnacle occurred somewhat later and is exemplified in the sculptures of Hiram Powers. File:Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790) MET DT2883.jpg, Jean-Antoine Houdon, ''Bust of Benjamin Franklin'', 1778, Metropolitan Museum of Art File:Jasão e o Velo de ouro - Bertel Thorvaldsen - 1803.jpg, Bertel Thorvaldsen: ''Jason, Jason and the Golden Fleece'' (1803) File:Badger church - Jane and Henrietta Browne.jpg, John Flaxman, Memorial in the church at Badger, Shropshire, c. 1780s File:The Greek Slave.jpg, Hiram Powers, 1851, ''The Greek Slave'', Yale University Art Gallery


Asia


Greco-Buddhist sculpture and Asia

Greco-Buddhist art is the artistic manifestation of Greco-Buddhism, a cultural syncretism between the Ancient Greece, Classical Greek culture and
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and ...

Buddhism
, which developed over a period of close to 1000 years in Central Asia, between the Wars of Alexander the Great, conquests of Alexander the Great in the 4th century BCE, and the Islamic conquests of the 7th century CE. Greco-Buddhist art is characterized by the strong idealistic realism of Hellenistic art and the first representations of the Buddha in human form, which have helped define the artistic (and particularly, sculptural) canon for Buddhist art throughout the Asian continent up to the present. Though dating is uncertain, it appears that strongly Hellenistic styles lingered in the East for several centuries after they had declined around the Mediterranean, as late as the 5th century CE. Some aspects of Greek art were adopted while others did not spread beyond the Greco-Buddhist area; in particular the standing figure, often with a relaxed pose and one leg flexed, and the flying cupids or victories, who became popular across Asia as apsaras. Greek foliage decoration was also influential, with Indian versions of the Corinthian capital appearing. The origins of Greco-Buddhist art are to be found in the Hellenistic Greco-Bactrian kingdom (250–130 BCE), located in today's Afghanistan, from which Hellenistic culture radiated into the Indian subcontinent with the establishment of the small Indo-Greek kingdom (180–10 BCE). Under the Indo-Greeks and then the Kushans, the interaction of Greek and Buddhist culture flourished in the area of Gandhara, in today's northern Pakistan, before spreading further into India, influencing the art of Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, Mathura, and then the Hinduism, Hindu art of the Gupta empire, which was to extend to the rest of South-East Asia. The influence of Greco-Buddhist art also spread northward towards Central Asia, strongly affecting the art of the Tarim Basin and the Dunhuang Caves, and ultimately the sculpted figure in China, Korea, and Japan. File:GandharaDonorFrieze2.JPG, Gandhara frieze with devotees, holding Plantain (cooking), plantain leaves, in purely Hellenistic style, inside Corinthian columns, 1st–2nd century CE. Buner, Swat (Pakistan), Swat, Pakistan. Victoria and Albert Museum File:WindGod2.JPG, Fragment of the wind god Anemoi#Boreas, Boreas, Hadda, Afghanistan, Hadda, Afghanistan. File:Demetrius I MET coin.jpg, Coin of Demetrius I of Bactria, who reigned circa 200–180 BCE and invaded Northern India File:Bouddha Hadda Guimet 181171.jpg, Stucco Buddha head, once painted, from Hadda, Afghanistan, 3rd–4th centuries File:PoseidonGandhara.JPG, Gandhara Poseidon (Ancient Orient Museum) File:PharroAndArdoxsho.jpg, The Buddhist gods Pancika (left) and Hariti (right), 3rd century, Gandhara File:Taller Buddha of Bamiyan before and after destruction.jpg, Buddhas of Bamiyan, Taller Buddha of Bamiyan, c. 547 CE, in 1963 and in 2008 after they were dynamited and destroyed in March 2001 by the Taliban


China

Chinese ritual bronzes from the Shang Dynasty, Shang and Zhou Dynasty, Western Zhou Dynasties come from a period of over a thousand years from c. 1500 BCE, and have exerted a continuing influence over Chinese art. They are cast with complex patterned and zoomorphic decoration, but avoid the human figure, unlike the huge figures only recently discovered at
Sanxingdui Sanxingdui () is the name of an archaeological site and a major Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civi ...
. The spectacular Terracotta Army was assembled for the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of a unified China from 221 to 210 BCE, as a grand imperial version of the figures long placed in tombs to enable the deceased to enjoy the same lifestyle in the afterlife as when alive, replacing actual sacrifices of very early periods. Smaller figures in pottery or wood were placed in tombs for many centuries afterwards, reaching a peak of quality in Tang dynasty tomb figures. The tradition of unusually large pottery figures persisted in China, through Tang sancai tomb figures to later Buddhist statues such as the near life-size set of Yixian glazed pottery luohans and later figures for temples and tombs. These came to replace earlier equivalents in wood. Native Chinese religions do not usually use cult images of deities, or even represent them, and large religious sculpture is nearly all Buddhist, dating mostly from the 4th to the 14th century, and initially using Greco-Buddhist models arriving via the Silk Road. Buddhism is also the context of all large portrait sculpture; in total contrast to some other areas, in medieval China even painted images of the emperor were regarded as private. Imperial tombs have spectacular avenues of approach lined with real and mythological animals on a scale matching Egypt, and smaller versions decorate temples and palaces. Small Buddhist figures and groups were produced to a very high quality in a range of media, as was relief decoration of all sorts of objects, especially in metalwork and Chinese jade, jade. In the earlier periods, large quantities of sculpture were cut from the living rock in pilgrimage cave-complexes, and as outside rock reliefs. These were mostly originally painted. In notable contrast to Scholar-official, literati painters, sculptors of all sorts were regarded as artisans and very few names are recorded. From the Ming dynasty onwards, statuettes of religious and secular figures were produced in Chinese porcelain and other media, which became an important export. File:Liu Ding.jpg, A bronze ding (vessel), ding from late Shang dynasty (13th century–10th century BCE) File:Chinese tomb guardian 300 BC.jpg, A tomb guardian usually placed inside the doors of the tomb to protect or guide the soul, Warring States period, c. 3rd century BCE File:Soldier Horse.JPG, Lifesize calvalryman from the Terracotta Army, Qin dynasty, c. 3rd century BCE File:Gold monster.jpg, Gold stag with eagle's head, and ten further heads in the antlers. An object inspired by the art of the Siberian Altai mountain, possibly Pazyryk culture, Pazyryk, unearthed at the site of Nalinggaotu, Shenmu County, near Xi'an, China. Possibly from the "Hun people who lived in the prairie in Northern China". Dated to the 4th-3rd century BCE, or Han Dynasty period. Shaanxi History Museum. File:Nswag, dinastia han, figurina dipinta di danzatrice.jpg, Tomb figure of dancing girl, Han Dynasty (202 BCE—220 CE) File:CMOC Treasures of Ancient China exhibit - bronze cowrie container.jpg, Bronze cowrie container with yaks, from the Dian Kingdom (4th century BCE – 109 BCE) tradition of the Western Han File:Wei-Maitreya.jpg, Northern Wei dynasty Maitreya (386–534) File:China Pferd und Pferdeknecht Linden-Museum.jpg, Tang dynasty tomb figure in ''sancai'' glaze pottery, horse and groom (618–907) File:Mahayanabuddha.jpg, Seated Gautama Buddha, Buddha, Tang dynasty c. 650. File:Leshan da fo Flickr feet-head modified.jpg, The Leshan Giant Buddha, Tang dynasty, completed in 803. File:Song-Bodhisattva1.jpg, A wooden Bodhisattva from the Song dynasty (960–1279) File:Chinese - Cup with Dragon Handles - Walters 42250 - Profile.jpg, Chinese jade Cup with Dragon Handles, Song dynasty, 12th century File:Bodhisattva Guanyin from Nantoyōsō Collection.jpg, Guanyin Bodhisattva in ''Blanc de Chine (Dehua porcelain)'', by He Chaozong, Ming dynasty, early 17th century File:Man blowing conch (Wanli Reign Period).JPG, Blue underglaze statue of a man with his pipe, Jingdezhen porcelain, Ming Wanli Emperor, Wanli period (1573–1620) File:China - Beijing 12 - lion outside the Tibetan Monastery (134036069).jpg, A Chinese guardian lion outside Yonghe Temple, Beijing, Qing dynasty, c. 1694


