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Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. It is one of the plastic arts. Durable sculptural processes originally used carving (the removal of material) and modelling (the addition of material, as clay), in stone, metal, ceramics, wood and other materials but, since Modernism, there has been an almost complete freedom of materials and process. A wide variety of materials may be worked by removal such as carving, assembled by welding or modelling, or moulded or cast.

Sculpture in stone survives far better than works of art in perishable materials, and often represents the majority of the surviving works (other than pottery) from ancient cultures, though conversely traditions of sculpture in wood may have vanished almost entirely. However, most ancient sculpture was brightly painted, and this has been lost.

Sculpture has been central in religious devotion in many cultures, and until recent centuries large sculptures, too expensive for private individuals to create, were usually an expression of religion or politics. Those cultures whose sculptures have survived in quantities include the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean, India and China, as well as many in Central and South America and Africa.

The Western tradition of sculpture began in ancient Greece, and Greece is widely seen as producing great masterpieces in the classical period. During the Middle Ages, Gothic sculpture represented the agonies and passions of the Christian faith. The revival of classical models in the Renaissance produced famous sculptures such as Michelangelo's David. Modernist sculpture moved away from traditional processes and the emphasis on the depiction of the human body, with the making of constructed sculpture, and the presentation of found objects as finished art works.

Sculpture Media

2,692 media by topicpage 1 of 27
[Portfolio cover, vol. I: La Basse Egypte.]
The Visitation, anonymous printmaker, German
Benedictvs S.R.E. Card. Ivstinianvs Iosephi Filivs., [Plate 5]
Iosephis Ivstinianvs Benedecti Filivs, [Plate 3]
Les Liliacees: Femme Caffre.
El Kab (Elethyia). 1-4. Bas-reliefs des grottes; 5-7. Fragmens de statues trouvées dans les ruines de la ville.
Mode in which the young Memnon's head, (now in the British Museum,) was removed by Belzoni.
La Naiade
Inscription; Sculpture en creux; Village (aldea) de soldats indiens civilisés.
Der Hirt und die Schæferin.
La sylphide
Statue of Niobe on Mount Sipylus.
Sculptures on the Rock at Humam [Hamam Kaya].
Sculptured figures.
The procession of the bull beneath the mound of Nimroud
Monument de Ninive, ... Tome 1. Architecture et sculpture. [Title page]
The hunter - a statue in marble by John Gibson, esq. R. A.
Victory - a statue in marble, by Rauch of Berlin.
Richard cœur-de-lion, an equestrian statue by the baron Marochetti.
The child Christ ("Christ Engel") a bas relief in white marble by Rietschel of Dresden.
The "first step," a statue in marble by Pietro Magni of Milan.
Haute Égypte. Grand Temple de Denderah, sculptures de la façade postérieure
Bedrechein [el-Badrashein] colosse Ramses II [La Basse Egypte].
Statue de Ramas
Luxor, le temple, statues Ramses.
Egyptian idol. At Thebes.
Monkey's Sculpture at Nikko: Mizaru Kikazaru Iwazaru (See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil)
Monkey's Sculpture at Nikko
A Shrine
The Sleeping Cat (Cat's Sculpture) at Nikko Toshôgu Shrine
No. 10. Rain sculpture, Salt Creek Cañon, Utah.
Architecture : piliers-caryatides du temple de Ramsès III (Medineh Thabou -- XXe. dynastie)
Daibutsu, Bronzu Image at Kamakura
Head of the Statue of Liberty on display in a park in Paris.
View of the workshop, with models of the Statue of Liberty in the background.
[Assemblage of the Statue of Liberty in Paris.]
Men in a workshop shaping sheets of copper for the construction of the Statue of Liberty.
[Model of the Statue of Liberty.]
[Men at work on the construction of the Statue of Liberty.]
[Bookcloth (?) stamped with the words] Maison Monduit et Bechet, Gaget Gauthier et Cie. Succrs., 25 Rue de Chazelles, Plomberie et Cuivrerie d'Art.
[Dedication page.]
[Scaffolding for the assemblage of the Statue of Liberty, of which the head is shown at left, in Paris.]
