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Bronze Sculpture

The technique used in the creation of bronze sculptures has changed very little since Antiquity. The sculptor begins by fashioning the subject in wax, then covers it with clay, pours on the bronze, an alloy of copper and tin, then breaks open the terracotta, leaving only the bronze object behind. Highly valued by sculptors, bronze is a robust and resistant material that fairs well outside. Using wax to create the initial mould allows for a high level of detail on the final sculpture, unlike steel sculpture. Certain nuances in colour can be produced through the use of patinas.

These qualities explain why bronze is one of the oldest materials to be used by humans. Indeed, bronze tools were used in Mesopotamia, Egypt and China in around 2,800 BC.

In Mesopotamia, near to present-day Iran, bronze was used to depict animals in sacred art. In Egypt, it was was used to personify the gods, and also to create small sculpture statues placed in the tombs of the deceased. However, it was Ancient Greece, where craftsmen began to sculpt human figures and deities with remarkable realism, that gave bronze its prominent place in the history of art. Many pieces of work were imported to Rome, where the production of bronze sculptures developed. Bronze sculptures soon began to decorate the theatres and the homes of the rich. Admiring the skills of the Greeks, the Romans began ordering sculptures from merchants and craftsmen, who made copies of the moulds of the statues.

With the birth of Christianity, evangelisation and the building of churches became the priorities, and bronze creations were replaced by stone sculptures for decorating churches. It was only in the 14th century that masterpieces were rediscovered during excavations of Italian archaeological sites. A century later, Brunelleschi and Ghiberti set the Renaissance in motion by decorating the doors of the Florence Baptistery in bronze. Donatello, inspired by ancient Roman sculpture, was the first to excel in the art of expressing emotions through bronze sculptures, followed by Verrocchio, his pupil (and master of Leonardo da Vinci). Although the practice spread throughout Europe, it was mainly focussed on Italy, where sculptors competed to obtain the most convincing results.

During the 16th century, the Flemish Jean de Bologne established himself as the undisputed master of bronze. He was the most copied artist in the 17th century, and it is partly due to him that the bronze sculpture spread across Europe. In Italy, production of bronze sculpture was fairly constant, irrespective of the period. In France, on the other hand, this technique depended on the political regime. When Louis XIV invited sculptors to his court (essentially to decorate Versailles) demand for bronze reappeared as a form of courtly art.

Bronze sculpture underwent a resurgence during the 19th century, with Rodin and Camille Claudel, and then with Cubism and the Art Deco movement. Bronze is an expensive, heavy material and costly for collectors to buy and its use has become less prevalent in the 20th and 21st centuries, but some artists use it nonetheless: Marc Quinn, Giuseppe Penone, Germaine Richier, Alberto Giacometti with his strange silhouettes, the animal bronzes of Brigitte Téman, the compressions of César Baldaccini, the Philippe Pasqua's butterflies and Olivier Messas's dancers or just still life sculpture can all be seen on Artsper !

Collector’s Guide: Collecting Sculptures

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Miguel Guía, En attendant le prochain voyage, Sculpture

Miguel Guía

En attendant le prochain voyage, 2021
47 x 11.5 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$1,078

Philippe Buil, Solo de violon 107-21, Sculpture

Philippe Buil

Solo de violon 107-21, 2021
35 x 26 x 11 cm
Sculpture

$1,272

César Baldaccini, Le coeur éclaté, Sculpture

César Baldaccini

Le coeur éclaté, 1986
53 x 14 x 14 cm
Sculpture

$5,937

Mireia Serra, Untamed, Sculpture

Mireia Serra

Untamed, 2021
10 x 50 x 5 cm
Sculpture

$1,199

Patrick Villas, Léopard II, Sculpture

Patrick Villas

Léopard II, 2021
60 x 151 x 47 cm
Sculpture

$33,925

Victor Prodanchuk, Festive, Sculpture

Victor Prodanchuk

Festive, 2006
26 x 16 x 14 cm
Sculpture

$4,450

Sébastien Langloÿs, Simone Veil, Sculpture

Sébastien Langloÿs

Simone Veil, 2020
37 x 29 x 17 cm
Sculpture

$19,386

Pere Sala, Trapeci B III, Sculpture

Pere Sala

Trapeci B III, 2021
50 x 20 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$2,302

