October 20, 2021

Sculpture (from Latin sculptura) is one of the fine arts. Unlike the painting, which is created in a plane - a fictitious space of two dimensions -, the sculpture does it in a three-dimensional plane free or in relief, using the real space. The sculptor acts on different materials that he transforms through carving and modeling processes, which are the traditional methods. The use of different combinations of materials and media has given rise to a new artistic repertoire that includes processes such as constructivism and assembly. In a generic sense, sculpture is understood as the work of plastic art made by the sculptor. Giorgio Vasari (1511-1573) begins his Le Vite de 'più eccellenti pittori, scultori, ed arch arquitectori italiani with a very technical prologue in which he talks about architecture, sculpture and painting, disciplines grouped under the name of «arts of design ». The work is an informative treatise on the artistic techniques used at the time. As for the sculpture, he explains: From time immemorial man has had the need to sculpt. At first he did it with the simplest materials he had on hand: stone, mud, and wood; then he used iron, bronze, lead, wax, plaster, plasticine, polyester resin and plastics with fiberglass reinforcement, concrete, kinetics and light reflection, among others. others. Sculpture had at first a single function, its immediate use; later a ritual, magical, funerary or religious function was added. This functionality was changing with the historical evolution, acquiring a mainly esthetic or simply ornamental purpose and being able to get to constitute itself like a lasting or ephemeral element.

History of sculpture


The first sculptural manifestations date back to the Lower Paleolithic, when man cut flint by striking it against another stone; later it uses the engraving and the relief in stone and animal bones. Some 27,000 to 32,000 years ago, lush female human stone figures are depicted in an artistic exaltation of fertility; they are the "prehistoric Venuses", such as the Venus of Willendorf and the Venus of Lespugue. During the Magdalenian period, sticks and propellants with ornamental motifs were used. In the Upper Paleolithic, the most abundant examples are carvings or engraved objects that evolved from a more primitive phase, with more schematic decorations, to the representation of animal figures that adapted to the structure of the bone. . Clay was also a common material. The first known sculptural pieces come from Egypt, China, India and the Middle East, places where by 4000 BC there were already kilns to make pottery. One of the most important advances in the history of the sculpture was the ability to work metal - first bronze and then iron - which was used to make more efficient tools and, in addition, to obtain a new material for sculptural works. The process of creating the work first in clay and then casting it in bronze was already known in the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations, and is a system that is still used in the 21st century. From the 5th century BC, in the last period of the Iron Age, the Celts developed the culture of La Tène, spreading it throughout Europe; represented an evolution of Hallstatt's art of culture. In the decoration of all its objects, swords, shields, brooches and tiaras, motifs of animals, plants and human figures can be seen. From the third century BC the first coins were minted following the Hellenic models, as well as figurative works such as the God of Bouray, in repulsed copper plate.


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