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The 10 Most Famous Sculptures

28 May - 2019
by Vincent Moleveld


For many centuries, great artists have provided humanity with incredible things. One of those incredible things is the art of sculpting. Online Gallery has put together the 10 most famous sculptures in the world for you. Enjoy this article and learn more about these absolutely amazing works of art.

10. Bronze David from Donatello

The David of Donatello is a bronze statue from around 1440, made by the Italian Renaissance sculptor Donatello. It was the first free-standing male nude since ancient times and therefore caused sensation when it was revealed.

10. Bronze David van Donatello

9. Bird Girl

The sculpture, known as the Bird Girl, was erected in 1936 by sculptor Sylvia Shaw Judson (1897-1978) in Lake Forest, Illinois. It achieved fame when it was featured on the cover of the 1994 novel, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. It was sculpted on ragdale, the summer residence of her family. Bird Girl is cast in bronze and stands 50 centimeters long.

She is the image of a young girl wearing a simple dress and a sad or contemplative expression, with her head tilted to the left. She stands straight, her elbows against her waist as she likes two bowls from her sides. The scales are often described by the viewers as 'bird feeders'.

9. Bird Girl

8. The discus thrower

The discus thrower or diskobolos was a Greek bronze statue. The lost original statue was made around 450 BC. by the Attic sculptor and bronze founder Myron of Eleutherae. The bronze statue was approximately 1.55 m high and was probably in Delphi or Olympia.

The images of the discus thrower that we can see today are Roman marble copies. There is a copy in the British Museum and two in the Museo Nazionale Romano.

8. De Discuswerper

7. The Kiss

The Kiss is a sculpture by the French sculptor Auguste Rodin. In 1886 the French master Auguste Rodin created his Baiser or The Kiss. Inspired by Dante's Divina Commedia, just like his bronze Porte de l'Enfer, he symbolizes the story of Paolo Malatesta and Francesca da Rimini in the sensual theme of the couple.

7. De Kus

6. Hermes and the Baby Dionysus

Hermes and the Baby Dionysus, also known as the Hermes of Praxiteles or the Hermes of Olympus is an ancient Greek sculpture of Hermes and the child Dionysus discovered in 1877 in the ruins of the temple of Hera in Olympia. It is displayed in the Archaeological Museum of Olympia.

It is traditionally attributed to Praxiteles and dated from the 4th century BC, based on a comment from the 2nd century Greek traveler Pausanias, and has made an important contribution to the definition of the Praxitelean style. However, its distribution is the subject of intense controversy among art historians.

6. Hermes met het kind Dionysos

5. Lady Justice

Lady Justice was originally a Roman goddess and afterwards the personification of the law. An image of her can often be found in courthouses and other places where justice used to be done. Her Greek counterpart is Themis. Lady Justice is usually depicted as a blindfolded figure, with a sword in her right hand and a scale in her left. She is still depicted with uncovered eyes on the oldest images. The earliest known view with blindfold dates from the end of the fifteenth century.

5. Vrouwe Justitia

4. Pietà

Michelangelo's Pietà is a famous marble sculpture by Michelangelo. The pietà is located in a chapel on the right side of the nave of St Peter's Basilica in Rome. The dimensions are 174 cm by 195 cm.

The image represents the moment when Christ was taken off the cross and lies on Mary's lap. Mary's right hand firmly encloses the upper body, while her left hand presents the body to the viewer and calls on him to worship. In doing so, she keeps her eyes depressed, which makes direct dialogue with the believer impossible.

4. Pieta

3. The Thinker

The Thinker is a bronze sculpture by the French sculptor Auguste Rodin. The famous creation Le Penseur (The Thinker) by Auguste Rodin was made in 1881. It was in that year that Rodin received his first official Parisian order: a monumental bronze gate for a future Museum of Decorative Arts. This "Gate of Hell" was designed after "Divina Commedia" by Dante. The "Thinker" was intended for the central pediment, while the accentuated musculature and the concentrated expression of the image evoked the grave figures of Michelangelo in the Florentine San Lorenzo.

3. De Denker

2. Venus de Milo

The Venus de Milo or Aphrodite de Melos is a world famous Greek marble sculpture. The statue was probably made around 130 BC. and it is thought that Alexandros of Antiochia was the sculptor. The sculptor used the ancient white marble of Paros.

The statue was found in 1820 by a farmer in a field on the Aegean island of Melos in the Cyclades. The statue can now be viewed at the Louvre in Paris. The Venus de Milo is considered a symbol of eternal beauty.

2. Venus van Milo

1. David by Michelangelo

The David by Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475 - 1564) is one of the best known sculptures in art history. The monumental statue was created between 1501 and 1504 at the time of the High Renaissance in Florence. It is now in the Galleria dell'Accademia there.

1. David

The marble sculpture from Carrara is 5.17 m high, including the pedestal. It represents the biblical figure of David as he is about to attack the giant Goliath with the loaded sling over his shoulder. Michelangelo's design was based on the marble block already damaged by Di Duccio, he did not add marble. This makes the image spatially wide, but not that deep. In proportion, the upper body is quite large, probably because the work was intended to be placed on a high pedestal and one would then see it in perspective, looking diagonally upwards. This could also be the relationships of adolescent David. The image shows a strong physical appearance, with a beautiful anatomy.