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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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Philippe Buil, Sortir du bois, Sculpture

Philippe Buil

Sortir du bois, 2021
38 x 17 x 15 cm


Christophe Charbonnel, Dryade II, Sculpture

Christophe Charbonnel

Dryade II, 2021
51 x 48 x 48 cm


Patrick Villas, Petit Léopard sur le rocher, Sculpture

Patrick Villas

Petit Léopard sur le rocher, 2017
29 x 23 x 16 cm


Marc Petit, Le crucifié, Sculpture

Marc Petit

Le crucifié, 2004
107 x 60 x 24 cm


Eric Liot, Athéna, Sculpture

Eric Liot

Athéna, 2020
99 x 48 x 30 cm


Chantal de Block, Marie Clara, Sculpture

Chantal de Block

Marie Clara, 2019
67 x 30 x 30 cm

< $ 2,500

Rietje Geurts, Verleiding (Temptation), Sculpture

Rietje Geurts

Verleiding (Temptation), 2019
44 x 12 x 10 cm


Brice Gelot, Message in the bottle, Sculpture

Brice Gelot

Message in the bottle, 2021
25 x 33 x 15 cm


Arman, Dos de Valentine, Sculpture


Dos de Valentine, 1993
51 x 23.5 x 5 cm


Milko Dobrev, Phoenix, Sculpture

Milko Dobrev

Phoenix, 2021
30 x 8 x 5 cm


Sébastien Langloÿs, La Valse, Sculpture

Sébastien Langloÿs

La Valse, 2013
26 x 16 x 13 cm


Yves Pires, Eva, Sculpture

Yves Pires

Eva, 2016
55 x 47 x 8 cm


Our recommendations Salvador Dali, Profil du temps, Sculpture

Salvador Dali

Profil du temps, 1984
51 x 35 x 35 cm


Anke Birnie, Walking in the Forest, Sculpture

Anke Birnie

Walking in the Forest, 2021
54 x 15 x 12 cm


Aramis Justiz, Tramontana, Sculpture

Aramis Justiz

Tramontana, 2014
54 x 60 x 42 cm


Marc Sparza, Colore la vie, Sculpture

Marc Sparza

Colore la vie, 2021
27 x 43 x 10 cm


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


Philippe Pasqua, Vanité, Sculpture

Philippe Pasqua

Vanité, 2015
37 x 20 x 30 cm


Star York, Mare of the Renaissance, AP1/35, Sculpture

Star York

Mare of the Renaissance, AP1/35, 2012
61 x 54.6 x 30.5 cm


Philippe Valensi, Météorite bronze alpha, Sculpture

Philippe Valensi

Météorite bronze alpha, 2019
40 x 44 x 8 cm


William Sweetlove, Cloned Bulldog with pet bottle, Sculpture

William Sweetlove

Cloned Bulldog with pet bottle, 2011
47 x 50 x 20 cm


Yoann Merienne, Libeccio, Sculpture

Yoann Merienne

Libeccio, 2020
77.5 x 46 x 33 cm


Pierre Gimenez, Etirements, Sculpture

Pierre Gimenez

Etirements, 2021
30 x 25 x 14 cm


Martín Duque, Degas Danseur de Ballet, Sculpture

Martín Duque

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


César Baldaccini, Coeur éclaté, Sculpture

César Baldaccini

Coeur éclaté, 1986
54 x 14 x 14 cm


Bruno Roudil, Anthonin, Sculpture

Bruno Roudil

Anthonin, 2019
17 x 43 x 16 cm


Linde Ergo, Daydream, Sculpture

Linde Ergo

Daydream, 2018
16 x 16 x 8 cm


Igor Mitoraj, Eclipse 2, Sculpture

Igor Mitoraj

Eclipse 2, 1978
20 x 32 x 22 cm


Artigas Planas, The thinker, Sculpture

Artigas Planas

The thinker, 2017
138 x 23 x 23 cm


Etienne, Galet, Sculpture


Galet, 2010
20 x 18 x 7 cm


Charlotte Champion, Perruchette, Sculpture

Charlotte Champion

Perruchette, 2019
26.5 x 13 x 16 cm


Philippe Berry, Ballons de foire - jaune, bleu, rose, Sculpture

Philippe Berry

Ballons de foire - jaune, bleu, rose, 2018
42 x 16 x 19 cm

10,000 - $ 15,000

