Among the most renowned examples are the David sculptures by Renaissance painters Donatello and Michelangelo. The Thinker, sculpted by the French artist Auguste Rodin, is possibly the most renowned contemporary sculpture. Here are the world's ten most renowned sculptures.
Number 10: "The Thinker" by Auguste Rodin
Number 9: "David" by Donatello and Michelangelo (both by them)
Number 8: "Prometheus" by Michelangelo
Number 7: "The Dying Gaul" by Michelangelo
Number 6: "Marsyas" by Luciano Lauri
Number 5: "The Belvedere Apollo" by Giambologna
Number 4: "The Laocoön" by Michelangelo
Number 3: "The Nile River God" by Manet
Number 2: "The Thinker" by Augustus Saint-Gaudens
Number 1: "Mona Lisa" by Leonardo da Vinci
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The most renowned sculpture in the world is definitely Michelangelo's David. It is one of the genuinely classic Renaissance masterpieces, carved out of Carrara marble from the quarry. The original statue is presently housed in Florence, Italy, at the Accademia Gallery.
Michelangelo was only 25 years old when he completed this work in 1501. He used his knowledge of human anatomy and physiology to achieve realistic detail in the sculpture. The hair, skin, and clothes are all carefully rendered in polychromy (multiple colors) including white, red, black, and brown.
David has been called the first modern sculpture because it uses simple shapes and powerful contrasts of light and dark to express the human form. The artist showed an understanding of musculature that had not been seen before and his use of scale and position to create power and harmony is unparalleled.
He created two other notable sculptures in his early career: The Dying Slave and the Fighting Fool. Both are found in the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain. The Dying Slave is the only sculpture by Michelangelo that is still in Italy. It was originally part of a fountain design for the Piazza della Signoria in Florence but was moved to its present location in 1873. The Fighting Fool was cast in bronze in 1501 and is also found in the Museo del Prado.
The modernist movement's major sculptors include Auguste Rodin, Constantin Brancusi, Alberto Giacometti, and Henry Moore. Fernando Botero, one of the world's most important living painters, is the most recent addition to our list. Here are the top ten most renowned sculptors and their greatest works.
Botero has been called "the Michelangelo of painting." The New York Times described him as "one of the two or three most important artists in the world" along with Pablo Picasso and Renoir.
He was born on January 4, 1931 in Friesland, the Netherlands. His father was a doctor who also served as mayor of his small town for several terms. He had two sisters. When he was nine years old, his family moved to Madrid where they stayed for four years while his father worked on securing a medical license. They returned to the Netherlands when he was thirteen years old so that he could attend an art school in Amsterdam. There he met many leading artists of the day including John De Kooning, Franz Kline, and Jackson Pollock who influenced him greatly.
After graduating from art school in 1955, he traveled throughout Europe for several years before moving back to Madrid where he has lived since then. His work can be seen in museums all over the world including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, and the National Gallery in Canberra.
The Top 5 Sculptors of All Time
According to the We Love Art community, these are the top two most famous painters of all time.
Donatello rose to prominence as the finest sculptor of the Early Renaissance, best remembered for his classical, and strangely sensual, statue of David, which became one of the Florentine republic's emblems. Donatello's other major work is considered by many historians to be his masterpiece, a bronze relief called "The Triumph of Christ." Created around 1450 for the Cathedral of Florence, it shows Jesus raising his hand in blessing after he has defeated death. The image has been described as "a metaphor for the victory of Christianity over paganism." Donatello also designed two marble statues for the high altar of San Lorenzo, one of John the Baptist and one of Elijah. Both were destroyed during the French invasion of Italy in 1798.
Donatello was born into a family of artists in Verona. His father was a painter and his mother was a goldsmith. He had several older brothers who were also artists. When he was only age 13, Donatello started studying under a prominent sculptor named Jacopo della Quercia in the town of Montemurlo near Verona. There he learned the art of sculpture from watching and copying existing works of art. Donatello later traveled to Florence where he became one of the leading exponents of the newly developed Early Renaissance style. His main influence was the graceful lines and detailed human anatomy of Greek sculptures.