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Famous Sculptures – Virtual Tour

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Famous Sculptures – Virtual Tour

The earliest Greek word for a statue meant “delight,” and since the beginning of time, sculptors have tried to create forms that inspire delight.

A Virtual Tour of the Top Sculptures


Ancient and traditionally sculptural processes used carving and modeling, in stone, metal, ceramics, wood, and other materials, such as bone. 

The ancient stone sculptures have survived far better than other works of art in perishable materials and often represents the majority of the surviving artworks, other than pottery from ancient cultures.

However, many ancient sculptures were painted, and this feature has been lost.

Western sculpture began in ancient Greece, and Greek culture produced many great masterpieces from the classical period.

During the Middle Ages, Gothic sculpture represented images of the Christian faith. The revival of classical models in the Renaissance produced famous sculptures such as Michelangelo’s David.

Sculpture has been central in religious devotion in many cultures, and until recent centuries large sculptures were usually an expression of religion or state power.

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.

Modern sculpture is now free to use any materials and any process. A wide variety of materials are now created by carving, assembled by welding or modeling, or molded or cast.

Highlights of Sculpture Art

The Stargazer (Statuette of a Woman)

This 5,000-year-old marble sculpture of a female figure is called the “Stargazer.” The name derives from the way her eyes are looking up to the stars above.

Created in translucent marble, this is an unusual sculpture because her head is sculptured entirely in the round. Her body is reduced to a simple yet elegant profile.

The nose is depicted as a slight ridge on a straight-line edge.  The head tilted backward; the eyes are tiny dots raised in relief.

The Parthenon Marbles

The Parthenon was built on the Acropolis of Athens, Greece, between 447 and 432 B.C. as a testament to the glory and pride of the Athenian state.

The Parthenon stands on the Acropolis of Athens, which in ancient times, as it does today, dominates the city of Athens. The Acropolis is an extremely rocky outcrop above the city of Athens.

The word acropolis comes from the Greek, Akron, meaning “highest point” and polis meaning “city.”

The Acropolis is a flat-topped rock that rises high over Athens, with a large flat area that has been used as a fortress and a religious center from time immemorial.

Venus de Milo

“Aphrodite of Milos,” better known as the “Venus de Milo,” is an ancient Greek statue over 2,000 years old, named after the Greek island of Milos, where it was discovered.

It is one of the most famous works of ancient Greek sculpture and depicts Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty.

The Roman name for Aphrodite is Venus, and this was the description used during the early publicity of this Greek masterpiece, and the name stuck.

Venus de’ Medici

The Venus de’ Medici or Medici Venus is a marble sculpture depicting the Greek goddess Aphrodite.

It is a 1st-century BCE marble copy, made in Athens, of a bronze original Greek sculpture. The Roman name for Aphrodite is Venus, and this was the description used during the early publicity of this Greek masterpiece.

This masterpiece is in the classical depiction of the female form and a beautiful representation of the human body.

Mythological tradition claims that Aphrodite was born naked in the seafoam off the coast of a Greek island, and Hellenistic sculptors leaped at this tradition to experiment with the nude female form.

Laocoön and His Sons

“Laocoön and His Sons” is one of the most famous ancient sculptures and a highlight of the Vatican Museums, ever since it was placed there on public display.

The statue depicts Laocoön, the priest of Apollo from the city of Troy, and his two sons. They are locked in the death coils of two serpents on the steps of an altar.

Troy in Asia Minor, now modern Turkey, was the site of the Trojan war, which was fought between the Greeks and Trojans for ten years (1194 to 1184 BC.).

David” by Michelangelo

“David” by Michelangelo was completed in 1504 and depicts the Biblical hero David, who killed the giant Goliath with a rock from his sling.

David is represented just before his battle with Goliath, tense and ready for combat, Michelangelo has captured the moment between decision and action, during the war between Israel and the Philistines.

David’s brow is focused, his neck tense, his veins are bulging out, he holds a sling draped over his shoulder in his left hand, and he holds a rock in his right hand.

The twist of his body conveys motion and is achieved with the contrapposto technique developed by the Greeks for their standing heroic male nude.

The figure stands with one leg holding its full weight and the other leg forward. Michelangelo has emphasized the contrapposto technique by the turn of the head to the left, and by the contrasting positions of the arms.

