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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, Essence de la jeunesse mâle rougeâtre ou feu, Sculpture

Miguel Guía

Essence de la jeunesse mâle rougeâtre ou feu, 2021
15.2 x 5.5 x 4.5 inch
Sculpture

$1,055

Philippe Buil, Une larme 51-21, Sculpture

Philippe Buil

Une larme 51-21, 2021
16.9 x 7.9 x 4.7 inch
Sculpture

$1,947

César Baldaccini, Coeur éclaté, Sculpture

César Baldaccini

Coeur éclaté, 1986
21.3 x 5.5 x 5.5 inch
Sculpture

$6,280

Maguy Banq, Sur la berge, Sculpture

Maguy Banq

Sur la berge, 2020
23.6 x 19.3 x 4.3 inch
Sculpture

$6,908

Valérie Hadida, Brindille 2 - 5/8, Sculpture

Valérie Hadida

Brindille 2 - 5/8, 2021
9.8 x 4.1 x 2.2 inch
Sculpture

$2,387

Alquimiamc, Interconnexion, Sculpture

Alquimiamc

Interconnexion, 2020
15.7 x 15.7 x 23.6 inch
Sculpture

$15,000

Aurelija Simkute, Alone, Bronze Sculpture, Sculpture

Aurelija Simkute

Alone, Bronze Sculpture, 2017
18.9 x 8.3 x 6.7 inch
Sculpture

$12,561

Vladas Kanciauskas, Gordian Knot, Sculpture

Vladas Kanciauskas

Gordian Knot, 2004
11 x 7.5 x 7.5 inch
Sculpture

$4,019

Gianfranco Meggiato, Stella del Sud, Sculpture

Gianfranco Meggiato

Stella del Sud, 2015
23.6 x 23.6 x 23.6 inch
Sculpture

$75,000

Karen Marre, Elévation 5, Sculpture

Karen Marre

Elévation 5, 2020
27.6 x 6.7 x 6.7 inch
Sculpture

$2,261

Petar Iliev, Saint George, Sculpture

Petar Iliev

Saint George, 2021
9.8 x 6.7 x 4.3 inch
Sculpture

$1,507

Erte Tirtoff, Erté at Ninety-Five: The Complete New Graphics Presented with Original Bas-Relief Rigoletto, 1988 Cold painted and partial gilt bronze (bas-relief), Sculpture

Erte Tirtoff

Erté at Ninety-Five: The Complete New Graphics Presented with Original Bas-Relief Rigoletto, 1988 Cold painted and partial gilt bronze (bas-relief), 1988
8 x 7 x 0.5 inch
Sculpture

$3,250

Our recommendations Salvador Dali, Profil du temps, Sculpture

Salvador Dali

Profil du temps, 1984
20.1 x 13.8 x 13.8 inch
Sculpture

$45,671

Gaël Rouxeville, Yasmina, Sculpture

Gaël Rouxeville

Yasmina, 2001
18.9 x 16.5 x 7.5 inch
Sculpture

$7,034

Our recommendations Matteo Mauro, Loves who don’t know how to get by in this world (HE), Sculpture

Matteo Mauro

Loves who don’t know how to get by in this world (HE), 2020
9.8 x 3.9 x 3.9 inch
Sculpture

$10,000

Melanie Dulson, Sirius Angel, Sculpture

Melanie Dulson

Sirius Angel, 2013
34.6 x 24.8 x 23.6 inch
Sculpture

$2,261

Our recommendations Christophe Charbonnel, Poséidon, maquette pour monumentale, Sculpture

Christophe Charbonnel

Poséidon, maquette pour monumentale, 2018
22.4 x 13 x 11 inch
Sculpture

$15,073

Jaromir Gargulak, Golden Walnut, Sculpture

Jaromir Gargulak

Golden Walnut, 2020
1.6 x 2 x 1.8 inch
Sculpture

$138

Alberto Letamendi, El iluso que mira las estrellas - The deluded man who looks at stars, Sculpture

Alberto Letamendi

El iluso que mira las estrellas - The deluded man who looks at stars, 2021
5.5 x 2.75 x 2.3 inch
Sculpture