Japan

Towards the end of the long Neolithic Jōmon period, some Jōmon pottery, pottery vessels were "flame-rimmed" with extravagant extensions to the rim that can only be called sculptural, and very stylized pottery dogū figures were produced, many with the characteristic "snow-goggle" eyes. During the Kofun period of the 3rd to 6th century CE, haniwa terracotta figures of humans and animals in a simplistic style were erected outside important tombs. The arrival of Buddhism in the 6th century brought with it sophisticated traditions in sculpture, Chinese styles mediated via Korea. The 7th-century Hōryū-ji and its contents have survived more intact than any East Asian Buddhist temple of its date, with works including a ''Shaka Trinity'' of 623 in bronze, showing the historical Buddha flanked by two bodhisattvas and also the Four Heavenly Kings, Guardian Kings of the Four Directions. Jōchō is said to be one of the greatest Buddhist sculptors not only in Heian period but also in the history of Buddhist statues in Japan. Jōchō redefined the body shape of Buddha statues by perfecting the technique of "yosegi zukuri" (寄木造り) which is a combination of several woods. The peaceful expression and graceful figure of the Buddha statue that he made completed a Japanese style of sculpture of Buddha statues called "Jōchō yō" (Jōchō style, 定朝様) and determined the style of Japanese Buddhist statues of the later period. His achievement dramatically raised the social status of ''busshi'' (Buddhist sculptor) in Japan. In the Kamakura period, the Minamoto clan established the Kamakura shogunate and the samurai class virtually ruled Japan for the first time. Jocho's successors, sculptors of the Kei school of Buddhist statues, created realistic and dynamic statues to suit the tastes of samurai, and Japanese Buddhist sculpture reached its peak. Unkei, Kaikei, and Tankei were famous, and they made many new Buddha statues at many temples such as Kofuku-ji, where many Buddha statues had been lost in wars and fires. Almost all subsequent significant large sculpture in Japan was Buddhist, with some Shinto equivalents, and after Buddhism declined in Japan in the 15th century, monumental sculpture became largely architectural decoration and less significant. However sculptural work in the decorative arts was developed to a remarkable level of technical achievement and refinement in small objects such as inro and netsuke in many materials, and metal ' or Japanese sword mountings. In the 19th century there were export industries of small bronze sculptures of extreme virtuosity, ivory and porcelain figurines, and other types of small sculpture, increasingly emphasizing technical accomplishment. File:Clevelandart 1984.68.jpg, 'Flame-style' vessel, Neolithic Jōmon period; c. 2750 BCE; earthenware with carved and applied decoration; height: 61 cm, diameter: 55.8 cm File:Dogu Miyagi 1000 BCE 400 BCE.jpg, Dogū with "snow-goggle" eyes, 1000–400 BCE File:Arte giapponese, nobile haniwa, VI sec.JPG, 6th-century haniwa figure File:Horyu-ji14s3200.jpg, Kongo Rishiki (Guardian Deity) at the Central Gate of Hōryū-ji File:Jianzhen (Tōshōdai-ji, 2).jpg, Priest Ganjin (Jianzhen), Nara period, 8th century File:Taishakuten Śakra, Tō-ji.jpg, Taishakuten Śakra (Buddhism), Śakra, 839, Tō-ji File:Seated Dainichi Nyorai.jpg, Dainichi Nyorai (Enjō-ji), Dainichi Nyorai by Unkei, 1176, at Enjō-ji File:Tsuchiya Yasuchika - Tsuba with a Rabbit Viewing the Autumn Moon - Walters 51163.jpg, Tsuba sword fitting with a "Rabbit Viewing the Autumn Moon", bronze, gold and silver, between 1670 and 1744 File:Izumiya Tomotada - Netsuke in the Form of a Dog - Walters 711020 - Three Quarter.jpg, Izumiya Tomotada, netsuke in the form of a dog, late 18th century File:Eagle, By Suzuki Chokichi Suzuki 鈴木長吉「鷲置物」.jpg, Eagle by Suzuki Chokichi, 1892, Tokyo National Museum File:Yamada Chözaburö - Wind God - Walters 52158.jpg, Yamada Chōzaburō, ''Wind God'' in repoussé iron, c. 1915


Indian subcontinent

The first known sculpture in the Indian subcontinent is from the
Indus Valley civilization The Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC), also known as the Indus Civilisation, was a Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric that was characterized by the use of , in some areas , and other early features of urban . The Bronze Age is ...

Indus Valley civilization
(3300–1700 BCE), found in sites at Mohenjo-daro and Harappa in modern-day Pakistan. These include the famous Dancing Girl (sculpture), small bronze female dancer and the so-called Priest-king (sculpture), ''Priest-king''. However, such figures in bronze and stone are rare and greatly outnumbered by pottery figurines and stone seals, often of animals or deities very finely depicted. After the collapse of the Indus Valley civilization there is little record of sculpture until the Buddhist era, apart from a hoard of copper figures of (somewhat controversially) c. 1500 BCE from Daimabad. Thus the great tradition of Indian monumental sculpture in stone appears to begin, relative to other cultures, and the development of Indian civilization, relatively late, with the reign of Asoka from 270 to 232 BCE, and the Pillars of Ashoka he erected around India, carrying his edicts and topped by famous sculptures of animals, mostly lions, of which six survive. Large amounts of figurative sculpture, mostly in relief, survive from Early Buddhist pilgrimage stupas, above all Sanchi; these probably developed out of a tradition using wood that also embraced
Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic religions, are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent. These religions, which include Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, ...

Hinduism
.Harle, 26–38. The pink sandstone Hindu, Jain and Buddhist sculptures of Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, Mathura from the 1st to 3rd centuries CE reflected both native Indian traditions and the Western influences received through the Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara, and effectively established the basis for subsequent Indian religious sculpture. The style was developed and diffused through most of India under the Gupta Empire (c. 320–550) which remains a Gupta art, "classical" period for Indian sculpture, covering the earlier Ellora Caves, though the Elephanta Caves are probably slightly later. Later large-scale sculpture remains almost exclusively religious, and generally rather conservative, often reverting to simple frontal standing poses for deities, though the attendant spirits such as apsaras and yakshi often have sensuously curving poses. Carving is often highly detailed, with an intricate backing behind the main figure in high relief. The celebrated bronzes of the Chola dynasty (c. 850–1250) from south India, many designed to be carried in processions, include the iconic form of Shiva as Nataraja, with the massive granite carvings of Mahabalipuram dating from the previous Pallava dynasty. File:Dancing Girl of Mohenjo-daro.jpg, The "Dancing Girl" (sculpture) of Mohenjo-daro, 3rd or 2nd millennium BCE (replica) File:Asokanpillar-crop.jpg, Pillars of Ashoka, Ashoka Pillar, Vaishali (ancient city), Vaishali, Bihar, c. 250 BCE File:Column, Sanchi.jpg, Stupa gateway at Sanchi, c. 100 CE or perhaps earlier, with densely packed reliefs File:Buddha from Sarnath.jpg, Buddha from Sarnath, 5th–6th century CE File:Elephanta tourists.jpg, The Colossal trimurti at the Elephanta Caves File:Ellora cave16 001.jpg, Rock-cut temples at Ellora Caves, Ellora File:Shrine with Four Jinas (Rishabhanatha (Adinatha)), Parshvanatha, Neminatha, and Mahavira) LACMA M.85.55 (1 of 4).jpg, Jain shrine with Rishabhanatha, Parshvanatha, Neminatha, and Mahavira, 6th century File:NatarajaMET.JPG, Hindu, Chola period, 1000 File:The Hindu deity Vishnu - Indian Art - Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.jpg, Typical medieval frontal standing statue of Vishnu, 950–1150 File:Khajuraho8.jpg, Khajuraho Group of Monuments, Khajuraho Temple File:WLA lacma Celestial Nymph ca 1450 Rajasthan.jpg, Marble Sculpture of female yakshi in typical curving pose, c. 1450, Rajasthan File:Natarajartemple1.jpg, Gopuram of the Thillai Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, densely packed with rows of painted statues File:ജലഗന്ധേശ്വരർ ക്ഷേത്രത്തിലെ ദ്വാരപാലകശില്പം.JPG, Sculpture of Guardian at the entrance of the Mandapam of Sri Jalagandeeswarar Temple, Vellore, Tamil Nadu


