Sculptures timeline


The oldest sculpture ever found is an ivory figure from the Paleolithic period, which dates to about 35,000 BC. It was made of mammoth tusk and was discovered in a cave in Hohlenstein-Stadel, Germany, in 1939. It is roughly 12" tall and is titled Löwenmensch (German for "lion human"). It shows a human with a feline face. The carving, which was made with crude flint tools, is thought to have taken more than 350 hours to complete. The fact that this statuette took so much time to create implies that it must have been a very significant artifact because tribes of the period barely managed to survive. It might have been used in a shamanic ceremony, to win the tribe's protection, or to guarantee a "good hunt."

Perhaps one of the most well-known sculptures in the entire world is the Great Sphinx in Egypt. The Sphinx depicts the head of a person on a lion's body, in contrast to the Lowenmensch figurine. The Sphinx is 240 feet long and 65 feet tall, and it was originally carved out of limestone bedrock. Since then, stone blocks have been used to restore it. According to certain historians, Khafra the pharaoh's head is depicted. Despite being commonly believed to have originated around 2500 BC, evidence of water erosion indicates it may perhaps be considerably older.
There is minimal separation between the sacred and the profane in ancient Greek art. The human form was regarded as the most important theme in Greek art since it was believed that the Greek gods had human form. Early Greek sculptors carved rigid, blocky forms in stone, closely imitating the Egyptian style. In the 4th and 5th centuries BC, during the Early Classical period, which led into the Hellenistic period, sculptors started to depart from the strict, Egyptian-influenced form. With marble or bronze, rather than stone, as the preferred medium, sculpture started to take on a far more realistic, natural appearance. And although the subject matter portrayed a higher sense of strength and vitality, it was no longer just limited to gods and lords. One of the earliest surviving pieces of Greek sculpture from this time period is the marble sculpture known as the Kritios Boy. Few bronze artifacts from this era have survived since bronze had little value as scrap. It has also only lately been discovered that the majority of Greek sculpture was, reportedly, often painted in vibrant hues using a method involving UV light.
The Roman Empire was predominantly polytheistic until 325 AD. Sculpted sculptures were typically created to honor a wide range of different Gods or noble people. When Emperor Constantine proclaimed Christianity to be the state religion in 325 AD, the themes of popular sculpture began to change. Less enormous sculptures were produced, and portraiture took over as the primary form of Roman sculpture.
Early medieval religious sculptures were developed during the Gothic era, and church figures also got increasingly intricate. High relief sculptures, many of which stood alone around the chapel, generally depicted prominent Biblical people.


The Renaissance, which began at the beginning of the 15th century, brought forth an interdisciplinary study of the humanities that included physics, astronomy, and mathematics. The careful and dignified perfection of the Classical era was revisited by artists. These concepts were spread via the printing press, and artists started to be more open to a scientific view of reality.

The figures of the Renaissance era included Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Leonardo da Vinci. Italian sculptor Donatello was active in Florence in the middle of the 15th century. Donatello had Leonardo da Vinci as one of his pupils. In addition, Michelangelo, one of history’s most well-known artists, was born in 1475. A prodigy and true “Renaissance Man,” Michelangelo created “Madonna and Child,” one of his earliest sculptures, when he was just 16 years old.

He received a contract to carve a Pietà in 1497. depicting the Virgin Mary weeping over her dead son's body. completed at the young age of 24. The only piece of art that Michelangelo ever signed is this one. He overheard onlookers praising others once it was revealed. He entered the church unnoticed in the middle of the night to add one last detail to his creation. The words "Michelangelo Buonarroti, Florentine, fashioned this" are carved into the ribbon that crosses the Virgin's chest.

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