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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
18.5 x 4.5 x 3.9 inch
Sculpture

$1,073

Arman, Panthère, Sculpture

Arman

Panthère, 2002
11 x 18.9 x 3.1 inch
Sculpture

$11,450

Patrick Villas, Affinity IV, Sculpture

Patrick Villas

Affinity IV, 2021
83.9 x 59.1 x 30.3 inch
Sculpture

$84,371

Marcelo Martin Burgos, Hibou, Sculpture

Marcelo Martin Burgos

Hibou, 2021
65 x 9.6 x 9.6 inch
Sculpture

$3,375

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

Olivier Messas

Les amoureux... (Terre d'enfants), 2021
9.1 x 5.9 x 6.3 inch
Sculpture

$3,013

Romain Langlois, Masque de Jéricho, Sculpture

Romain Langlois

Masque de Jéricho, 2014
22 x 9.1 x 9.8 inch
Sculpture

$14,464

Milko Dobrev, Phoenix, Sculpture

Milko Dobrev

Phoenix, 2019
10.6 x 3.1 x 2.4 inch
Sculpture

$1,109

Sébastien Langloÿs, Simone Veil, Sculpture

Sébastien Langloÿs

Simone Veil, 2020
14.6 x 11.4 x 6.7 inch
Sculpture

$19,285

Jean-François Gambino, Gibraltard  8/8, Sculpture

Jean-François Gambino

Gibraltard 8/8, 2021
18.5 x 5.9 x 5.9 inch
Sculpture

$12,053

Thierry Benenati, Baby Bling-bling, Sculpture

Thierry Benenati

Baby Bling-bling, 2011
14.6 x 15.7 x 10.6 inch
Sculpture

15,000 - $ 25,000

Joanna Zakrzewska-Cholewa, Acrobat Game, Sculpture

Joanna Zakrzewska-Cholewa

Acrobat Game, 2021
11 x 4.3 x 7.1 inch
Sculpture

$928

Jaromir Gargulak, Sweet Bird II, Sculpture

Jaromir Gargulak

Sweet Bird II, 2020
3 x 1.6 x 2 inch
Sculpture

$211

Marc Sparza, Le poids des mots, Sculpture

Marc Sparza

Le poids des mots, 2020
26.4 x 15.7 x 1.6 inch
Sculpture

Sold

Christian Dugardeyn, I'm an angel, Sculpture

Christian Dugardeyn

I'm an angel, 2020
10.2 x 2.4 x 3.1 inch
Sculpture

$1,808

Sadegh Adham, Vache D'Amslash, Sculpture

Sadegh Adham

Vache D'Amslash, 2014
3.7 x 4.7 x 2.2 inch
Sculpture

$844

Bogdan Dyulgerov, Waiting, Sculpture

Bogdan Dyulgerov

Waiting, 2020
19.7 x 5.1 x 4.7 inch
Sculpture

$2,121

Jim Rennert, Listen, Sculpture

Jim Rennert

Listen, 2021
24 x 10 x 8 inch
Sculpture

15,000 - $ 25,000

Antuan Rodriguez, Infinity, Sculpture

Antuan Rodriguez

Infinity, 2020
10 x 21 x 10 inch
Sculpture

$28,000

Andrew Orloski, Without Exile, Sculpture

Andrew Orloski

Without Exile, 2021
9.1 x 9.8 x 22 inch
Sculpture

$9,879

Isabelle Carabantes, Lionne assise, Sculpture

Isabelle Carabantes

Lionne assise, 2020
12.6 x 9.8 x 8.7 inch
Sculpture

$7,232

Pavlina Pavlides, Maternité Bronze Motherhood, Sculpture

Pavlina Pavlides

Maternité Bronze Motherhood, 1981
27.6 x 15.7 x 3.9 inch
Sculpture

$23,503

Our recommendations Salvador Dali, Profil du temps, Sculpture

Salvador Dali

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

$43,825

Philippe Buil, Une larme 51-21, Sculpture

Philippe Buil

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

$1,495 $1,868

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

$832

Jérôme Mesnager, Sans titre, Sculpture

Jérôme Mesnager

Sans titre, 2011
29.5 x 24.8 x 2 inch
Sculpture

$2,652

Christophe Charbonnel, Orphée, Sculpture

Christophe Charbonnel

Orphée, 2018
8.7 x 5.9 x 3.5 inch
Sculpture

$3,013

Martín Duque, Degas Danseur de Ballet, Sculpture

Martín Duque

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

$771

Yoann Merienne, Mystère, Sculpture

Yoann Merienne

Mystère, 2019
3.9 x 2 x 2.4 inch
Sculpture

$1,085

Igor Mitoraj, Conversation, Sculpture

Igor Mitoraj

Conversation, 1978
3.5 x 3.7 x 0.6 inch
Sculpture

$3,616

Pierre Gimenez, La femme au ballon, Sculpture

Pierre Gimenez

La femme au ballon, 2019
14.2 x 5.1 x 9.1 inch
Sculpture

$1,025

Mireia Serra, Merry love, Sculpture

Mireia Serra

Merry love, 2020
2.8 x 6.7 x 3.9 inch
Sculpture

$1,181

Marc Petit, Venus, Sculpture

Marc Petit

Venus, 2019
15 x 2.8 x 2.4 inch