South-East Asia

The sculpture of the region tends to be characterised by a high degree of ornamentation, as seen in the great monuments of Hindu and Buddhist Khmer sculpture (9th to 13th centuries) at Angkor Wat and elsewhere, the enormous 9th-century Buddhist complex at Borobudur in Java, and the Hindu monuments of Bali. Both of these include many reliefs as well as figures in the round; Borobudur has 2,672 relief panels, 504 Buddha statues, many semi-concealed in openwork stupas, and many large guardian figures. In Thailand and Laos, sculpture was mainly of Iconography of Gautama Buddha in Laos and Thailand, Buddha images, often gilded, both large for temples and monasteries, and small figurines for private homes. Traditional sculpture in Myanmar emerged before the Pagan Kingdom, Bagan period. As elsewhere in the region, most of the wood sculptures of the Bagan and Ava periods have been lost. Traditional Philippine mythology, Anitist sculptures from the Philippines are dominated by Anitist designs mirroring the medium used and the culture involved, while being highlighted by the environments where such sculptures are usually placed on. Christian and Islamic sculptures from the Philippines have different motifs compared to other Christian and Islamic sculptures elsewhere. In later periods Chinese influence predominated in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, and more wooden sculpture survives from across the region. File:COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Reliëf op de Borobudur TMnr 20025652.jpg, Relief sculpture from Borobudur temple, Indonesia, c. 760–830 File:Borobudur - Buddha Statue - 035 Dhyana Mudra, Amitabha (11679385166).jpg, Vairocana Buddha from Borobudur temple, Indonesia, c. 760–830 File:Mindanao Burial Pottery - 32843892691.jpg, One of the Philippine mythology, Anitist Maitum anthropomorphic pottery from Sarangani, Philippines c. 5 BC-370 AD File: Bodhisattava Avalokiteshvara, Chaiya Art พระอวโลกิเตศวรโพธิสัตว์ ศิลปะไชยา 01.jpg , Bronze Avalokiteshvara of Chaiya torso from Chaiya, Southern Thailand, Srivijayan art, c. 8th century File:Muzium Negara KL67.JPG, Bronze Avalokiteshvara from Bidor, Perak, Malaysia, c. 8th-9th century File:Filippine, provincia di agusan, immagine hindu, statuetta in oro massiccio, xiii secolo.jpg, The Philippine mythology, Anitist Agusan image from Agusan del Sur, Philippines, 9th-10th century File:Cambogia, visnu, dintorni di prasat rup arak, stile din kulen, 800-875 ca. 02.JPG, Vishnu from Prasat Rup Arak, Kulen, Khmer art, Cambodia, c. 800–875 File:Mindanao Bangsamoro Islamic Art - 24556378753.jpg, An Philippine mythology, Anitist sarimanok sculpture from Lanao, Philippines File:Jayavarman VII Guimet 90508 2.jpg, Head of Jayavarman VII, Khmer art, Cambodia, c. late 12th century File:Ananda Temple - Bagan, Myanmar 20130209-03.jpg, Buddha in Ananda Temple, Bagan, Myanmar, c. 1105 File:Fronton Guimet 240907 3.jpg, Stone bas-relief of apsaras from Bayon temple, Cambodia, c. 1200 File:Prajnaparamita Java Side Detail.JPG, Prajnaparamita Singhasari art, East Java, Indonesia, c. 13th century File:Buraq sculpture from Mindanao Philippines.jpg, An Islamic sculture of a buraq, southern Philippines File:Wat Si Chum in Sukhothai.jpg, Phra Achana, Wat Si Chum, Big Buddha image in Sukhothai (city), Sukhothai, Thailand, c. 14th century File:Buddhaimage7.JPG, "the Buddha calling the earth to witness", The Buddha's hands are in the ''bhūmisparsa mudrā'' (subduing Māra) position. Ho Phra Kaeo temple, Vientiane, Laos


Islam

Islam is Aniconism in Islam, famously aniconic, so the vast majority of sculpture is Arabesque (Islamic art), arabesque decoration in relief or openwork, based on vegetable motifs, but tending to geometrical abstract forms. In the very early Mshatta Facade (740s), now mostly in Berlin, there are animals within the dense arabesques in high relief, and figures of animals and men in mostly low relief are found in conjunction with decoration on many later pieces in various materials, including metalwork, ivory and ceramics. Figures of animals in the round were often acceptable for works used in private contexts if the object was clearly practical, so medieval Islamic art contains many metal animals that are aquamaniles, incense burners or supporters for fountains, as in the stone lions supporting the famous one in the Alhambra, culminating in the largest medieval Islamic animal figure known, the Pisa Griffin. In the same way, luxury
hardstone carving Hardstone carving is a general term in art history and archaeology for the artistic carving of predominantly semi-precious stones (but also of gemstones), such as jade, rock crystal (clear quartz), agate, onyx, jasper, serpentinite, or carnelian, ...
s such as dagger hilts and cups may be formed as animals, especially in Mughal art. The degree of acceptability of such relaxations of strict Islamic rules varies between periods and regions, with Islamic Spain, Persia and India often leading relaxation, and is typically highest in courtly contexts. File:Mschatta-Fassade (Pergamonmuseum).jpg, The Mshatta Facade, from a palace near Damascus, 740s File:Arte islamica, ippogrifo, XI sec 02.JPG, The Pisa Griffin, 107 cm high, probably 11th century File:Turquoise epigraphic ornament MBA Lyon A1969-333.jpg, Part of a 15th-century ceramic panel from Samarkand with white calligraphy on a blue Arabesque (Islamic art), arabesque background. File:Dagger horse head Louvre OA7891.jpg, Mughal Empire, Mughal dagger with hilt in
jade Jade is a mineral, much used in some cultures as jewellery and for ornaments, mostly known for its green varieties, though it appears naturally in other colors as well, notably yellow and white. Jade can refer to either of two different silica ...

jade
, gold, rubies and emeralds. Blade of damascened steel inlaid with gold.