[Construction of the skeleton and plaster surface of the left arm and hand of the Statue of Liberty.]
[Assemblage of the Statue of Liberty in Paris, showing the bottom half of the statue erect under scaffolding, the head and torch at its feet.]
Temple of Amenophis IV at Karnak, Thebes
Sphinx at Gizeh, Ancient Egypt
Temple - Luxor
A party of Burmese, from Saigiang.
A Phoungee Kyaung at Myngyan [?].
Entrance to the Shawy Dagone Pagoda, Rangoon.
America's the baby
Jean Carries - Jean Carriès. - Vitrine contenant des grès émaillés...
Moyabeng à la meule; Une statuette égyptienne du Musée du Louvre.
[Scene of woman in a bedroom holding a tray with a glass.]
Panelling, from an old house near Holborn, with Grinling Gibbon [sic] carvings. Mirror frame, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington. Walnut table, late William and Mary, walnut chair, early William and Mary, property of Viscountess Wolseley. Charles Wesley's walnut high-case clock, Wesley House, City Road.
The history of the feminine costume of the world. The luxurious Assyrian costumes.
Gamin
Gamin
Aspects of Negro Life: Song of the Towers
Aspects of Negro Life: From Slavery to Reconstruction.
Aspects of Negro Life: An Idyll of the Deep South.
Aspects of Negro Life: The Negro in an African Setting.
Uptown Art Lab
War workers visit War Project Board Conservation exhibit
Thèbes Medinet Abou [Medinet Habu], les statues Osiris.
Paul Favier - Le grand vestibule.
Thèbes. Memnonium [Ramesseum]. Vue de péristyle du tombeau et de débris de la statue colossale d'Osymandyas, prise de l'ouest.
Thèbes. Hypogées. Sculptures, fragmens et détails coloriés.
Thèbes. Memnonium [Ramesseum]. Détails de la statue colossalle de Memnon. [Restoration]
Île de Philæ. 1.2. Bas-reliefs de l'édifice ruiné de l'ouest; 3. Sculpture de Grand Temple.
Thèbes. Memnonium [Ramesseum]. 1-7. Détails de chars sculptés su r le 1-er pylône et tête de l'une statues du tombeau d'Osymandyas; 8. Débris du pied de la statue colossale d'Osymandyas.
Thèbes. Memnonium [Ramesseum]. Vue des deux colosses.
1. La face orientale de l'obelisque qui est devant le temple de Luxor. 2. Le tòrse d'une statue colossale. 3. Inscription de Apollinpolis. 4. Une inscription, trouvée à Thebes sur une statue fragmentée. 5. Une grande figure en bas-relief, sur le plafond
1. Tombeaux dans les Carrieres de Silsilis.  2. 3 et 4. Figures sculptées dans les tombeaux.
Desembargadores, arrivant en costume au Palais de Justice; Statue de St. George et son cortège, prècédant la procession de la Fête Dieu.
Jugend Besschæftigungen.
Pantheon. Aphophis [Apophis].
Objects in stone and baked clay, continued.
Chapour. Statue dans la caverne.
The hunter fighting with the panther. A statue by Jerichau of Copenhagen.
The boy at the stream, a statue by J. H. Foley esq. of London. Cast in bronze by Hatfield of London.
'Andromeda" - a statue in bronze by John Bell of London. (Cast by the Coalbrookdale company.)
Statuette in ivory, and objects in gold and silver, by Froment Meurice of Paris.
Nubie. Ibsamboul, partie méridionale du spéos de d'Hathor.
Felix Bracquemond - [La statue de la Résistance, par Falguière.]
Nubie. Ibsamboul, colosse oriental du spéos de phrè.
Nubie. Ibsamboul, entrée du spéos de d'Hathor.
Nubie. Ibsamboul, vue générale du spéos de phrè.
Thèbes. Gournah, colosse monolithe d'Aménopht III.
Thèbes. Gournah, statue de Memnon.
Thèbes. Gournah, sculptures du trône des colosses.
Nubie. Ibsamboul, colosse occidental du spéos de phrè.
Nubie. Ibsamboul, sculptures de l'entrée du spéos de phrè.
Nubie. Ibsamboul, colosse médial du spéos de phrè.
Nubie. Ibsamboul, colosse oriental du spéos de phrè.
Nubie. Ibsamboul, partie septentrionale du spéos de d'Hathor.
Thebes: Ramesseum, statues d'Osiris.
Karnak Temple de Thouthmes III [Tuthmose III], les statues d'Amenhotep I.
Abydos. Temple d'Osiris. a. Tranches de la stèle précé[de]nte; b. Stèle [de Sebektata portant la date de l'an 10 d'Ousertasen I-er (XIIe. dynastie)] ; c. Statue de granit rose [représentant le roi Sebekemsaf (XIIIe. dynastie)].
Abydos. Temple d'Osiris. Statue du granit. a. Sur le manche du sistre; b. Sur le dossier; c. Sur le socle.
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