The Great Sculptors

Some say sculptors are the most gifted of all artists, after all their work is three dimensional and not just two as with traditional painters. It is far harder to get a nuance of a subject with a hammer and chisel than it is with a brush stroke. However, this is not the debate for this particular blog, we are here to celebrate the best sculptors that the world has ever seen.

Donatello

One of the first great sculptors and certainly the best of his day which was the early Renaissance period. This Italian artist was happy with almost any material, fashioning work from stone, wood, bronze and Terra cotta. His imagination and unique skill took him down every avenue of the art, and his many sculptures included: Single figures, equestrian, groups, people sitting and standing. His work was revolutionary, bringing a work to life by including a story often with powerful connotations. His subjects were full of movement, thought and energy.

Michelangelo

Michelangelo was quite simply a genius, and his work set the parameters for all other artists to follow. His first love was always sculpture, although he was a brilliant painter and a more that competent architect, he had it all. Reputed to be a workaholic, he is often depicted as a most solitary figure and this can be seen in many of his works. He also had an almost obsession of the male nude form, its beauty and form. In his early works he portrayed man as God-like almost quasi-divine, this changed as he grew older and his sculptures depicted far more thoughtful and more human characters. Two of his most famous works were David and Pieta.

Rodin

Rodin was another extremely gifted sculptor and is often bizarrely compared to Michelangelo which is really confusing as they were almost totally different. The latter mostly worked in marble but Rodin preferred clay. One thing they did have in common was work rate, Rodin also was a workaholic and produced numerous fantastic pieces. Rodin worked with clay, plaster and bronze and bought his skills to the three materials, so they crossed over and influenced each material. The Thinker, Gates of Hell and The Walking Man are some of his most famous pieces.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini

Bernini started to set the art of sculpture free of its boundaries, he was not just interested in emotion and form, he was interested more on other qualities of the form such as theatrical, comedic and vision. He was himself a very humorous and witty man, these qualities shone through in nearly all his work. Not just a humourist he was indeed a very technically gifted artist, so many of his marble sculptures have the finesse of almost lace. Sometimes he blends sculpture with art, getting the most theatrical effect, he possibly can, this can be seen in the fountains he made which are a delight. His best works were the Rape of Proserpina, David, and Apollo and Daphne.

These greats of their art have given the world some of the greatest sculptures that ever existed. They were all devoted to their work, sometimes overly so, but because of this dedication their work will last forever.