Africa

Historically, with the exception of some monumental Egyptian sculpture, most African sculpture was created in wood and other organic materials that have not survived from earlier than a few centuries ago; older pottery figures are found from a number of areas. Traditional African masks, Masks are important elements in the art of many peoples, along with human figures, often highly stylized. There is a vast variety of styles, often varying within the same context of origin depending on the use of the object, but wide regional trends are apparent; sculpture is most common among "groups of settled cultivators in the areas drained by the Niger and Congo rivers" in West Africa.Honour & Fleming, 557. Direct images of deities are relatively infrequent, but masks in particular are or were often made for religious ceremonies; today many are made for tourists as "airport art". African masks were an influence on European Modernism, Modernist art, which was inspired by their lack of concern for naturalistic depiction. The Nubian Kingdom of Kush in modern Sudan was in close and often hostile contact with Egypt, and produced monumental sculpture mostly derivative of styles to the north. In West Africa, the earliest known sculptures are from the Nok culture which thrived between 500 BCE and 500 CE in modern Nigeria, with clay figures typically with elongated bodies and angular shapes. Later West African cultures developed bronze casting for reliefs to decorate palaces like the famous Benin Bronzes, and very fine naturalistic royal heads from around the Yoruba people, Yoruba town of Ife in terracotta and metal from the 12th–14th centuries. Akan goldweights are a form of small metal sculptures produced over the period 1400–1900, some apparently representing proverbs and so with a narrative element rare in African sculpture, and royal regalia included impressive gold sculptured elements. Many West African figures are used in religious rituals and are often coated with materials placed on them for ceremonial offerings. The Mandé peoples, Mande-speaking peoples of the same region make pieces of wood with broad, flat surfaces and arms and legs are shaped like cylinders. In Central Africa, however, the main distinguishing characteristics include heart-shaped faces that are curved inward and display patterns of circles and dots. Populations in the African Great Lakes are not known for their sculpture. However, one style from the region is pole sculptures, carved in human shapes and decorated with geometric forms, while the tops are carved with figures of animals, people, and various objects. These poles are, then, placed next to graves and are associated with death and the ancestral world. The culture known from Great Zimbabwe left more impressive buildings than sculpture but the eight soapstone Zimbabwe Birds appear to have had a special significance and were mounted on monoliths. Modern Zimbabwean sculptors in soapstone have achieved Sculpture of Zimbabwe, considerable international success. Southern Africa's oldest known clay figures date from 400 to 600 CE and have cylindrical heads with a mixture of human and animal features. File:Nok sculpture Louvre 70-1998-11-1.jpg, Nok Culture, Nok terracotta, 6th century BCE–6th century CE File:Ife sculpture Inv.A96-1-4.jpg, Ife head,
terracotta Terracotta, terra cotta, or terra-cotta (; Italian language, Italian: "baked earth", literally "cooked earth", from the Latin ''terra cocta''), a type of earthenware, is a clay-based ceramic glaze, unglazed or glazed ceramic, where the Pottery f ...

terracotta
, probably 12–14th centuries CE File:Yoruba-bronze-head.jpg, Yoruba people, Yoruba bronze head sculpture, Ife, Nigeria c. 12th century File:Afrikaabteilung in Ethnological Museum Berlin 29.JPG, Sculpture of a 'Queen Mother' from Benin, 16th century. File:Queen Mother Pendant Mask- Iyoba MET DP231460.jpg, 16th-century ivory mask from Benin File:Benin kingdom Louvre A97-4-1.jpg, One of the Benin Bronzes, 16th–18th century, Nigeria. File:Masque probablement Bobo-Burkina Faso (2).jpg, Mask from Burkina Faso, 19th century File:Statuette Mambia Nigéria.jpg, Mambila figure, Nigeria


Ethiopia and Eritrea

The creation of sculptures in Ethiopia and Eritrea can be traced back to its ancient past with the kingdoms of Dʿmt and Kingdom of Aksum, Aksum. Christian art was established in Ethiopia with the conversion from Traditional African religions, paganism to Religion in Ethiopia, Christianity in the 4th century CE, during the reign of king Ezana of Axum. Christian imagery decorated churches during the Asksumite period and later eras. For instance, at Lalibela, life-size Christian saints, saints were carved into the Church of Bet Golgotha; by tradition these were made during the reign of the Zagwe dynasty, Zagwe ruler Gebre Mesqel Lalibela in the 12th century, but they were more likely crafted in the 15th century during the Solomonic dynasty.Briggs (2015), p. 331. However, the Church of Saint George, Lalibela, one of several examples of rock cut architecture at Lalibela containing intricate carvings, was built in the 10th–13th centuries as proven by archaeology.Sobania (2012), p. 462. File:Ancient Figurine, National Museum, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (2130296832).jpg, Stone statue from Addi-Galamo, Tigray Province, 6th–5th century BCE File:Axumite Jar Spout (2822628227).jpg, A jar spout from the early Kingdom of Aksum File:ET Axum asv2018-01 img37 Stelae Park.jpg, The Obelisk of Axum, 4th century CE File:Ethiopian - Processional Cross - Walters 542889.jpg, A processional cross, Zagwe dynasty, 12th century File:Bet Golgotha.jpg, One of the seven life-size Christian saints, saints carved into the wall of the Church of Bet Golgotha, Lalibela, 15th century (traditionally believed to have been made during the reign of Gebre Mesqel Lalibela)


Sudan

In History of Sudan, ancient Sudan, the development of sculpture stretches from the simple pottery of the Kerma culture beginning around 2500 BCE to the monumental statuary and architecture of the Meroitic Empire, Kingdom of Kush, its last phase—the Meroitic period—ending around 350 CE (with its conquest by Ethiopia's Aksum).Harkless (2006), p. 174. Beyond pottery items, the Kerma culture also made furniture that contained sculptures, such as gold cattle hoofs as the legs of beds. Sculpture during the Kingdom of Kush included full-sized statues (especially of kings and queens), smaller figurines (most commonly depicting royal servants), and reliefs in stone, which were influenced by the contemporary ancient Egyptian sculptural tradition. File:Dipper National Museum Sudan.jpg, A ceramic jug of the Kerma culture File:Shabti of King Taharqa.jpg, A shabti of the Nubian King Taharqa, from a Nubian pyramids, pyramid of Nuri, Sudan, Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt, 690–664 BCE File:Anlamani-Statue-CloseUpOfHead MuseumOfFineArtsBoston.png, Statue of the Kushite Pharaoh Aspelta, Napata period (c. 620–580 BCE) File:Archaeological Sites of the Island of Meroe-114985.jpg, Column and elephant - part of the temple complex in Musawwarat es-Sufra, 3rd century BCE File:Prince Arikankharer Slaying His Enemies, Meroitic, beginning of first century AD, sandstone - Worcester Art Museum - IMG 7535.JPG, Traces of paint on a relief depicting Prince Arikhankharer smiting his enemies, from the Meroitic period of the Kingdom of Kush, early 1st century CE File:Amanitore bust.jpg, Relief of a ruler, a Candace of Meroë named Amanitore, Kandake Amanitore, 1st century CE


The Americas

Sculpture in what is now Latin America developed in two separate and distinct areas, Mesoamerica in the north and Peru in the south. In both areas, sculpture was initially of stone, and later of
terracotta Terracotta, terra cotta, or terra-cotta (; Italian language, Italian: "baked earth", literally "cooked earth", from the Latin ''terra cocta''), a type of earthenware, is a clay-based ceramic glaze, unglazed or glazed ceramic, where the Pottery f ...

terracotta
and metal as the civilizations in these areas became more technologically proficient. The Mesoamerican region produced more monumental sculpture, from the massive block-like works of the
Olmec The Olmecs () were the earliest known major Mesoamerica Mesoamerica is a historical and important region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characterist ...
and Toltec cultures, to the superb low
relief Relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of the same material. The term ''wikt:relief, relief'' is from the Latin verb ''relevo'', to raise. To create a sculpture in relief is to give the ...
s that characterize the Maya civilization, Mayan and Aztec cultures. In the Andean region, sculptures were typically small, but often show superb skill.


