One good example would be Donatello who worked during the Renaissance period where the artists worked on reviving the glory associated with Greco-Roman art. Michelangelo, another great artist, also worked during this period. It lasted from the fourteenth century to the seventeenth, after which the Baroque period began. In this era, Gian Lorenzo Bernini dominated the art scene with his amazing pieces. It was not long before the nineteenth century started where artists strove to use innovative forms of expression in their creations. There was a significant shift from what was traditional to what people could view as modern, and during this age, sculptors such as Constantin Brancusi, Auguste Rodin, Henry Moore, and Alberto Giacometti led other artists in embracing the changes. One of the sculptors who amazes people with his skills in the current world is Fernando Botero. Have a look at the works of these astounding artists and what made them the icons that they are today:
Michelangelo died in 1564, having come into the world in 1475. He, alongside Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci, are the trinity of the great masters who ruled during the High Renaissance, a period during which visual arts excelled in this era. Many looked to him as a universal genius, thanks to his impressive skills in many fields including but not limited to architecture, poetry, engineering, and painting. Of all his many talents, he excelled in sculpting, and the art world recognizes him as one of the best sculptors that ever graced this planet, if not the greatest.
At the time of his death, he had earned the title of ‘the divine one’ owing to his impressive works. After he passed on, many people tried to borrow from his work which was not only highly personal but also intense. This mimicry led to the mannerism movement which was quite prominent in the Western Art World. His work motivated many people to explore different styles and was thus quite an influence in the history of sculpting then and continues to be to date. His best pieces, those that are known, remain to be David and Pieta.
This Italian artist died in 1466. His work mainly took place during the Renaissance period. He, together with an architect friend, Filippo Brunelleschi, toured Rome where they got to see the ancient ruins which they studied in great detail. He then used this experience to veer away from the norm at that time which featured soft and curved lines on expressionless faces and embraced the classical style in which he played about with dramatic expressions, alongside detailed realism. In Donatello’s move away from the Gothic styles that were prevalent at the time, he gave a new meaning to sculpting which saw him pioneer different techniques which served as an influence on later generations. Some of his best works include the Equestrian statue of Gattamelata and Bronze David.
Picasso, born in 1881, passed on in 1973. This Spanish artist had gained quite a following before his death, thanks to his influence in the art scene. He was one of the pioneers behind the Cubism art movement which allowed artists to present their works from different perspectives, which worked to broaden the contexts. Picasso had formal training in painting. However, when it came to sculpting, it was more of an experimental experience which he attempted with an open mind, thus allowing him to break what people considered as rules in the art scene. Pablo started by making cubist sculptures before disappearing from the scene for a while. Towards the late ‘20s, he made wire structures which he then used in the creation of sculptures. Pablo moved on to the use of waste and debris that he would then encase in bronze. Towards the end of his career, he ventured into using sheet metal, with which he created colored sculptures. One of his best pieces is the Chicago Picasso, made in 1967.
Fernando, born in 1932, is the only living artist in this list who has impressed the world with his talent. Fernando’s father died when the artist was aged four, and he grew up under the watch of his uncle. As a teenager, he attended a school for matadors where he started working on paintings. He later sold his works to a vendor and on realizing that he could make money from the venture, he quit bull-fighting and concentrated on his art. He was lucky to get his paintings exhibited at the age of 16 and from there, he worked on various forms of art, including sculptures which made him an influential artist in the world. His best piece is The Trojan Horse, dated 1992.
These amazing sculptors dared to veer from the norm and in so doing, influenced the generations that came after them. Who else has had an impact on sculpting and why?