Pieta by Michelangelo

Pietà by Michelangelo depicts the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion. This theme was of Northern European origin, and Michelangelo’s interpretation of the Pietà was unprecedented in Italian sculpture.

It balanced the Renaissance ideals of classical beauty together with extraordinary naturalism. Christ’s face does not reveal signs of his suffering.

Michelangelo did not want his version of the Pietà to represent death, but rather to show the serene faces and relationship of Son and Mother. It is the only piece Michelangelo ever signed.

The Winged Victory of Samothrace

This colossal monument is a statue of the winged figure of Nike, the Greek goddess of Victory. This sculpture is considered one of the greatest masterpieces of antiquity, and replicas of this winged figure were famous in the ancient world.

The Winged Victory of Samothrace, also known as the Nike of Samothrace, was created at about 190 BC and discovered 1863 in Samothrace, a Greek island in the northern Aegean Sea.

The sculpture stood on the prow of a ship. It was erected to commemorate a naval victory by a Macedonian general.

Nefertiti Bust

The “Nefertiti Bust” is the Neues Museum’s best-known masterpiece. Nefertiti was the Great Royal Wife of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten and Egypt’s Queen during 1370 B.C.-1330 B.C.

The statue is renowned for the skill of the sculptor Thutmose, the well-preserved coloring, and the beauty of Nefertiti herself.

The bust is a painted stucco-coated limestone work, believed to have been crafted in 1345 B.C. by the sculptor Thutmose, because it was found in his workshop in Amarna, Egypt.

It is one of the most copied works of ancient Egypt. As a result, Nefertiti has become one of the most famous women of the ancient world and an icon of feminine beauty.

Caryatids of Erechtheion

A Caryatid is a name given to a column that is in the form of a standing female figure. The most famous Caryatids are from the Erechtheion on the Acropolis of Athens.

The Erechtheion is a marble temple building in the Ionic order and was considered the most sacred part of the Acropolis.

At the south porch of the Erechtheion, the roof was supported by six statues of maidens known as the Caryatids.

An ancient inscription of the Erechtheion refers to the Caryatids simply as Korai (maidens). The Greek term karyatides means “maidens of Karyai,” an ancient town of Peloponnese.

Walking Buddha

This “Walking Buddha” is a three-dimensional sculpture representing the transcendent qualities innovated in the Sukhothai period.

The Kingdom of Sukhothai was an early kingdom in north-central Thailand from 1238 to 1438. Sukhothai is derived from Sanskrit, and means “dawn of happiness.”

This simply clad Buddha figure steps forward in smooth fluid motion with the right hand in the gesture of fearlessness.

The Dying Gaul

The “Dying Gaul” is an Ancient Roman marble copy of a lost Hellenistic sculpture, which was initially created in bronze.

It portrays a Gallic warrior in his last moments, as he struggles from a fatal wound, his face contorted in pain.

The marble sculpture depicts a naked man with a Celtic torc around his neck, on the ground atop his shield, wounded and supporting himself with one arm, the other resting weakly on his bent leg.

The hand on the ground is next to a broken sword; his head is bent down to the point where we can’t see his face. He is bleeding from a chest wound on the left side of the rib cage, and he is slowly dying.

The Kiss

“The Kiss” by Auguste Rodin is a marble sculpture of an embracing couple. Initially, it was created to depict the 13th-century Italian noblewoman immortalized in Dante’s Inferno.

The woman had fallen in love with her husband’s younger brother. Having fallen in love while reading the story of Lancelot and Guinevere, the couple is discovered and killed by the husband.

In the sculpture, the book can be seen in the man’s left hand.

The lovers’ lips do not touch in the sculpture, suggesting that they were interrupted and met their demise without their lips ever having touched.

When critics first saw the statue in 1887, they suggested the less specific title “The Kiss,” and this is now the title of this masterpiece.

Cycladic Figures

Cycladic Figures originated from the ancient Cycladic culture, which flourished in the islands of the Aegean Sea from c. 3300 to 1100 BCE.

The best-known cultural objects of this period and culture are the marble figures, usually called Cycladic “idols” or “figurines.”

