19th century iron key dating
Introduction Prehistoric Sculpture Sculpture of Classical Antiquity (c.1100-100 BCE) Celtic Metal Sculpture (400-100 BCE) Roman Sculpture (c.200 BCE - c.200 CE) Byzantine Sculpture (330-1450 CE) Sculpture During The Dark Ages (c.500-800) Romanesque Sculpture (c.800-1200) Gothic Sculpture (c.1150-1300) Italian Renaissance Sculpture (c.1400-1600) Baroque Sculpture (c.1600-1700) Rococo Sculpture (c.1700-1789) Neoclassical Sculpture (Flourished c.1790-1830) 19th Century Sculpture 20th Century Sculpture: The Advent of Modernism Post-War Sculpture (1945-70) Postmodernist Contemporary Sculpture Any chronological account of the origins and evolution of three-dimensional art should properly occupy several volumes, if not a whole library of books.
Compressing it into a single page means that most of the story is unavoidably omitted. From Prehistory, through Classical Antiquity, the Gothic era, the Renaissance to the 21st century, the history of sculpture is filled with extraordinary artists - most sadly anonymous - whose visual expressiveness remains with us in the form of wonderful marble statues, stone reliefs, and immortal bronzes. The earliest known examples are the two primitive stone effigies known as The Venus of Berekhat Ram and The Venus of Tan-Tan.
Of course nothing compares to the inspirational message of America's Statue of Liberty, probably the No 1 propagandist work of sculpture.
As well as having huge narrative content capable of promoting a specific message, sculpture is also an arduous craft whose creators are highly dependent on both tools, technology.
Roman Emperors distributed portrait busts of themselves to every corner of their empire; the Roman Church decorated their cathedrals, abbeys and churches with tens of thousands of statues and relief sculptures to convey the message of the Bible; Pharaohs, Kings and Emperors from Ancient Egypt, Persia, Greece and the modern world, have invested fortunes in monumental sculpture to commemorate success in battle.
Modern tyrants, from Stalin to Saddam Hussein, have errected statues as monuments to their glorious rule.
For bronzes - statues and reliefs, see: Bronze Sculpture. The Venus of Berekhat Ram (dating from c.230,000 BCE or earlier) is a basaltic figurine made during the Acheulian Period, which was discovered on the Golan Heights.
Chinese art during the Shang Dynasty (c.1600-1050) developed along quite different lines to Western varieties.
Every major architectural movement has been accompanied by huge demand for sculptures of all kinds.
Another early type of Stone Age sculpture are the miniature obese figurines called Venuses: such as the Venuses of Willendorf, Kostenky, Monpazier, Dolni Vestonice, Moravany, Brassempouy, and Gagarino.
Made from materials as varied as mammoth bone, ceramic clay and bone ash, as well as various types of stone like steatite, oolitic limestone, serpentine, and volcanic rock, these venus figures have been located in sites across Europe, from Russia to Spain. Mesolithic art witnessed more bas-reliefs and free standing sculpture such as the anthropomorphic figurines unearthed in Nevali Cori and Gobekli Tepe near Urfa in eastern Turkey, and the statues of Lepenski Vir (eg. It also witnessed the creation of the Shigir Idol (7,500 BCE) - the world's oldest surviving wood carving - found near Sverdlovsk in Russia.
Anthropologists believe they may have been used in fertility rituals, although why fat women should be so iconic remains a mystery. Arguably the greatest Mesolithic work of art is the terracotta sculpture from Romania, known as The Thinker of Cernavoda, an unmistakable image of cognitive thought.