Pre-Columbian

File:WLA metmuseum Olmec Baby Figure.jpg,
Olmec The Olmecs () were the earliest known major Mesoamerica Mesoamerica is a historical and important region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characterist ...
Baby Figure 1200-900 BCE File:WLA metmuseum Olmec Jadeite Mask 3.jpg, Olmec Jadeite Mask 1000–600 BCE File:San Lorenzo Monument 3.jpg, Olmec colossal heads, Olmec Colossal Head No. 3 1200–900 BCE File:Harvestermountainlord.jpg, La Mojarra Stela 1 2nd century CE File:Teotihuacán - Chalchiuhtlicue.jpg, Chalchiuhtlicue from Teotihuacán 200–500 CE File:Teotihuacan mask Branly 70-1999-12-1.jpg, Teotihuacan mask 200–600 CE File:Teotihuacan-Temple of the Feathered Serpent-3035.jpg, Teotihuacan- Detail of the Temple of the Feathered Serpent 200–250 CE File:Funerary Urn from Oaxaca.jpg, A funerary art, funerary urn in the shape of a "bat god" or a jaguar, Oaxaca, 300–650 CE File:Moche portrait ceramic Quai Branly 71.1930.19.162 n2.jpg, Moche portrait vessel with Stirrup spout vessel, stirrup spout, Peru, 100 BCE–700 CE File:K'inich Janaab Pakal I.jpg, K'inich Janaab Pakal I of Palenque, Maya, 603–683 CE File:Ahkal Mo' Naab III.jpg, Ahkal Mo' Naab III Of Palenque, 8th century CE File:Palenque Relief.jpg, Upakal K'inich 8th century CE, Palenque File:Jaina Island type figure, Art Institute.jpg, Jaina Island type figure (Mayan) 650–800 CE File:Remojadas - Lachendes Gesicht 1.jpg, Classic Veracruz culture face 600–900 CE File:Atlante-Tollan-Xicocotitlan-Hidalgo Mexico.JPG, Atlante from Tula (Mesoamerican site), Tula, c. 1000 CE File:Double Headed Turquoise Serpent.jpg, ''Double-headed serpent'', Turquoise, red and white mosaic on wood, Aztec (possibly) Mixtec, c. 1400–1521,


North America

In North America, wood was sculpted for totem poles, masks, utensils, War canoes and a variety of other uses, with distinct variation between different cultures and regions. The most developed styles are those of the Northwest Coast art, Pacific Northwest Coast, where a group of elaborate and highly stylized formal styles developed forming the basis of a tradition that continues today. In addition to the famous totem poles, painted and carved longhouse, house fronts were complemented by carved posts inside and out, as well as mortuary figures and other items. Among the Inuit of the far north, traditional carving styles in ivory and soapstone are still continued. The arrival of European Catholic culture readily adapted local skills to the prevailing Baroque style, producing enormously elaborate retablos and other mostly church sculptures in a variety of hybrid styles. The most famous of such examples in Canada is the altar area of the Notre-Dame Basilica (Montreal), Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal, Quebec, which was carved by peasant ''habitant'' labourers. Later, artists trained in the Western academic tradition followed European styles until in the late 19th century they began to draw again on indigenous influences, notably in the Mexican baroque grotesque style known as Churrigueresque. Aboriginal peoples also adapted church sculpture in variations on Carpenter Gothic; one famous example is the ''Church of the Holy Cross'' in Skookumchuck Hot Springs, British Columbia. The history of Sculpture of the United States, sculpture in the United States after Europeans' arrival reflects the country's 18th-century foundation in Roman empire, Roman republican civic values and Protestantism, Protestant Christianity. Compared to areas colonized by the Spanish, sculpture got off to an extremely slow start in the British colonies, with next to no place in churches, and was only given impetus by the need to assert nationality after independence. American sculpture of the mid- to late-19th century was often classical, often romantic, but showed a bent for a dramatic, narrative, almost journalistic realism. Public buildings during the last quarter of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century often provided an architectural setting for sculpture, especially in relief. By the 1930s the International Style (architecture), International Style of architecture and design and art deco characterized by the work of Paul Manship and Lee Lawrie and others became popular. By the 1950s, traditional sculpture education would almost be completely replaced by a Bauhaus-influenced concern for Abstract art, abstract design. Minimalist sculpture replaced the figure in public settings and architects almost completely stopped using sculpture in or on their designs. Modern sculptors (21st century) use both classical and abstract inspired designs. Beginning in the 1980s, there was a swing back toward figurative public sculpture; by 2000, many of the new public pieces in the United States were figurative in design. File:Mountrushmore.jpg, Gutzon Borglum and his son, Lincoln Borglum, ''Mount Rushmore'', 1927–1941. L–R, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. File:Robert Gould Shaw Memorial - detail.jpg, Robert Gould Shaw Memorial by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, 1884–1897, plaster version File:Beaumont Tower - Lee Lawrie, sculptor.jpg, Lee Lawrie, ''The Sower'', 1928 Art Deco relief on Beaumont Tower, Michigan State University File:Lincoln statue, Lincoln Memorial.jpg, Daniel Chester French, ''Abraham Lincoln (French 1920), Abraham Lincoln'' (1920) in the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C. File:Tlingit K'alyaan Totem Pole August 2005.jpg, The ''K'alyaan'' Totem Pole of the Tlingit people, Tlingit Kiks.ádi Clan, erected at Sitka National Historical Park to commemorate the lives lost in the 1804 Battle of Sitka File:The Broncho Buster MET DP361132.jpg, Frederic Remington, ''The Bronco Buster'', 1895, cast 1918. Metropolitan Museum of Art File:Dancer and Gazelles - Manship.jpg, Paul Manship, ''Dancer and Gazelles'', 1916, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC File:The Scout by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney.jpg, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, ''Buffalo Bill - The Scout (statue), Buffalo Bill - The Scout'', 1924, commemorating Buffalo Bill in Cody, Wyoming


Moving toward modern art


19th–early 20th century, early Modernism and continuing realism

File:Jeanne d'Arc François Rude.jpg, François Rude, a Romanticism, Romantic ''Jeanne d' Arc'', 1852, Louvre File:Ugolino and His Sons MET DP247545.jpg, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, ''Ugolino and His Sons (Carpeaux), Ugolino and His Sons'', 1857–1860, Metropolitan Museum of Art File:Per Hasselberg Snöklockan Rottneros Park.jpg, ''Per Hasselberg, Snowdrop (sculpture), Snöklockan'' (snowdrop), Paris 1881. Copy from 1953 in bronze by C & A Nicci (Rome/Italy) placed in Rottneros Park near Sunne, Sweden, Sunne in Värmland/Sweden. File:Auguste Rodin-Burghers of Calais (photo).jpg, Auguste Rodin ''The Burghers of Calais'' 1889, Calais, France File:Eros@Piccadilly.jpg, Alfred Gilbert, the so-called ''Piccadilly Circus#Shaftesbury Memorial and Eros, Eros'', 1893, the world's first aluminium statue, Piccadilly Circus, London File:Paul Gauguin, 1894, Oviri (Sauvage), partially glazed stoneware, 75 x 19 x 27 cm, Musée d'Orsay, Paris.jpg, Paul Gauguin, 1894, ''Oviri (Sauvage)'', partially glazed stoneware, 75 x 19 x 27 cm, Musée d'Orsay, Paris File:Jardín Musée Rodin Pensador 01.JPG, Auguste Rodin, ''The Thinker'', 1902, Musée Rodin, Paris File:Le Jour et la Nuit par Antoine Bourdelle.JPG, Antoine Bourdelle, ''Day and Night'', marble, 1903, Musée Bourdelle, Paris File:La Valse.jpg, Camille Claudel, ''The Waltz (Claudel), The Waltz'', 1905 cast of the second version File:Jan Štursa - Před koupelí.jpg, Jan Štursa, ''Before the Bath,'' 1906, National Gallery in Prague File:La Nuit by Aristide Maillol, Paris November 2011 001.jpg, Aristide Maillol, ''The Night (La Nuit)'' 1909, Tuileries Garden, Paris File:La-Pensee.jpg, Robert Wlérick, ''The Thought'' 1933, Morez Modern classicism contrasted in many ways with the classical sculpture of the 19th century which was characterized by commitments to naturalism (Antoine-Louis Barye)—the melodramatic (François Rude) sentimentality (Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux)—or a kind of stately grandiosity (Lord Leighton). Several different directions in the classical tradition were taken as the century turned, but the study of the live model and the post-Renaissance tradition was still fundamental to them. Auguste Rodin was the most renowned European sculptor of the early 20th century. He is often considered a sculptural Impressionist, as are his students including Camille Claudel, and Hugo Rheinhold, attempting to model of a fleeting moment of ordinary life. Modern classicism showed a lesser interest in naturalism and a greater interest in formal stylization. Greater attention was paid to the rhythms of volumes and spaces—as well as greater attention to the contrasting qualities of surface (open, closed, planar, broken etc.) while less attention was paid to story-telling and convincing details of anatomy or costume. Greater attention was given to psychological effect than to physical realism, and influences from earlier styles worldwide were used. Early masters of modern classicism included: Aristide Maillol, Alexander Matveyev, Joseph Bernard, Antoine Bourdelle, Georg Kolbe, Libero Andreotti, Gustav Vigeland, Jan Stursa, Constantin Brâncuși. As the century progressed, modern classicism was adopted as the national style of the two great European totalitarian empires: Nazi Germany and Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Soviet Russia, who co-opted the work of earlier artists such as Kolbe and Wilhelm Lehmbruck in Germany and Matveyev in Russia. Over the 70 years of the USSR, new generations of sculptors were trained and chosen within their system, and a distinct style, socialist realism, developed, that returned to the 19th century's emphasis on melodrama and naturalism. Classical training was rooted out of art education in Western Europe (and the Americas) by 1970 and the classical variants of the 20th century were marginalized in the history of modernism. But classicism continued as the foundation of art education in the Soviet academies until 1990, providing a foundation for expressive figurative art throughout eastern Europe and parts of the Middle East. By the year 2000, the European classical tradition retains a wide appeal to the public but awaits an educational tradition to revive its contemporary development. Some of the modern classical became either more decorative/art deco (Paul Manship, Jose de Creeft, Carl Milles) or more abstractly stylized or more expressive (and Gothic) (Anton Hanak, Wilhelm Lehmbruck, Ernst Barlach, Arturo Martini)—or turned more to the Renaissance (Giacomo Manzù, Venanzo Crocetti) or stayed the same (Charles Despiau, Marcel Gimond).


