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Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites

Popular Sculpture

Popular Sculpture

Popular Sculpture

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

Explore Popular Sculpture

Sculpture

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.

Reflections

  • Does this list include your favorite sculpture?

Quotes about Sculpture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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“Genius is eternal patience.”
– Michelangelo

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

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“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

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“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

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

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

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Sculpture is the art of the intelligence.
– Pablo Picasso

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“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

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

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

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

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

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“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

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

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

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

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“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

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

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

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Photo Credit: GM

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