Marc Sparza, Farce et pêche, Sculpture

Marc Sparza

Farce et pêche, 2021
36 x 30 x 18 cm
Sculpture

$836

Jacek Cholewa, Traveller, Sculpture

Jacek Cholewa

Traveller, 2020
19 x 12 x 8.5 cm
Sculpture

$788

Joanna Zakrzewska-Cholewa, Acrobat Game II, Sculpture

Joanna Zakrzewska-Cholewa

Acrobat Game II, 2021
51.5 x 23 x 5 cm
Sculpture

$1,006

Thierry Benenati, Baby Bling-bling, Sculpture

Thierry Benenati

Baby Bling-bling, 2011
37 x 40 x 27 cm
Sculpture

15,000 - $ 25,000

Hakob Vardanyan, Nature, Sculpture

Hakob Vardanyan

Nature, 2021
17 x 18 x 8 cm
Sculpture

$2,000

Dominique Mückli, La révérence d'un Dieu (3/8), Sculpture

Dominique Mückli

La révérence d'un Dieu (3/8), 2020
146 x 100 x 45 cm
Sculpture

$47,253

Isabelle Carabantes, Tête de caracal, Sculpture

Isabelle Carabantes

Tête de caracal, 2020
31 x 12 x 15 cm
Sculpture

$3,453

Our recommendations Salvador Dali, Profil du temps, Sculpture

Salvador Dali

Profil du temps, 1984
51 x 35 x 35 cm
Sculpture

$44,054

Our recommendations Jesus Campos, Les espaces de Penseur de Rodin, Sculpture

Jesus Campos

Les espaces de Penseur de Rodin, 2004
30 x 14 x 15 cm
Sculpture

$836

Martín Duque, Degas Danseur de Ballet, Sculpture

Martín Duque

Degas Danseur de Ballet, 2004
44 x 16 x 20 cm
Sculpture

$775

Christophe Charbonnel, Dryade II, Sculpture

Christophe Charbonnel

Dryade II, 2021
51 x 48 x 48 cm
Sculpture

$21,809

Pierre Gimenez, La femme au ballon, Sculpture

Pierre Gimenez

La femme au ballon, 2019
36 x 13 x 23 cm
Sculpture

$1,030

Yoann Merienne, Mystère, Sculpture

Yoann Merienne

Mystère, 2019
10 x 5 x 6 cm
Sculpture

$1,090

Jérôme Mesnager, Sans titre, Sculpture

Jérôme Mesnager

Sans titre, 2011
75 x 63 x 5 cm
Sculpture

$2,666

Etienne, Tendresse, Sculpture

Etienne

Tendresse, 2014
13 x 17 x 7.5 cm
Sculpture

$6,300

Chloé Sontrop, Liberté, Sculpture

Chloé Sontrop

Liberté, 2017
45 x 27 x 24.5 cm
Sculpture

$3,998

Igor Mitoraj, Conversation, Sculpture

Igor Mitoraj

Conversation, 1978
9 x 9.5 x 1.5 cm
Sculpture

$3,635

Marc Petit, Femme accroupie à l'étole, Sculpture

Marc Petit

Femme accroupie à l'étole, 2000
12 x 12.5 x 6 cm
Sculpture

$1,817

Deville-Chabrolle, Romantique, Sculpture

Deville-Chabrolle

Romantique, 2016
18 x 16 x 11 cm
Sculpture

$2,181

Artigas Planas, Alegria, Sculpture

Artigas Planas

Alegria, 2021
35 x 18 x 8 cm
Sculpture

$1,006

Linde Ergo, Daydream, Sculpture

Linde Ergo

Daydream, 2018
16 x 16 x 8 cm
Sculpture

$1,199

Philip Hearsey, First impression, Sculpture

Philip Hearsey

First impression, 2014
18 x 17 x 17 cm
Sculpture

$2,181

Our recommendations Jenny Jacottet, Impulsion, Sculpture

Jenny Jacottet

Impulsion, 2018
35 x 22 x 12 cm
Sculpture

$2,423

Charlotte Champion, Mini Lapinou, Sculpture

Charlotte Champion

Mini Lapinou, 2020
21 x 11 x 11 cm
Sculpture

$2,181

Gediminas Endriekus, Witch Horse, Sculpture

Gediminas Endriekus

Witch Horse, 2018
16 x 7 x 23 cm
Sculpture

$2,666

Luo Li Rong, Ligne de ton dos, Sculpture

Luo Li Rong

Ligne de ton dos, 2016
16 x 34 x 13 cm
Sculpture

$7,270

Eléonore de Moffarts, Freedom (Avec 3 galets), Sculpture

Eléonore de Moffarts

Freedom (Avec 3 galets), 2017
61 x 48 x 35 cm
Sculpture

$9,087

Bruno Mallart, Au pied de la lettre, Sculpture

Bruno Mallart

Au pied de la lettre, 2018
43 x 27 x 7 cm
Sculpture

$4,241

Isabelle Jeandot, Le temple, Sculpture

Isabelle Jeandot

Le temple, 2020
46 x 46 x 14 cm
Sculpture

$11,813