$4,300

Jim Budish, Moose 58, Sculpture

Jim Budish

Moose 58, 2021
58 x 25 x 2 inch
Sculpture

25,000 - $ 50,000

Laurent Deguitre, Daddy et les Virus, Sculpture

Laurent Deguitre

Daddy et les Virus, 2020
9.8 x 8.7 x 6.3 inch
Sculpture

$3,329

Jesus Curia, Columna XV, Sculpture

Jesus Curia

Columna XV, 2020
35 x 5.9 x 5.9 inch
Sculpture

$6,908

Hayk Mnatsakanyan, Love, Sculpture

Hayk Mnatsakanyan

Love, 2020
12.6 x 2.8 x 3.1 inch
Sculpture

$1,821

Boaz Vaadia, Family 1 (#146) BVE, Sculpture

Boaz Vaadia

Family 1 (#146) BVE, 2017
20 x 21 x 15 inch
Sculpture

$56,000

Lynn Chadwick, Rad Lad II (362), Sculpture

Lynn Chadwick

Rad Lad II (362), 1961
15.75 x 5.5 x 4.5 inch
Sculpture

$65,000

Valery Pyrogov, Ballerina, Sculpture

Valery Pyrogov

Ballerina, 2018
30.3 x 11.4 x 7.1 inch
Sculpture

$6,642

Yoann Merienne, Libeccio, Sculpture

Yoann Merienne

Libeccio, 2020
30.5 x 18.1 x 13 inch
Sculpture

$20,097

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

Jesus Campos

Les espaces de Penseur de Rodin, 2004
11.8 x 5.5 x 5.9 inch
Sculpture

$867

Jérôme Mesnager, Sans titre, Sculpture

Jérôme Mesnager

Sans titre, 2011
29.5 x 24.8 x 2 inch
Sculpture

$2,763

Patrick Villas, Tête de lionne II, Sculpture

Patrick Villas

Tête de lionne II, 2015
24.8 x 17.7 x 19.7 inch
Sculpture

$22,609

Martín Duque, Degas Danseur de Ballet, Sculpture

Martín Duque

Degas Danseur de Ballet, 2004
17.3 x 6.3 x 7.9 inch
Sculpture

$804

Pierre Gimenez, La main au cigare, Sculpture

Pierre Gimenez

La main au cigare, 2021
13.8 x 9.4 x 4.1 inch
Sculpture

$2,889

Philip Hearsey, First impression, Sculpture

Philip Hearsey

First impression, 2014
7.1 x 6.7 x 6.7 inch
Sculpture

$2,261

Artigas Planas, The thinker, Sculpture

Artigas Planas

The thinker, 2017
54.3 x 9.1 x 9.1 inch
Sculpture

$3,140

Bruno Roudil, Anthonin, Sculpture

Bruno Roudil

Anthonin, 2019
6.7 x 16.9 x 6.3 inch
Sculpture

$402

Chloé Sontrop, Liberté, Sculpture

Chloé Sontrop

Liberté, 2017
17.7 x 10.6 x 9.6 inch
Sculpture

$4,145

Philippe Berry, Ballons de foire - Or, Rouge, Rose, Sculpture

Philippe Berry

Ballons de foire - Or, Rouge, Rose, 2018
16.5 x 6.3 x 7.5 inch
Sculpture

10,000 - $ 15,000

Charlotte Champion, Arnold & Willy, Sculpture

Charlotte Champion

Arnold & Willy, 2014
25.6 x 38.2 x 2.8 inch
Sculpture

$6,280

Bruno Mallart, Au pied de la lettre, Sculpture

Bruno Mallart

Au pied de la lettre, 2018
16.9 x 10.6 x 2.8 inch
Sculpture

$4,396

William Sweetlove, Cloned Bulldog with pet bottle, Sculpture

William Sweetlove

Cloned Bulldog with pet bottle, 2011
18.5 x 19.7 x 7.9 inch
Sculpture

$8,165

Our recommendations Deville-Chabrolle, Romantique, Sculpture

Deville-Chabrolle

Romantique, 2016
7.1 x 6.3 x 4.3 inch
Sculpture

$2,261

Romain Langlois, Attraction de l'espace I, Sculpture

Romain Langlois

Attraction de l'espace I, 2015