The Cyclades is a group of Greek islands, southeast of the mainland in the Aegean Sea. It centers on the island of Delos, considered the birthplace of Apollo and home to some of Greece’s most important archaeological ruins.

Seated Buddha from Gandhara

“The Seated Buddha from Gandhara” is a statue of the Buddha discovered at the site of ancient Gandhara in modern-day Pakistan.

Like other Gandharan or Greco-Buddhist art, the sculpture shows the influence of Ancient Greek sculptural art.

Gandhara had been part of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom established by Alexander the Great. Gandhāra was an ancient Indic kingdom situated in the northwestern region of Pakistan, around Peshawar.

The Gates of Hell

The Gates of Hell is a sculptural group created by Auguste Rodin that depicts a scene from “The Inferno” from Dante Alighieri’s book the Divine Comedy.

The sculpture was commissioned in 1880. This project became Rodin’s life work as he continued to work on and off on it for 37 years, until his death in 1917.

Many of the characters from the “The Gates of Hell” was modeled and cast separately as stand-alone art sculptures.

This is one of the reasons Rodin took so long with this masterpiece. Many of the original small-scale sculptures used on the Gate were enlarged and reworked and became stand-alone works of art of their own.

The Thinker

“The Thinker” by Auguste Rodin was initially conceived for his monumental bronze portal entitled “The Gates of Hell” (1880-1917).

The figure was intended to represent Italian poet Dante pondering “The Divine Comedy,” his epic classic of Paradise and Inferno. Initially, this masterpiece had several other names, including “The Poet.”

In 1889, Rodin exhibited the sculpture independently of “The Gates of Hell,” giving it the title “The Thinker,” and in 1902, he embarked on this larger version. It has since become one of his most recognized masterpieces.

The Burghers of Calais

“The Burghers of Calais” by Auguste Rodin is one of his most famous sculptures.

It commemorates a historical incident during the Hundred Years’ War, when Calais, a prominent French port on the English Channel, was under siege by the English for over a year and was forced to surrender.

The victors offered to spare the city if six of its leaders would surrender themselves and walk out wearing nooses around their necks, carrying the keys to the town and castle.

One of the wealthiest of the town leaders volunteered, and five other burghers volunteered to join him.

It is this moment when the volunteers leave the city gates that this sculpture depicts. Rodin captured the poignant mix of defeat, heroic self-sacrifice, and willingness to face imminent death.

Akhenaten and Nefertiti with their Children

“Akhenaten and Nefertiti with their Children” is a small house shrine stele made of limestone. Akhenaton and Nefertiti are shown with the three of their daughters.

Nefertiti was the Great Royal Wife of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten. The body forms are depicted in relief, the overlong proportions, wide hips, thin legs, and the forwardly curved necks, are typical of the early Amarna artistic style.

Probably used as a home altar, this historic depiction provides a rare opportunity to view a scene from the private life of the king and queen.

The daughters are being held and caressed by their parents in the presence of their god Aten. Aten is in the center of the scene represented as a sun disc with sunrays ending in hands proffering ‘ank’-signs (life-signs) to the royal couple.

Gudea, Prince of Lagash

Gudea, Prince of Lagash was the political and religious governor of Lagash, in Southern Mesopotamia, one of the oldest Sumerian cities.

This statue was discovered as two pieces, twenty-six years apart. Archaeologists found the head in 1877, then the body was found in 1903.

Many figures of Gudea, both standing and seated, have been discovered; however, none of them was complete. Bodies without heads have been found, and the heads with missing bodies.

Archaeologists succeeded in assembling the two fragments of this statue, resulting in the first and only complete representation of Gudea. The engraved inscription on the rob identified the subject as Gudea of Lagash.

Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal

“The Lion Hunt” is a low relief sculpture showing the Royal Lion Hunt of King Ashurbanipal with his royal entourage, together with horses, dogs on leashes, and chariots.

The sculpture shows captured lions and lionesses being released from cages to do battle with the King. The Lion Hunt is one of the most captivating works of art from antiquity.

The suffering lions are depicted as brave and defiant, but they are eventually defeated with arrows, spears, and swords and are shown in individual suffering and dying in agony.

The ancient artist expertly captured the lions in motion depicting each animal as a unique individual. This intricate artistry was created over 2,500 years ago with primitive tools, and it is a masterpiece of Assyrian art.

