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Encyclopedia > Classical sculpture

Classical sculpture refers to the forms of sculpture from Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. It also refers to modern sculptures done in a classical style. Classical sculptures have been popular since the Renaissance. A sculpture is a three-dimensional, man-made object selected for special recognition as art. ... Ancient Greece is the term used to describe the Greek-speaking world in ancient times. ... The Roman Forum was the central area around which ancient Rome developed. ... By region Italian Renaissance Spanish Renaissance Northern Renaissance French Renaissance German Renaissance English Renaissance The Renaissance, also known as Il Rinascimento (in Italian), was an influential cultural movement which brought about a period of scientific revolution and artistic transformation, at the dawn of modern European history. ...

There are several periods:


Archaic period

In the Archaic Period the most important sculptural form was the kouros (plural kouroi), the standing male nude (See for example Biton and Kleobis).

Classical period

The first Greek statue to exhibit contrapposto is the famed Kritios Boy. Contrapposto soon became a defining element of Greek sculptural technique, culminating in the Canon of the Doryphoros ("spear-bearer"), which adopted extremely dynamic and sophisticated contrapposto. Contrapposto is an Italian word for counterpoise referring to an analytical sculptural technique in which the artist illustrates the natural counterbalance of the body through the bending of the hips in one direction and the legs in another direction. ...

The Classical period saw changes in both the style and function of sculpture. Poses became more naturalistic (see the Charioteer of Delphi for an example of the transition to more naturalistic sculpture), and the technical skill of Greek sculptors in depicting the human form in a variety of poses greatly increased. From about 500 BC statues began to depict real people. The statues of Harmodius and Aristogeiton set up in Athens to mark the overthrow of the tyranny were said to be the first public monuments to actual people.

Hellenistic period

The transition from the Classical to the Hellenistic period occurred during the 4th century. Sculpture became more and more naturalistic. Common people, women, children, animals and domestic scenes became acceptable subjects for sculpture, which was commissioned by wealthy families for the adornment of their homes and gardens. Realistic portraits of men and women of all ages were produced, and sculptors no longer felt obliged to depict people as ideals of beauty or physical perfection.

Roman period

Main article: Roman sculpture
Statue of Germanicus
Statue of Germanicus

Roman sculpture began with the copying of Greek sculpture, but then evolved into a form of sculpture which more emphasised the individual. There are many surviving sculptures of Roman emperors. While Roman sculpture copied from the Greeks, it also more emphasised the individual. Bust of Germanicus in the Louvre Germanicus Julius Caesar Claudianus, possibly Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus before adoption (15 BC–AD October 10, 19) was a member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty of the early Roman Empire. ...


Classical sculpture was forgotten for a thousand years and then revived again during the Italian Renaissance. One of the most important sculptors in the classical revival was Donatello. Many other sculptors such as Michelangelo also made works which can be considered classical. Modern Classicism contrasted in many ways with the classical sculpture of the 19th Century which was was characterized by commitments to naturalism (Antoine-Louis Barye) -- the melodramatic (Fran├žois Rude) sentimentality (Jean Baptiste Carpeaux)-- or a kind of stately grandiosity (Lord Leighton) Several different directions in the classical tradition were taken as the century turned, but the study of the live model and the post-Renaissance tradition was still fundamental to them. By region Italian Renaissance Spanish Renaissance Northern Renaissance French Renaissance German Renaissance English Renaissance The Italian Renaissance began the opening phase of the Renaissance, a period of great cultural change and achievement from the end of the 14th century to about 1600. ...

See also

  Results from FactBites:
Classical Sculpture (1266 words)
The form of classical sculpture became fluid and natural and the stylization of the archaic art gave way to realistic figures which emanated the illusion of moving through space.
During the classical period the Greek artists replaced the stiff vertical figures of the archaic period with three-dimensional snap shots of figures in action.
In the art of Greece during the Classical period the characteristic smile of the Archaic sculpture was replaced by a solemn facial expression.
Sculpture - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3591 words)
Throughout most of history, the purpose of creating sculpture has been to produce works of art that are as permanent as is possible, so to that end works were usually produced in durable and frequently expensive materials, primarily bronze and stone such as marble, limestone, porphyry, and granite.
Classic examples of this are the removal of penises from the Vatican collection of Greek sculpture and the addition of a fig leaf to a plaster cast of Michelangelo's sculpture of David for Queen Victoria's visit to the British Museum.
Classical training was rooted out of art education in Western Europe (and the Americas) by 1970 and the classical variants of the 20th Century were marginalized in the history of modernism.
  More results at FactBites »



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