History of Sculpture in Western History

Essay by allstar3b1University, Bachelor'sA+, October 2004

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Sculpture in Western History

Sculpture is a spatial art which deals with the various shapes of volumes. These volumes have come in the form of different figures throughout Western history, while most of them depicting human beings. Throughout the course of the history of sculpture, various medians have been used to convey the artist's feelings. Different materials such as stone, marble, bronze and wood have been used throughout the centuries to add to the sculptures' character.

The Greeks, even though they were not the first to use sculpture, were definitely the first to perfect it. The first Greek sculptors created their bodies of work out of stone. They found this material to have a mysterious strength inside it. Its unyielding nature made it seem imperishable, therefore making it a smart substance to use as their artistic median. These early Greek sculptors experimented feverishly with their creations. They each wanted to know what they could do with a large slab of stone and how they could turn it into a representation of a human.

Once these Greek sculptors began increasing their sculptural vocabulary, there was no stopping it, "the sculptors in their workshops tried out new ideas and new ways of representing the human figure, and each innovation was eagerly taken up by others who added their own discoveries. One discovered how to chisel a trunk, another found out that a statue may look much more alive if the feet are not both placed firmly on the ground." (Gombrich, 78)

The Greeks gave humans a standard for what is beautiful through their sculptures. These perfect men and women were given an attractive whole and generally had perfect posture. These wonderful sculptures depicted human beings in the likeness of their gods and had a strange feature of bringing that man or woman...