Seated Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara – Guanyin

This gilt bronze statue of Avalokiteśvara is a bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas.

Sitting in the posture of “royal ease” with the right hand resting on a bent right knee and the left leg hanging over the seat.

The image is dressed as an Indian prince in long and fluid garments with sashes, scarves, and jewels.

Bodhisattvas are a favorite subject in Buddhist art and are variably depicted, described, and portrayed in different cultures as either female or male. In Chinese Buddhism, Avalokiteśvara has become a somewhat different female figure Guanyin.

Charioteer of Delphi

The Charioteer of Delphi is a rare surviving 2,500-year-old bronze sculpture from Ancient Greek culture. It is a life-size statue of a chariot driver found in 1896 at the Sanctuary of Apollo in Delphi.

The statue was commissioned to commemorate the victory of the tyrant Polyzalusa of Gela, a Greek colony in Sicily, and his chariot in the Pythian Games of 470 BC.

The Pythian Games (also known as the Delphic Games) were one of the four Panhellenic Games of Ancient Greece. They were held in honor of Apollo every four years at his sanctuary at Delphi.

They were held two years after each Olympic Games. An inscription on the limestone base of the statue shows that Polyzalus dedicated it as a tribute to Apollo for helping him win the chariot race.

Artemision Bronze

The Artemision Bronze represents either Zeus, the ancient Greek king of the gods of Mount Olympus, or possibly Poseidon, the God of the Sea.

This sculpture is a rare, ancient Greek bronze sculpture that was recovered from the sea off Cape Artemision, Greece.

Created in the early Geek Classical Period of 460 BC, this masterpiece is the embodiment of beauty, control, and strength.

Antikythera Youth 

The Antikythera Youth is a 330 BC bronze statue of a young man discovered in 1900 by sponge-divers in the area of the ancient Antikythera shipwreck off the island of Antikythera, Greece.

It was the first of the series of Greek bronze sculptures discovered in the Aegean, which fundamentally altered the view of Ancient Greek sculpture. The statue was retrieved as multiple fragments and had to be restored in stages.

The Antikythera Youth held a spherical object in his right hand, and thus it is suggested that the statue represented Paris presenting the Apple of Discord to Aphrodite.

Boy with Thorn

The “Boy with Thorn” is a Greco-Roman bronze sculpture with various Roman marble copies and later smaller sized bronze copies in multiple museums around the world.

The “Boy with Thorn,” at the Capitoline Museums, is a Greco-Roman Hellenistic bronze sculpture of a naked boy sitting on a rock pulling a thorn from the bottom of his foot.

The boy has been identified as a young shepherd. The image of the extraction of a thorn from the foot was invented in the Hellenistic period.

Jockey of Artemision

The Jockey of Artemision is a bronze statue of a boy riding a horse, dated to around 150 BC. It is a rare original bronze statue from Ancient Greece.

It is also unique because most ancient Greek bronzes were melted down for their raw materials during periods of warfare and strife.

This Greek masterpiece was saved from destruction because it was lost in a shipwreck sometime in antiquity, before being discovered in the modern era.

Colossus of Constantine

Large broken portions of the Colossus are now on display at the Capitoline Museums.

Constantine was the first Christian emperor of Rome, and he had a profound effect on the development of the Roman and Byzantine worlds.

After reunifying the Empire, he established a new dynasty and founded a new capital, named Constantinople after himself.

Christianity played an essential role in Constantine’s rule and his initiatives for reform and renewal in the Roman Empire.

Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss

“Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss” by Antonio Canova shows the mythological lovers at a moment of high emotion.

It represents the God Cupid in the height of love and tenderness, immediately after awakening Psyche with a kiss.

Having been awakened, Psyche reaches up toward her lover, Cupid, as he gently holds her by supporting her head and breast.

This sculpture exemplifies Antonio Canova’s craftsmanship and skills in carving marble that provides a superb contrast between the smooth skin of Psyche and Cupid as compared to the surrounding elements.

The detached draping around Psyche’s lower body, emphasizes the difference between the texture of skin and drapery.

Beautiful curls and lines define the hair, and the feathery details create the realistic wings of Cupid. The rough stone texture provides the basis of the rock upon which the composition is placed.