Modernism

Modernist sculpture movements include Cubist sculpture, Cubism, Geometric abstraction, De Stijl, Suprematism, Constructivism (art), Constructivism, Dadaism, Surrealism, Futurism (art), Futurism, Formalism (art), Formalism, Abstract expressionism, Pop-Art, Minimalism, Land art, and Installation art among others. In the early days of the 20th century,
Pablo Picasso Pablo Ruiz Picasso (25 October 1881 – 8 April 1973) was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker 300px, Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait'', etching">Self-portrait.html" ;"title="Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait">Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait'', et ...

Pablo Picasso
revolutionized the art of sculpture when he began creating his ''constructions'' fashioned by combining disparate objects and materials into one constructed piece of sculpture; the sculptural equivalent of the collage in two-dimensional art. The advent of Surrealism led to things occasionally being described as "sculpture" that would not have been so previously, such as "involuntary sculpture" in several senses, including coulage. In later years Picasso became a prolific pottery, potter, leading, with interest in historic pottery from around the world, to a revival of ceramic art, with figures such as George E. Ohr and subsequently Peter Voulkos, Kenneth Price, and Robert Arneson. Marcel Duchamp originated the use of the "
found object A found object (a loan translation In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional ...
" (French: objet trouvé) or ''readymade'' with pieces such as ''Fountain (Duchamp), Fountain'' (1917). Similarly, the work of Constantin Brâncuși at the beginning of the century paved the way for later abstract sculpture. In revolt against the naturalism of Rodin and his late-19th-century contemporaries, Brâncuși distilled subjects down to their essences as illustrated by the elegantly refined forms of his ''Bird in Space'' series (1924). Brâncuși's impact, with his vocabulary of reduction and abstraction, is seen throughout the 1930s and 1940s, and exemplified by artists such as Gaston Lachaise, Sir Jacob Epstein, Henry Moore, Alberto Giacometti, Joan Miró, Julio González (sculptor), Julio González, Pablo Serrano, Jacques Lipchitz and by the 1940s abstract sculpture was impacted and expanded by
Alexander Calder Alexander Calder (; July 22, 1898 – November 11, 1976) was an American Sculpture, sculptor known both for his innovative mobile (sculpture), mobiles (kinetic sculptures powered by motors or air currents) that embrace chance in their aesthetic, a ...

Alexander Calder
, Len Lye, Jean Tinguely, and Frederick Kiesler who were pioneers of Kinetic art. Modernist sculptors largely missed out on the huge boom in public art resulting from the demand for war memorials for the two World Wars, but from the 1950s the public and commissioning bodies became more comfortable with Modernist sculpture and large public commissions both abstract and figurative became common. Picasso was commissioned to make a maquette for a huge -high public sculpture, the so-called ''Chicago Picasso'' (1967). His design was ambiguous and somewhat controversial, and what the figure represents is not clear; it could be a bird, a horse, a woman or a totally abstract shape. During the late 1950s and the 1960s abstract sculptors began experimenting with a wide array of new materials and different approaches to creating their work. Surrealist imagery, anthropomorphic abstraction, new materials and combinations of new energy sources and varied surfaces and objects became characteristic of much new modernist sculpture. Collaborative projects with landscape designers, architects, and landscape architects expanded the outdoor site and contextual integration. Artists such as Isamu Noguchi, David Smith (sculptor), David Smith,
Alexander Calder Alexander Calder (; July 22, 1898 – November 11, 1976) was an American Sculpture, sculptor known both for his innovative mobile (sculpture), mobiles (kinetic sculptures powered by motors or air currents) that embrace chance in their aesthetic, a ...

Alexander Calder
, Jean Tinguely, Richard Lippold, George Rickey, Louise Bourgeois, Philip Pavia and Louise Nevelson came to characterize the look of modern sculpture. By the 1960s Abstract expressionism, Geometric abstraction and Minimalism, which reduces sculpture to its most essential and fundamental features, predominated. Some works of the period are: the Cubi works of David Smith, and the welded steel works of Sir Anthony Caro, as well as welded sculpture by a large variety of sculptors, the large-scale work of John Angus Chamberlain, John Chamberlain, and environmental installation scale works by Mark di Suvero. Other Minimalists include Tony Smith (sculptor), Tony Smith, Donald Judd, Robert Morris (artist), Robert Morris, Anne Truitt, Giacomo Benevelli, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Richard Serra, Dan Flavin, Carl Andre, and John Safer who added motion and monumentality to the theme of purity of line. During the 1960s and 1970s figurative sculpture by modernist artists in stylized forms was made by artists such as Leonard Baskin, Ernest Trova, George Segal (artist), George Segal, Marisol Escobar, Paul Thek, Robert Graham (sculptor), Robert Graham in a classic articulated style, and Fernando Botero bringing his painting's 'oversized figures' into monumental sculptures.