Chloé Sontrop, Liberté, Sculpture

Chloé Sontrop

Liberté, 2017
45 x 27 x 24.5 cm


Julien Marinetti, Teddy Popi, Sculpture

Julien Marinetti

Teddy Popi, 2015
40 x 27 x 33 cm


Isabelle Jeandot, Mémoires, Sculpture

Isabelle Jeandot

Mémoires, 2020
46 x 28 x 18 cm


Philip Hearsey, First impression, Sculpture

Philip Hearsey

First impression, 2014
18 x 17 x 17 cm


Bruno Mallart, Au pied de la lettre, Sculpture

Bruno Mallart

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


Luo Li Rong, Ligne de ton dos, Sculpture

Luo Li Rong

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


Our recommendations Xu Zhen, New, Sculpture

Xu Zhen

New, 2016
46 x 14 x 10.5 cm


Jean-Michel Pradel-Fraysse, Amour, Sculpture

Jean-Michel Pradel-Fraysse

Amour, 2020
44 x 72 x 26 cm


Mario Dilitz, 185, Sculpture

Mario Dilitz

185, 2020
90 x 35 x 20 cm


Adeline Weber Guibal, Danseuse, Sculpture

Adeline Weber Guibal

Danseuse, 2021
18 x 11 x 8 cm


Romain Langlois, Attraction de l'espace II, Sculpture

Romain Langlois

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

25,000 - $ 50,000

Maguy Banq, Sur la berge, Sculpture

Maguy Banq

Sur la berge, 2020
60 x 49 x 11 cm


Gediminas Endriekus, Passers-by, Sculpture

Gediminas Endriekus

Passers-by, 2020
34 x 13 x 22 cm


Eléonore de Moffarts, Huntress, Sculpture

Eléonore de Moffarts

Huntress, 2018
48 x 65 x 30 cm


Our recommendations Jenny Jacottet, Égarement, Sculpture

Jenny Jacottet

Égarement, 2018
47 x 20 x 12 cm


Yann-Eric Eichenberger, Aneta, Sculpture

Yann-Eric Eichenberger

Aneta, 2017
210 x 40 x 40 cm


Sandro Chia, Youth and the Devil, Sculpture

Sandro Chia

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


Roberto Matta, Bag with Wings, Sculpture

Roberto Matta

Bag with Wings, 1971
94 x 137 x 64 cm


Merry Kerpitchian (Merry K), Le bal est fini, Sculpture

Merry Kerpitchian (Merry K)

Le bal est fini, 2017
52 x 24 x 17 cm


Mireia Serra, Merry love, Sculpture

Mireia Serra

Merry love, 2020
7 x 17 x 10 cm


Stefano Bombardieri, Struzzo Rubik, Sculpture

Stefano Bombardieri

Struzzo Rubik, 2016
58 x 40 x 21 cm


Pierre-Jean Chabert, Tête de gorille, Sculpture

Pierre-Jean Chabert

Tête de gorille, 2019
34 x 23 x 23 cm


Véronique Clanet, Lily - Rose, Sculpture

Véronique Clanet

Lily - Rose, 2019
171 x 75 x 68 cm


Dirk De Keyzer, Hariette, Sculpture

Dirk De Keyzer

Hariette, 2016
84 x 20 x 30 cm

10,000 - $ 15,000

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


Evelyne Galinski, Naé, Sculpture

Evelyne Galinski

Naé, 2019
52 x 33 x 20 cm


Marie-Noëlle Ronayette, Les chaussures de maman, Sculpture

Marie-Noëlle Ronayette

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

10,000 - $ 15,000

Gilles Nicolas, Le Rhinocéros courant, Sculpture

Gilles Nicolas

Le Rhinocéros courant, 2017
16 x 43 x 23 cm


Claude Justamon, Cocon, Sculpture

Claude Justamon

Cocon, 2017
25 x 11 x 11 cm


Quentin Garel, Petit crâne d'oiseau, Sculpture

Quentin Garel

Petit crâne d'oiseau, 2011
25 x 26 x 14 cm


Chantal de Sutter, Marie, Sculpture

Chantal de Sutter

Marie, 2020
168 x 36 x 41 cm

15,000 - $ 25,000

Alain Boullet, Couple, Sculpture

Alain Boullet

Couple, 2005
32 x 11 x 11 cm


60 Artworks on 3739

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