Statue of Saint Helena

The Statue of Saint Helena by Andrea Bolgi depicts Saint Helena holding the True Cross and the Holy Nails.

The sculptor Bolgi labored for a decade on this statue that epitomized his career. Saint Helena (250 AD – 330 AD) was an Empress of the Roman Empire, and mother of Emperor Constantine the Great (272 –337), the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity.

The Statue of Saint Helena was created for one of the four niches at the crossing of St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City.

In St. Peter’s Basilica four piers support the dome of the Basilica. Each of the piers has a niche in which is set one of the four statues associated with the basilica’s most important holy relics. A piece of the True Cross Relic is kept near the colossal statue of St. Empress Helena.

Statuette of a Horse in Geometric Style

This Statuette of a Horse in Geometric Style is a cast bronze stallion on a pierced base that comes from the Peloponnese, Greece, most probably from the Zeus Sanctuary in Olympia.

Horse figures are among the most common dedications of geometric time. This stallion is one of the largest surviving examples of its type and probably created as a votive offering.

At Olympia, many small figurines, mostly of animals, were thrown onto the massive pile of ashes from the animal sacrifices at the altar at the Temple of Zeus.

Much of our knowledge of ancient Greek art in base metal comes from these and other excavated deposits of offerings. Arms and armor, especially helmets, were also given after a victory.

Lion Hunt Relief from Nimrud

This Lion Hunt Relief came from a wing of Northwest Palace of the Royal Residence of King Ashurbanipal in Nimrud, present-day Iraq.

The relief shows the king, standing on a light hunting chariot, which is guided by a charioteer and pulled three horses.

Three arrows have hit the lion. The King once again aims an arrow at the lion. The lion has turned its head back and seems to roar its attacker in pain.

The royal lion hunt is a symbol of the King overcoming the dangers and challenges to the Assyrian state by its ruler.

The Pergamon Altar

The Pergamon Altar was built about 150 BC on the acropolis or the high point of the ancient Greek city of Pergamon in Asia Minor.

This colossal Altar of Zeus at Pergamon, near modern-day Izmir, Turkey, is a monumental work of Greek Hellenistic art. Built during the reign of Greek King Eumenes II, the structure is over 35 meters wide and 33 meters deep.

The front stairway is almost 20 meters wide. Like the Parthenon in Athens, this Zeus Altar constructed on a terrace of the acropolis overlooking the ancient city of Pergamon.

Unlike the Parthenon, it was not a temple but merely an altar, and designed according to the Ionic order of Greek Architecture.

Lamentation over the Dead Christ

“Lamentation over Dead Christ” by Niccolò dell’Arca is a 1463 sculptural group of seven terracotta figures is housed in the “Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Vita” a Baroque church in Bologna, Italy.

The work is composed of life-size figures in terracotta displaying dramatic pathos. The expressions of grief and torment on the faces is intensified by the realism of their dramatic facial details.

Christ is at the center lying with his head reclining on a pillow. Around him are the other figures, Mary of Cleophas and at the feet of Christ, Mary Magdalene, torn by pain with clothes swelled by the wind.

The other figures are more composed, even as their faces show their pain and grief.

Tutankhamun’s Mask

Tutankhamun’s mask is the funerary mask of Tutankhamun, the 18th-dynasty Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh who reigned 1332–1323 BC.

It was discovered by Howard Carter in 1925 and is now housed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. This mask is one of the most well-known works of art in the world.

Tutankhamun’s burial chamber was found in the Valley of the Kings in 1922 and opened three years later.

It would be another two years before the excavation team, led by the English archaeologist Howard Carter, was able to open the massive sarcophagus containing Tutankhamun’s mummy.

A house altar showing Akhenaten and Nefertiti with their Children

“Akhenaten and Nefertiti with their Children” is a small house shrine stele made of limestone. Akhenaton and Nefertiti are shown with the three of their daughters.

Nefertiti was the Great Royal Wife of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten. The body forms are depicted in relief, the overlong proportions, wide hips, thin legs, and the forwardly curved necks, are typical of the early Amarna artistic style.

Probably used as a home altar, this historic depiction provides a rare opportunity to view a scene from the private life of the king and queen.