Sculpture

$3,375

Artigas Planas, The thinker, Sculpture

Artigas Planas

The thinker, 2017
54.3 x 9.1 x 9.1 inch
Sculpture

$3,013

Chloé Sontrop, Liberté, Sculpture

Chloé Sontrop

Liberté, 2017
17.7 x 10.6 x 9.6 inch
Sculpture

$3,978

Etienne, Tendresse, Sculpture

Etienne

Tendresse, 2014
5.1 x 6.7 x 3 inch
Sculpture

$6,268

Deville-Chabrolle, Romantique, Sculpture

Deville-Chabrolle

Romantique, 2016
7.1 x 6.3 x 4.3 inch
Sculpture

$2,170

Linde Ergo, Daydream, Sculpture

Linde Ergo

Daydream, 2018
6.3 x 6.3 x 3.1 inch
Sculpture

$1,193

Gregos, Bronze Mask, Sculpture

Gregos

Bronze Mask, 2018
11.8 x 11.8 x 0.8 inch
Sculpture

$663

Gediminas Endriekus, Witch Horse, Sculpture

Gediminas Endriekus

Witch Horse, 2018
6.3 x 2.8 x 9.1 inch
Sculpture

$2,652

Philip Hearsey, First impression, Sculpture

Philip Hearsey

First impression, 2014
7.1 x 6.7 x 6.7 inch
Sculpture

$2,170

Charlotte Champion, Perruchette, Sculpture

Charlotte Champion

Perruchette, 2019
10.4 x 5.1 x 6.3 inch
Sculpture

$3,495

Jenny Jacottet, Volée, Sculpture

Jenny Jacottet

Volée, 2017
23.2 x 9.8 x 7.5 inch
Sculpture

$3,375

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

$7,232

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

Eléonore de Moffarts

Freedom (Avec 3 galets), 2017
24 x 18.9 x 13.8 inch
Sculpture

$9,040

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

$4,219

Claude Justamon, Cocon, Sculpture

Claude Justamon

Cocon, 2017
9.8 x 4.3 x 4.3 inch
Sculpture

$3,013

Our recommendations Isabelle Jeandot, Mémoires, Sculpture

Isabelle Jeandot

Mémoires, 2020
18.1 x 11 x 7.1 inch
Sculpture

$13,258

Roberto Matta, Bag with Wings, Sculpture

Roberto Matta

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

$34,954

Véronique Clanet, La Danse    ---- numérotée 7/8., Sculpture

Véronique Clanet

La Danse ---- numérotée 7/8., 2018
13.4 x 7.9 x 7.1 inch
Sculpture

$3,495

Eric Liot, Micro Apollon, Sculpture

Eric Liot

Micro Apollon, 2020
17.7 x 8.3 x 6.7 inch
Sculpture

$7,232

Chantal de Block, Marie Clara, Sculpture

Chantal de Block

Marie Clara, 2019
26.4 x 11.8 x 11.8 inch
Sculpture

< $ 2,500

Sandro Chia, Youth and the Devil, Sculpture

Sandro Chia

Youth and the Devil, 1993
13.2 x 11.4 x 13.4 inch
Sculpture

$5,785

Maguy Banq, Sur la berge, Sculpture

Maguy Banq

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

$6,629

Our recommendations Xu Zhen, New, Sculpture

Xu Zhen

New, 2016
18.1 x 5.5 x 4.1 inch
Sculpture

$6,485

Nando Kallweit, Geeta II, Sculpture

Nando Kallweit

Geeta II, 2020
10.6 x 2.4 x 2 inch
Sculpture

$711

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

$13,258

Guillaume Couffignal, Architecture, Sculpture

Guillaume Couffignal

Architecture, 2019
20.5 x 8.7 x 4.3 inch
Sculpture

$3,375

Dirk De Keyzer, La tentatrice, Sculpture

Dirk De Keyzer

La tentatrice, 2019
26.4 x 7.9 x 10.2 inch
Sculpture

10,000 - $ 15,000

Stefano Bombardieri, Struzzo Rubik, Sculpture

Stefano Bombardieri

Struzzo Rubik, 2016
22.8 x 15.7 x 8.3 inch
Sculpture

$28,927

Lucette Brandy, Petite femme au bouquet de fleurs, Sculpture

Lucette Brandy

Petite femme au bouquet de fleurs, 2018
9.4 x 6.3 x 6.7 inch
Sculpture

$1,928

Chantal de Sutter, Jules, Sculpture

Chantal de Sutter

Jules, 2021
11.8 x 5.1 x 4.3 inch
Sculpture

2,500 - $ 5,000

Robert Combas, Les favelas électriques, Sculpture

Robert Combas

Les favelas électriques, 2009
14.6 x 23.6 x 15.7 inch
Sculpture

$114,504

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

Babette Degraeve

Kleine pup met bot (Small puppy with bone), 2019
3.5 x 3.9 x 5.5 inch
Sculpture

$783

Evelyne Galinski, Naé, Sculpture

Evelyne Galinski

Naé, 2019
20.5 x 13 x 7.9 inch
Sculpture

$6,027

60 Artworks on 3819

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