Gallery of modernist sculpture

File:André Derain, 1907 (Automne), Nu debout, limestone, 95 x 33 x 17 cm, Musée National d'Art Moderne.jpg, André Derain, ''Nu debout'', 1907, limestone, Musée National d'Art Moderne File:Henri Matisse, 1908, Figure décorative, bronze.jpg, Henri Matisse, ''Figure décorative'', 1908, bronze File:Woman's Head MET DT203051.jpg, Amedeo Modigliani, ''Female Head'', 1911–12, Metropolitan Museum of Art File:Joseph Csaky, 1911-1912, Deux Femme (Two Women), plaster lost, photo Galerie René Reichard, Frankfurt, 72dpi.jpg, Joseph Csaky, ''Groupe de femmes, Groupe de femmes (Groupe de trois femmes, Groupe de trois personnages)'', 1911–12, plaster, lost File:Alexander Archipenko, La Vie Familiale, Family Life, 1912.jpg, Alexander Archipenko, ''La Vie Familiale'' (''Family Life''), 1912, destroyed File:Constantin Brancusi, Portrait of Mlle Pogany, 1912, Philadelphia Museum of Modern Art, Philadelphia.jpg, Constantin Brâncuși, ''Portrait of Mademoiselle Pogany'', 1912, white marble; limestone block, Philadelphia Museum of Art. Exhibited at the 1913 Armory Show File:Otto Gutfreund (Cellista).jpg, Otto Gutfreund, ''Cellist'', 1912–13 File:Marcel Duchamp, 1917, Fountain, photograph by Alfred Stieglitz.jpg, Marcel Duchamp, ''Fountain (Duchamp), Fountain'', 1917 File:JacobEpstein DayAndNight.jpg, Jacob Epstein, ''Day and Night'', carved for the London Underground's headquarters, 1928. File:Het treurende ouderpaar - Käthe Kolwitz.JPG, Käthe Kollwitz, ''The Grieving Parents'', 1932, World War I memorial (for her son Peter), Vladslo German war cemetery File:Jacques Lipchitz, Birth of the Muses (1944-1950), MIT Campus.JPG, Jacques Lipchitz, ''Birth of the Muses'', 1944–1950 File:Barbara Hepworth monolyth empyrean.jpg, Barbara Hepworth, ''Monolith-Empyrean'', 1953 File:John Chamberlain at the Hirshhorn.jpg, John Chamberlain (sculptor), John Chamberlain, ''S'', 1959, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC. File:Moore ThreePieceRecliningFigureNo1 1961.jpg, Henry Moore, ''Three Piece Reclining figure No.1'', 1961, Yorkshire File:2004-09-07 1800x2400 chicago picasso.jpg,
Pablo Picasso Pablo Ruiz Picasso (25 October 1881 – 8 April 1973) was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker 300px, Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait'', etching">Self-portrait.html" ;"title="Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait">Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait'', et ...

Pablo Picasso
, Chicago Picasso, 1967, Chicago, Illinois File:George Rickey Ri10.gif, George Rickey, ''Four Squares in Geviert,'' 1969, terrace of the New National Gallery, Berlin, Germany, Rickey is considered a Kinetic art, Kinetic sculptor File:Alexander Calder Crinkly avec disc Rouge 1973-1.jpg,
Alexander Calder Alexander Calder (; July 22, 1898 – November 11, 1976) was an American Sculpture, sculptor known both for his innovative mobile (sculpture), mobiles (kinetic sculptures powered by motors or air currents) that embrace chance in their aesthetic, a ...

Alexander Calder
, ''Crinkly avec disc rouge'', 1973, Schlossplatz, Stuttgart File:Atmos n Environ XII.JPG, Louise Nevelson, ''Atmosphere and Environment XII'', 1970–1973, Philadelphia Museum of Art File:caro_1974.jpg, Sir Anthony Caro, ''Black Cover Flat'', 1974, steel, Tel Aviv Museum of Art File:Dona i Ocell.JPG, Joan Miró, ''Dona i Ocell, Woman and Bird'', 1982, Barcelona, Spain File:Spider. Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao.JPG, Louise Bourgeois, ''Maman (sculpture), Maman'', 1999, outside Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Museo Guggenheim


Contemporary movements

Site-specific art, Site specific and
environmental art Environmental art is a range of artistic practices encompassing both historical approaches to nature in art and more recent ecological and politically motivated types of works. Environmental art has evolved away from formal concerns, for example ...
works are represented by artists:
Andy Goldsworthy Andy Goldsworthy (born 26 July 1956) is a British sculptor, photographer and environmentalist Image:Voynet Montreuil 2008-01-06.jpg, Dominique Voynet, 2008 An environmentalist is a person who is concerned with and/or advocates for the protect ...
, Walter De Maria, Richard Long (artist), Richard Long, Richard Serra, Robert Irwin (artist), Robert Irwin, George Rickey and Christo and Jeanne-Claude led contemporary abstract sculpture in new directions. Artists created
environmental sculpture Environmental sculpture is sculpture that creates or alters the environment for the viewer, as opposed to presenting itself figurally or monumentally before the viewer. A frequent trait of larger environmental sculptures is that one can actually en ...
on expansive sites in the 'Land Arts of the American West, land art in the American West' group of projects. These
land art Land art, variously known as Earth art, environmental art, and Earthworks, is an art movement that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, largely associated with Great Britain and the United StatesArt in the modern era: A guide to styles, schools, & mov ...

land art
or 'earth art' environmental scale sculpture works exemplified by artists such as Robert Smithson, Michael Heizer, James Turrell (Roden Crater). Eva Hesse, Sol LeWitt, Jackie Winsor, Keith Sonnier, Bruce Nauman and Dennis Oppenheim among others were pioneers of Postminimalist sculpture. Also during the 1960s and 1970s artists as diverse as Eduardo Paolozzi, Chryssa, Claes Oldenburg, George Segal (artist), George Segal, Edward Kienholz, Nam June Paik, Wolf Vostell, Duane Hanson, and John DeAndrea explored abstraction, imagery and figuration through video art, environment, light sculpture, and installation art in new ways. Conceptual art is art in which the concept(s) or idea(s) involved in the work take precedence over traditional aesthetic and material concerns. Works include ''One and Three Chairs'', 1965, is by Joseph Kosuth, and ''An Oak Tree'' by Michael Craig-Martin, and those of Joseph Beuys, James Turrell and Jacek Tylicki.


Minimalism

File:Tonysmith freeride sculpture.jpg, Tony Smith (sculptor), Tony Smith, ''Free Ride,'' 1962, 6'8 x 6'8 x 6'8 (the height of a standard US door opening), Museum of Modern Art, New York File:UntitledGoldBox1964.jpg, Larry Bell (artist), Larry Bell, ''Untitled'' 1964, bismuth, chromium, gold, and rhodium on gold-plated brass; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden File:Judd Muenster.JPG, Donald Judd, ''Untitled'' 1977, Münster, Germany File:RichardSerra Fulcrum2.jpg, Richard Serra, ''Fulcrum'' 1987, 55 ft high free standing sculpture of Cor-ten, Cor-ten steel near Liverpool Street station, London File:DonaldֹJudd IMJ.JPG, Donald Judd, ''Untitled,'' 1991, Israel Museum Art Garden, Jerusalem


Postminimalism

File:South Bank Circle by Richard Long, Tate Liverpool.jpg, Richard Long (artist), Richard Long, ''South Bank Circle,'' 1991 Tate Liverpool, England File:Aile Entravée.Jean Yves Lechevallier.jpg, Jean-Yves Lechevallier, ''Fettered wing''. 1991 File:TWUP Jerusalem 190810 1.JPG, Anish Kapoor, ''Turning the World Upside Down'', Israel Museum, 2010 File:Rachel whitereadwien holocaust mahnmal wien judenplatz.jpg, Rachel Whiteread, ''Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial'', Vienna, 2000 File:Public contemporary-light-art-sculpture-manfred-kielnhofer-illumination.jpg, ''Guardians of Time'', by Manfred Kielnhofer at the Light Art Biennale Austria 2010 File:The Spire-doyler79.jpg, The Spire of Dublin officially titled the ''Monument of Light'', stainless steel, , the world's tallest sculpture