The daughters are being held and caressed by their parents in the presence of their god Aten. Aten is in the center of the scene represented as a sun disc with sunrays ending in hands proffering ‘ank’-signs (life-signs) to the royal couple.

The Rosetta Stone

The Rosetta Stone is inscribed with three languages for the same decree issued at Memphis, Egypt, in 196 BC by King Ptolemy V.

The top text is in Ancient Egyptian using the hieroglyphic script, the middle passage is Ancient Egyptian Demotic script, and the bottom is in Ancient Greek.

As the decree is the same in all three versions, the Rosetta Stone provided the key to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphs.

The reason for the Ancient Greek language is that the Rosetta Stone was carved during the Ptolemaic dynasty.

Ptolemy was a Macedonian Greek who was one of Alexander the Great’s generals and was appointed the leader of Egypt after Alexander’s death in 323 BC.

He established a royal family, which ruled the Kingdom of Egypt during its Hellenistic period, which lasted nearly 300 years.

The Ptolemaic rulers introduced Greek to the Egyptian government bureaucracy. The last of the Ptolemaic dynasty was Queen Cleopatra.

Quartzite Head of the Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep III

This Quartzite head of Amenhotep III has been carved with expert care. The eyeballs noticeably angled back from the top to the bottom lid so that they appear to look down at the viewer.

The finishing polish was deliberately varied, from a glittering smoothness on the facial surfaces to less finish on the mouth and eyes, to quite rough surfaces on the brows.

Amenhotep is shown with youthful-looking cheeks, broad, long, and somewhat narrow eyes and the lower lip, which curves up to the open corners of the mouth to produce the effect of a slight smile.

Colossal Granite Statue of Amenhotep III

This enormous red granite statue of Amenhotep III depicts the Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep III, wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt.

This massive large fragment was created in 1370 BC, was found in the temple enclosure of Mut at Karnak in Egypt. The statue is made of red granite, and only the head and an arm are known to survive.

Erected by King Amenhotep III, it is one of the many statues that he had ordered to be built in ancient Thebes (Luxor).

The left arm is 3.30m long and terminates in a clenched fist, and the head is 2.90m high. The king’s statue would have stood with both arms straight down, holding containers for papyrus documents in his hand.

The Sphinx of Hatshepsut

Hatshepsut means “Foremost of Noble Ladies.” She was one of only two female pharaohs in Ancient Egyptian history, who ruled as full Pharaoh not just as a regent for a younger male relative.

She is the first significant female ruler in documented history. Born in 1507 BC, Hatshepsut came to the throne of Egypt in 1478 BC.

Officially, she ruled jointly with Thutmose III, who had ascended to the throne the previous year as a child of about two years old.

Hatshepsut declared herself king sometime between the ages 2 and 7 of the reign of her stepson and nephew, Thutmose III.

Younger Memnon (Ramesses II)

Younger Memnon is an Ancient Egyptian statue, one of two colossal granite heads from the Ramesseum mortuary temple in Thebes.

It depicts Pharaoh Ramesses II wearing the Nemes head-dress with a cobra diadem on top. The damaged statue is one of a pair that initially flanked the Ramesseum’s doorway.

The head of the other figure can be seen at the Ramesseum temple near Luxor.

Mycenaean Terracotta Female Figures

These Mycenaean figurines date back to about 1400 BC from Mycenaean Greece. Made of terracotta, they were found in tombs, children’s graves, shrines and across settlement areas.

These terracotta female figures of ‘Phi’ and ‘Psi’ type derive the names from their shape and a resemblance to the Greek letters of psi (ψ) and phi (Φ). The Psi (ψ) figures hold their arms up high in some form of supplication.

The phi (Φ) figures hold their hands in front of their body as representative figures to be honored. These Mycenaean terracotta female figures are modeled with breasts, facial features, and they wear painted enveloping garments.

Capitoline Wolf

The Capitoline Wolf represents the ancient legend of the founding of Rome. It is a bronze sculpture of the she-wolf suckling the twins, Romulus and Remus.

The wolf is depicted in a watchful pose with alert ears and glaring eyes watching. The human twins sculpted in a completely different style, are absorbed in their suckling.

The She-wolf is the symbol of the city of Rome. It is one of the ancient symbols of Rome associated with its mythology and founding story. It is a symbol that can be seen throughout Italy and Rome.

