Art The Best Sculptures Of All Time  

Ranker Art
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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 12 VOTES

Venus de Milo is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sculptures Of All Time
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/Public domain

Aphrodite of Milos, better known as the Venus de Milo, is an ancient Greek statue and one of the most famous works of ancient Greek sculpture. Created sometime between 130 and 100 BC, it is believed to depict Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. It is a marble sculpture, slightly larger than life size at 203 cm high. The arms and original plinth were lost following its discovery. From an inscription that was on its plinth, it is thought to be the work of Alexandros of Antioch; earlier, it was mistakenly attributed to the master sculptor Praxiteles. It is currently on permanent display at the Louvre Museum in Paris. The statue is named after the Greek island of Milos, where it was ...more on Wikipedia

Artist: Alexandros of Antioch

Subject: Venus

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2 7 VOTES

Pietà is listed (or ranked) 2 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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The Thinker is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sculptures Of All Time
Photo: StephenCarlile/flickr/CC-BY-ND 2.0

The Thinker is a bronze sculpture by Auguste Rodin, usually placed on a stone pedestal. The work shows a nude male figure of over life-size sitting on a rock with his chin resting on one hand as though deep in thought, and is often used as an image to represent philosophy. There are about 28 full size castings, in which the figure is about 186 centimetres high, though not all were made during Rodin's lifetime and under his supervision, as well as various other versions, several in plaster, studies, and posthumous castings, in a range of sizes. Rodin first conceived the figure as part of another work in 1880, but the first of the familiar monumental bronze castings did not appear until 1904. ...more on Wikipedia

Artist: Auguste Rodin

Subject: Dante Alighieri

Genres (Art): Genre art

Period / Movement: Realism

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Moses is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sculptures Of All Time
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/CC-BY

The Moses is a sculpture by the Italian High Renaissance artist Michelangelo Buonarroti, housed in the church of San Pietro in Vincoli in Rome. Commissioned in 1505 by Pope Julius II for his tomb, it depicts the Biblical figure Moses with horns on his head, based on a description in the Vulgate, the Latin translation of the Bible used at that time. ...more on Wikipedia

Artist: Michelangelo

Period / Movement: Italian Renaissance, Renaissance

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