Contemporary genres

Some modern sculpture forms are now practiced outdoors, as
environmental art Environmental art is a range of artistic practices encompassing both historical approaches to nature in art and more recent ecological and politically motivated types of works. Environmental art has evolved away from formal concerns, for example ...
and
environmental sculpture Environmental sculpture is sculpture that creates or alters the environment for the viewer, as opposed to presenting itself figurally or monumentally before the viewer. A frequent trait of larger environmental sculptures is that one can actually en ...
, often in full view of spectators. Light sculpture, street art sculpture and
site-specific art, ''Site-specific installation,'' 1996, Menil Collection, Houston TX, USA Image:Place du 6-Décembre-1989, Montreal.jpg, 300px, ''Nef pour quatorze reines'' by Rose-Marie Goulet, a memorial to the École Polytechnique Massacre, featuring sculpture, ...
also often make use of the environment. Ice sculpture is a form of ephemeral sculpture that uses ice as the raw material. It is popular in China, Japan, Canada, Sweden, and Russia. Ice sculptures feature decoratively in some cuisines, especially in Asia. Kinetic art, Kinetic sculptures are sculptures that are designed to move, which include Mobile (sculpture), mobiles. Snow sculptures are usually carved out of a single block of snow about on each side and weighing about 20–30 tons. The snow is densely packed into a form after having been produced by artificial means or collected from the ground after a snowfall. Sound sculptures take the form of indoor sound installations, outdoor installations such as aeolian harps, automatons, or be more or less near conventional musical instruments. Sound sculpture is often site-specific. Art toys have become another format for contemporary artists since the late 1990s, such as those produced by Takashi Murakami and Kid Robot, designed by Michael Lau, or hand-made by Michael Leavitt (artist).


Conservation

Sculptures are sensitive to environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity and exposure to light and ultraviolet light. Acid rain can also cause damage to certain building materials and historical monuments. This results when sulfuric acid in the rain chemically reacts with the calcium compounds in the stones (limestone, sandstone, marble and granite) to create
gypsum Gypsum is a soft sulfate mineral The sulfate minerals are a class of mineral In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with ...

gypsum
, which then flakes off. At any time many contemporary sculptures have usually been on display in public places; theft was not a problem as pieces were instantly recognisable. In the early 21st century the value of metal rose to such an extent that theft of massive bronze sculpture for the value of the metal became a problem; sculpture worth millions being stolen and melted down for the relatively low value of the metal, a tiny fraction of the value of the artwork.BBC: Barbara Hepworth sculpture stolen from Dulwich Park, 20 December 2011
Example of theft of large bronze sculpture for the value of the metal.


See also

* List of sculptors * List of female sculptors * Outline of sculpture * List of Stone Age art * List of sculpture parks * List of most expensive sculptures * Architectural sculpture * Assemblage (art), Assemblage * Butter sculpture * Cass Sculpture Foundation * Collage * Electrotyping * Floral design (Ikebana) * French sculpture * Garden sculpture * Gas sculpture * Hill figure * History of Asian art * Hologram * Inuit art * Sculpture garden * Tree shaping * Living sculpture * Mask * Mobile (sculpture), Mobiles *
Monumental sculpture The term monumental sculpture is often used in art history and Art criticism, criticism, but not always consistently. It combines two concepts, one of function, and one of size, and may include an element of a third more subjective concept. It is ...

Monumental sculpture
* Origami * Plaster cast * Wax sculpture * Welded sculpture * Visual arts


Notes


References

* Boucher, Bruce, ''Italian Baroque Sculpture'', 1998, Thames & Hudson (World of Art), * Anthony Blunt, Blunt Anthony, ''Artistic Theory in Italy, 1450–1660'', OUP, 1940 (refs to 1985 edn), * John Boardman (art historian), Boardman, John ed., ''The Oxford History of Classical Art'', OUP, 1993, * Briggs, Philip (2015) [1995]. ''Ethiopia''. Chalfont St Peter: Bradt Travel Guides. . * Burnett, Andrew, ''Coins; Interpreting the Past'', University of California/British Museum, 1991, * Calkins, Robert G.; ''Monuments of Medieval Art'', Dutton, 1979, * Cherry, John. ''The Holy Thorn Reliquary'', 2010, British Museum Press (British Museum objects in focus), * Robert Manuel Cook, Cook, R.M., ''Greek Art'', Penguin, 1986 (reprint of 1972), * De Lorenzi, James (2015). ''Guardians of the Tradition: Historians and Historical Writing in Ethiopia and Eritrea''. Rochester: University of Rochester Press. . * Charles Reginald Dodwell, Dodwell, C.R., ''Anglo-Saxon Art, A New Perspective'', 1982, Manchester University Press, * Henri Frankfort, Frankfort, Henri, ''The Art and Architecture of the Ancient Orient'', Pelican History of Art, 4th ed 1970, Penguin (now Yale History of Art), * Harkless, Necia Desiree (2006). ''Nubian Pharaohs and Meroitic Kings: The Kingdom of Kush''. Bloomington, Indiana: AuthorHouse. . * Harle, J. C., ''The Art and Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent'', 2nd edn. 1994, Yale University Press Pelican History of Art, * Henderson, George. ''Gothic'', 1967, Penguin, * Henig, Martin (ed.), ''A Handbook of Roman Art'', Phaidon, 1983, * Robert Treat Paine, Paine, Robert Treat, in: Paine, R. T., & A. Soper, ''The Art and Architecture of Japan'', 3rd edn 1981, Yale University Press Pelican History of Art, * Hugh Honour and John Fleming, ''A World History of Art'', 1st edn. 1982 (many later editions), Macmillan, London, page refs to 1984 Macmillan 1st edn paperback. * Howgego, Christopher, ''Ancient History from Coins'', Routledge, 1995, * Ernst Kitzinger, Kitzinger, Ernst, ''Byzantine art in the making: main lines of stylistic development in Mediterranean art, 3rd–7th century'', 1977, Faber & Faber, (US: Cambridge UP, 1977) * Olson, Roberta J. M., ''Italian Renaissance Sculpture'', 1992, Thames & Hudson (World of Art), * Jessica Rawson, Rawson, Jessica (ed.). ''The British Museum Book of Chinese Art'', 2007 (2nd edn), British Museum Press, * Piotrovsky, M. B., and J. M. Rogers (eds), ''Heaven on Earth: Art from Islamic Lands'', 2004, Prestel, * Robinson, James, ''Masterpieces of Medieval Art'', 2008, British Museum Press, * Sandars, Nancy K., ''Prehistoric Art in Europe'', Penguin (Pelican, now Yale, History of Art), 1968 (nb 1st edn.; early datings now superseded) * * Sickman, Laurence, in: Sickman L., & A. Soper, "The Art and Architecture of China", ''Pelican History of Art'', 3rd edn 1971, Penguin (now Yale History of Art), LOC 70-125675 *Simon, Joshua. ''Neomaterialism'', Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2013, * Smith, W. Stevenson, and Simpson, William Kelly. ''The Art and Architecture of Ancient Egypt'', 3rd edn. 1998, Yale University Press (Penguin/Yale History of Art), * James Snyder (art historian), Snyder, James. ''Northern Renaissance Art'', 1985, Harry N. Abrams, * Sobania, Neal W. (2012), "Lalibela", in Akyeampong, Emmanuel; Gates, Henry Louis, Jr., ''Dictionary of African Biography'', Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 462, . * Sobania, Neal W. (2012). "Lalibela", in Akyeampong, Emmanuel; Gates, Henry Louis, Jr., ''Dictionary of African Biography''. Oxford: Oxford University Press. . * Strong, Donald, et al., ''Roman Art'', 1995 (2nd edn), Yale University Press (Penguin/Yale History of Art), * Williams, Dyfri. ''Masterpieces of Classical Art'', 2009, British Museum Press,


External links


Sculpture "hub"
at the Victoria and Albert Museum
Corning Museum of Glass

Cass Sculpture Foundation
, a charity dedicated to commissioning monumental sculpture.
Archive.org The ''Encyclopædia Britannica'' Eleventh Edition, Sculpture
pp. 488–517 ***''Please note that a wikilink to the article on [Sculpture] in [EB1911] is not available''*** * Current research on polychromy on ancient sculpture at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptote

{{Authority control Sculpture, Visual arts terminology Sculpture techniques, . Sculptures,