The Capitoline Wolf takes its name from where it is housed in the Capitoline Museums in Rome.

Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius

The Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius depicts the famous Roman Emperor on horseback. The emperor is over life-size and extends his hand in a gesture used by emperors when addressing their army and legions.

It is an image designed to portray the Emperor as victorious and all-conquering. It is believed that a conquered enemy had initially been part of the sculpture, based on accounts from medieval times.

The reports suggest a figure of a bound barbarian chieftain once cowered underneath the horse’s front right leg. However, Marcus Aurelius is depicted without weapons or armor; he is portrayed as a bringer of peace rather than a military hero.

That is how Marcus Aurelius saw himself and his reign. The statue was erected ca. 175 AD, during the Marcus Aurelius’s reign, but its original location is unknown and debated.

Boxer at Rest

The “Boxer at Rest” is a Hellenistic Greek bronze sculpture of a sitting nude boxer at rest, still wearing his leather hand-wraps.

The Boxer at Rest is one of the finest examples of bronze sculptures to have survived from the ancient world. Survival of bronze sculptures from 2,000 years ago is rare, as they were often melted down during times of strife and turbulence.

This artwork comes from a period in Greek art when there is a movement away from idealized heroic depictions of the body and youth, and an exploration of emotional themes and greater realism.

Young Slave” by Michelangelo

“Young Slave” by Michelangelo is a marble sculpture that started about 1525–1530. It is part of the “unfinished” series of prisoners called “Prigioni” in Italian “intended for the Tomb of Julius II.

In the first version of the tomb of Julius II had a series of prisoners planned for the lowest level of the mausoleum.

It was to be a series of more-than-life-size statues of chained figures in various poses, leaning on the pilasters which framed a set of niches, each of which would contain a “Winged Victory.”

Bearded Slave” by Michelangelo

“Bearded Slave” by Michelangelo is a marble sculpture from about 1525–1530 and forms part of the series of “unfinished” Prigioni intended for the Tomb of Pope Julius II.

In the first version of the tomb of Julius II had a series of prisoners or Prigioni” in Italian, planned for the lowest level of the mausoleum.

It was to be a series of more-than-life-size statues of chained figures in various poses, leaning on the pilasters, which framed a set of niches.

Quotes about Sculpture


“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”
– Michelangelo


“Patience is also a form of action.”
– Auguste Rodin


“In my opinion, a long and intense study of the human figure is the necessary foundation for a sculptor.”
– Henry Moore


Cutting into color reminds me of the sculptor’s direct carving.
– Henri Matisse


“Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish.”
– Michelangelo


“Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.”-
Auguste Rodin


“Genius is eternal patience.”
– Michelangelo


“Sculpture is the best comment that a painter can make on painting.”
– Pablo Picasso


“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”
– Michelangelo


“The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire, and before art is born, the artist must be ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation.”
– Auguste Rodin


“I invent nothing, I rediscover.”
– Auguste Rodin


“Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.”
– Michelangelo


“Sculpture is the art of the intelligence.”
– Pablo Picasso


“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”
– Michelangelo


“Every block of stone has a statue inside it, and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.”
– Michelangelo


“I choose a block of marble and chop off whatever I don’t need.”
– Auguste Rodin


“Moonlight is sculpture; sunlight is painting.”
– Nathaniel Hawthorne


“To the artist, there is never anything ugly in nature.”
– Auguste Rodin


“You must forget all your theories, all your ideas before the subject. What part of these is really your own will be expressed in your expression of the emotion awakened in you by the subject.”
– Henri Matisse


“If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all.”
– Michelangelo


“The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.”
– Michelangelo


“True artists are almost the only men who do their work for pleasure.”
– Auguste Rodin


“Art is contemplation. It is the pleasure of the mind which searches into nature and which there divines the spirit of which nature herself is animated.”
– Auguste Rodin


“Sculpture is the art of the hole and the lump.”
– Auguste Rodin


“Man’s naked form belongs to no particular moment in history; it is eternal, and can be looked upon with joy by the people of all ages.”
– Auguste Rodin


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Top 10 Most Famous Sculpture Artists In The World | Sculpture Artists Modern 


“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”  
– Michelangelo


Photo Credit: GM

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