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The Best Sculptures Of All Time 

Ranker Art
Updated November 7, 2018 6.3k votes 850 voters 21.2k views 100 items

List Rules Vote up the best sculptures from the medium's history

There have been so many sculptures of such a wide range of subjects and in so many materials and styles across history that it can be difficult to narrow a selection to the best sculptures ever. This list of the best sculptures in history includes Renaissance statues, Baroque sculpture, and even work by abstract sculpture artists.

Even though some of the sculptures on this list may be from famous artists who have names that are familiar, like Gian Lorenzo Bernini or Auguste Rodin, you may also find some classic sculptures you recognize from artists whose names you didn't know, like Antonio Corradini. There are even famous sculptures that may be new to you, like Fernando Botero's Bird and the Surrealist sculptures from Alberto Giacometti. From the haunting realism of sculptors like Michelangelo to the deceptively simple planes of Pablo Picasso's sculptures, these famous art pieces are of the very best by the greatest sculptors of all time.

1
Pietà is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sculptures Of All Time
Photo: Stanislav Traykov/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.5

The Pietà is a world-famous work of Renaissance sculpture by Michelangelo Buonarroti, housed in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City. It is the first of a number of works of the same theme by the artist. The statue was commissioned for the French Cardinal Jean de Bilhères, who was a representative in Rome. The sculpture, in Carrara marble, was made for the cardinal's funeral monument, but was moved to its current location, the first chapel on the right as one enters the basilica, in the 18th century. It is the only piece Michelangelo ever signed. This famous work of art depicts the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion. The theme is of Northern origin, popular by ...more on Wikipedia

Artist: Michelangelo

Subject: Pietà, Lamentation of Christ, Blessed Virgin Mary

Genres (Art): Christian art

Period / Movement: Italian Renaissance, Renaissance

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2
Dama Velata (Puritas)
Dama Velata (Puritas) is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sculptures Of All Time
Photo: Antonio Corradini/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

Artist: Sculpture

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3
David is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sculptures Of All Time
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/GNU Free Documentation License

David is a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture created between 1501 and 1504, by Italian sculptor, painter, architect, poet Michelangelo. It is a 4.34-metre, 5.17-metre with the base marble statue of a standing male nude. The statue represents the Biblical hero David, a favoured subject in the art of Florence. Originally commissioned as one of a series of statues of prophets to be positioned along the roofline of the east end of Florence Cathedral, the statue was placed instead in a public square, outside the Palazzo della Signoria, the seat of civic government in Florence, where it was unveiled on 8 September 1504. Because of the nature of the hero it represented, the statue soon came to ...more on Wikipedia

Artist: Michelangelo

Subject: David

Period / Movement: Italian Renaissance, Renaissance

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Apollo and Daphne is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sculptures Of All Time
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/GNU Free Documentation License

Apollo and Daphne is a life-sized Baroque marble sculpture by Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini, executed between 1622 and 1625. Housed in the Galleria Borghese in Rome, the work depicts the climax of the story of Daphne and Phoebus in Ovid's Metamorphoses. ...more on Wikipedia

Artist: Gian Lorenzo Bernini

Subject: Apollo, Daphne

Period / Movement: Baroque

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