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Although humans began to sculpt for ritualistic purposes or to create tools very early on, the history of sculpture can be separated into two key periods.

The first period stretches from Antiquity to the 19th century. The various artistic movements which cover these 20 centuries were deeply inspired by ancient Greek art and in particular by their sculptures, which adorned the temples and paid tribute to their mythological Gods by representing the human body in its most ideal form. The first to be inspired by this art were the Romans, who copied many ancient Greek sculptures and modelled them in the likeness of Gods but also of important figures in society. Medieval art, just like Roman art, took a more political turn but also a religious one as Catholicism spread across Europe.

Churches were built and sculpture became an integral part of their architecture, in particular in Romanesque and Gothic art. It was finally during the Renaissance that sculpture once again became closely linked to classical works, especially with sculptures that were much more anatomically precise. Nude sculptures became very popular and represented a real feat and sculptors who knew how to create them were held in high esteem. Heavily inspired by painting, the subjects represented became increasingly more expressive…

In the 17th century, sculptors began to push the style of Antiquity further and sculpture became dramatic and picturesque. It wasn't until the 19th century that classicism became fashionable again.

The end of the 19th century was a pivotal time in the history of sculpture. It marked the end of centuries of inspiration from Antiquity. The instigator of change was none other than Auguste Rodin who, after an inspiring journey to Italy, brought a breath of fresh air to the world of sculpture. Even if his style remains quite academic, he influenced many 20th century sculptors.

Different ideas about art were born in the 20th century with modern and contemporary sculpture. Cubists like Pablo Picasso depicted perspective from different angles; Brancusi and his simple, refined wooden sculptures led the way for abstract art in the years to follow; Dadaism, a provocative style free of any kind of artistic norms, produced the first ready-mades with Marcel Duchamp; Jean Tinguely grappled with technology to create his imperfect machines…

It wasn't until the 1960s and 70s that contemporary sculpture appeared with Conceptual Art, where the idea behind the work took precedence over the aesthetic and the Fluxus movement which radically questioned the foundations of artwork. The 60s also saw the rise of minimalism and artists putting into practice Mies Van Der Rohe's conviction that 'less is more'. Other contemporary artists such as Richard Serra, Carl André and Donald Judd created very architectural works. There was Pop Art but also Land Art, monumental artworks created in the very heart of nature, and of course, Arte Povera, which rejected consumer society and turned its focus towards nature and the ephemeral.

On Artsper, you'll find a carefully chosen selection of sculptures which cover all the latest sculptural trends in contemporary art. You will find sculptures made of bronze, marble, clay,  paper, plaster, steel, neon, metal, glass,  resin, iron, terracotta and wood. When looking for a sculpture to buy; you can either choose a large-scale work or one of a more reasonable size. You could opt for a piece which easily fits in with your interior design or you could go for a monumental piece as a bold addition to your collection. You could even choose an outdoor sculpture like the ones made by artists like Nicolas Dubreuille. In our “Famous Artists" category you will find artists such as Arman, Carlos Cruz Diez, Philippe Pasqua and Damien Hirst and in our "Emerging Artists" category we have Gaspard Mitz and other rising talents.

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Bronze Sculpture

Bronze Sculpture

Animal Sculpture

Animal Sculpture

Abstract Sculpture

Abstract Sculpture

Steel Sculpture

Steel Sculpture

Portrait Sculpture

Portrait Sculpture

Street Art Sculpture

Street Art Sculpture

Geometric Sculpture

Geometric Sculpture

Resin Sculpture

Resin Sculpture


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