The three-dimensional shape of sculptures becomes an all-encompassing life form. They share the space with you, demand an audience, and can be taken in from every angle. No matter which way you look at it, you are bound to discover something new with every glance. That is the beauty of a sculptured masterpiece, it is open to interpretation and is a great conversation.
Over the last couple of centuries, many artists have taken to creating multi-dimensional works of art – some more noteworthy than others. Let’s take a look at some of the greatest works of all time.
Top 5 sculptures of all time
Venus of Willendorf
Measuring at just over four inches, this tiny statue was first discovered in 1908 in Austria. Nobody really knows what it was for, however, it has been narrowed down to the goddess of fertility or masturbation aid. Another guess doing the rounds is that it was a self-portrait of the artist.
The Terracotta Army
Unearthed in 1974, this is easily one of the greatest finds of all time. The site consisted of three pits filled with clay statues. The burial ground lies near the tomb of the First Emperor of China, Shi Huang who died in 210 BC. The army of 8,000 soldiers was created to protect the emperor in the afterlife. They are life-sized and each has its own unique appearance, with real weapons and brightly painted armour.
Laocoön and His Sons
Second Century BC
This is easily the most famous Roman antiquity. Unearthed in 1506, Laocoön and His Sons were moved from Rome to the Vatican where it can be found today. The story of the statue is based on the story that a Trojan priest and his sons were killed by sea serpents who were sent by Poseidon in retaliation to Laocoön’s attempt to expose the Trojan Horse ruse.
Whether you are an art fundi or just an average joe, you are bound to know about the famous statue of David. The statue was originally part of a bigger project and installation to decorate the Duomo. The statue was first started by Agostino di Duccio, followed by a second unknown artist. After this, the marble remained untouched for 25 years until Michelangelo came around. The statue weight around six tons upon completion. It has since been moved from its original location to the Accademia Gallery. A replica currently stands in the Duomo.
Antonio Canova, Perseus with the Head of Medusa
Antonio Canova is thought to be the greatest sculptor to come from the 18th century. He epitomized the Neo-Classical style. He made two versions of the Perseus statue, with one located in the Vatican while the other can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s European Sculpture Court.
Of course, this list could go on and on, just like the range of NZD Roulette tables. The top five listed are familiar favourites in the art world, and you don’t need to be an art boffin to know about them.