47.6 x 46.9 x 42.5 inch
Sculpture

50,000 - $ 100,000

Our recommendations Jenny Jacottet, Égarement, Sculpture

Jenny Jacottet

Égarement, 2018
18.5 x 7.9 x 4.7 inch
Sculpture

$3,517

Luo Li Rong, Ligne de ton dos, Sculpture

Luo Li Rong

Ligne de ton dos, 2016
6.3 x 13.4 x 5.1 inch
Sculpture

$7,536

Mario Dilitz, 185, Sculpture

Mario Dilitz

185, 2020
35.4 x 13.8 x 7.9 inch
Sculpture

$24,494

Marc Petit, La longue jupe noire, Sculpture

Marc Petit

La longue jupe noire, 2012
16.1 x 7.5 x 7.5 inch
Sculpture

$6,280

Julien Marinetti, Teddy Popi, Sculpture

Julien Marinetti

Teddy Popi, 2015
15.7 x 10.6 x 13 inch
Sculpture

$16,078

Jean-Michel Pradel-Fraysse, Amour, Sculpture

Jean-Michel Pradel-Fraysse

Amour, 2020
17.3 x 28.3 x 10.2 inch
Sculpture

$15,073

Gediminas Endriekus, Passers-by, Sculpture

Gediminas Endriekus

Passers-by, 2020
13.4 x 5.1 x 8.7 inch
Sculpture

$10,677

Our recommendations Xu Zhen, New, Sculpture

Xu Zhen

New, 2016
18.1 x 5.5 x 4.1 inch
Sculpture

$6,758

Yann-Eric Eichenberger, Aneta, Sculpture

Yann-Eric Eichenberger

Aneta, 2017
82.7 x 15.7 x 15.7 inch
Sculpture

$46,475

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

Théo Tobiasse

Jérusalem de miel et de lait, 2002
24.4 x 20.1 x 0.6 inch
Sculpture

$13,817

Adeline Weber Guibal, Danseuse, Sculpture

Adeline Weber Guibal

Danseuse, 2021
7.1 x 4.3 x 3.1 inch
Sculpture

$1,118

Stefano Bombardieri, Struzzo Rubik, Sculpture

Stefano Bombardieri

Struzzo Rubik, 2016
22.8 x 15.7 x 8.3 inch
Sculpture

$30,146

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

Merry Kerpitchian (Merry K)

Le bal est fini, 2017
20.5 x 9.4 x 6.7 inch
Sculpture

$7,285

Dirk De Keyzer, Hariette, Sculpture

Dirk De Keyzer

Hariette, 2016
33.1 x 7.9 x 11.8 inch
Sculpture

10,000 - $ 15,000

Mireia Serra, Merry love, Sculpture

Mireia Serra

Merry love, 2020
2.8 x 6.7 x 3.9 inch
Sculpture

$1,231

Igor Mitoraj, Eclipse 2, Sculpture

Igor Mitoraj

Eclipse 2, 1978
7.9 x 12.6 x 8.7 inch
Sculpture

$43,963

Claude Justamon, Cocon, Sculpture

Claude Justamon

Cocon, 2017
9.8 x 4.3 x 4.3 inch
Sculpture

$3,140

Evelyne Galinski, Naé, Sculpture

Evelyne Galinski

Naé, 2019
20.5 x 13 x 7.9 inch
Sculpture

$6,280

Roberto Matta, Bag with Wings, Sculpture

Roberto Matta

Bag with Wings, 1971
37 x 53.9 x 25.2 inch
Sculpture

$36,426

Gilles Nicolas, Le Rhinocéros courant, Sculpture

Gilles Nicolas

Le Rhinocéros courant, 2017
6.3 x 16.9 x 9.1 inch
Sculpture

$12,561

Pierre-Jean Chabert, Tête de gorille, Sculpture

Pierre-Jean Chabert

Tête de gorille, 2019
13.4 x 9.1 x 9.1 inch
Sculpture

$6,532

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

Véronique Clanet

Les Causeuses --- Bronze - numéroté 1/8., 2009
10.6 x 15.7 x 10.2 inch
Sculpture

$7,913

60 Artworks on 3635

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