Eric Liot, Micro Apollon, Sculpture

Eric Liot

Micro Apollon, 2020
45 x 21 x 17 cm
Sculpture

$7,270

Roberto Matta, Bag with Wings, Sculpture

Roberto Matta

Bag with Wings, 1971
94 x 137 x 64 cm
Sculpture

$35,136

Sandro Chia, Youth and the Devil, Sculpture

Sandro Chia

Youth and the Devil, 1993
33.5 x 29 x 34 cm
Sculpture

$5,816

Chantal de Block, Marie Clara, Sculpture

Chantal de Block

Marie Clara, 2019
67 x 30 x 30 cm
Sculpture

< $ 2,500

Babette Degraeve, Kleine pup met bot (Small puppy with bone), Sculpture

Babette Degraeve

Kleine pup met bot (Small puppy with bone), 2019
9 x 10 x 14 cm
Sculpture

$788

Our recommendations Xu Zhen, New, Sculpture

Xu Zhen

New, 2016
46 x 14 x 10.5 cm
Sculpture

$6,518

Maguy Banq, D'Or et de Bronze, Sculpture

Maguy Banq

D'Or et de Bronze, 2017
6 x 7 x 5 cm
Sculpture

$1,018

Our recommendations Milko Dobrev, Family, Sculpture

Milko Dobrev

Family, 2020
48 x 17 x 8.5 cm
Sculpture

$1,636

Véronique Clanet, Les Causeuses  --- Bronze - numéroté 1/8., Sculpture

Véronique Clanet

Les Causeuses --- Bronze - numéroté 1/8., 2009
27 x 40 x 26 cm
Sculpture

$7,633

Claude Justamon, Cocon, Sculpture

Claude Justamon

Cocon, 2017
25 x 11 x 11 cm
Sculpture

$3,029

Romain Langlois, Attraction de l'espace II, Sculpture

Romain Langlois

Attraction de l'espace II, 2018
50 x 63 x 45 cm
Sculpture

25,000 - $ 50,000

Philippe Leleu, Alopitèque, Sculpture

Philippe Leleu

Alopitèque, 2019
38 x 40.5 x 15 cm
Sculpture

$1,745

Lucette Brandy, Petite femme au bouquet de fleurs, Sculpture

Lucette Brandy

Petite femme au bouquet de fleurs, 2018
24 x 16 x 17 cm
Sculpture

$1,939

Olivier Messas, Les amoureux... (Terre d'enfants), Sculpture

Olivier Messas

Les amoureux... (Terre d'enfants), 2021
23 x 15 x 16 cm
Sculpture

$3,029

Marcelo Martin Burgos, Hibou, Sculpture

Marcelo Martin Burgos

Hibou, 2021
165 x 24.5 x 24.5 cm
Sculpture

$3,392

Robert Combas, Les favelas électriques, Sculpture

Robert Combas

Les favelas électriques, 2009
37 x 60 x 40 cm
Sculpture

$115,102

Fanjol, Protection, Sculpture

Fanjol

Protection, 2018
27 x 22 x 19 cm
Sculpture

$7,027

Evelyne Galinski, Naé, Sculpture

Evelyne Galinski

Naé, 2019
52 x 33 x 20 cm
Sculpture

$6,058

Our recommendations Théo Tobiasse, Jérusalem de miel et de lait, Sculpture

Théo Tobiasse

Jérusalem de miel et de lait, 2002
62 x 51 x 1.5 cm
Sculpture

$13,328

Marie-Noëlle Ronayette, Les chaussures de maman, Sculpture

Marie-Noëlle Ronayette

Les chaussures de maman, 2019
76 x 30 x 30 cm
Sculpture

10,000 - $ 15,000

Albert Chanut, Impérial, Sculpture

Albert Chanut

Impérial, 2016
31 x 13 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$1,030

Alexandre Mijatovic, Le Minus, Sculpture

Alexandre Mijatovic

Le Minus, 2017
26 x 10 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$1,575

Angelo Bozzola, Oxygen Cutting, Sculpture

Angelo Bozzola

Oxygen Cutting, 1983
47 x 60 x 0.3 cm
Sculpture

$969

Josep Riera i Arago, Avio, Sculpture

Josep Riera i Arago

Avio, 2010
174 x 59 x 24 cm
Sculpture

$18,174

Dirk De Keyzer, La tentatrice, Sculpture

Dirk De Keyzer

La tentatrice, 2019
67 x 20 x 26 cm
Sculpture

10,000 - $ 15,000

Chantal de Sutter, Marie, Sculpture

Chantal de Sutter

Marie, 2020
168 x 36 x 41 cm
Sculpture

15,000 - $ 25,000

Amedeo Bocchi, Head of Man, Sculpture

Amedeo Bocchi

Head of Man, 1920
30 x 19 x 11 cm
Sculpture

$7,270

60 Artworks on 3839

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