It was more than 5000 years ago that humans discovered the uses of bronze. Yeah, it was the period we now call Bronze Age. Though the metal was initially used to make weapons, it didn’t take long to start using bronze for art.
One of the earliest Bronze Age sculptures is dated back to the Mohenjodaro (the Indus Valley Civilization). Ancient Greece was famous for bronze sculptures with high levels of detail. Sadly, the survival rate of these statues is very low.
The Romans did continue the Greek art after taking over the land. They made casts of and full-length bronze statues from Greece. However, the bronze sculpture could barely manage to survive through the Roman period.
The famous Brunswick Lion, nearly a thousand years old, is a hollow-cast bronze sculpture. This was when the bronze sculpture was beginning to see some revival after a further decline during Early Christianity.
It was during 14000-16000 that the bronze sculpture found it was back in Europe. Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise is considered the masterpiece that started the Renaissance movement in sculpture.
The world then saw the Mannerist sculpture in bronze. Benvenuto Cellini’s Perseus with the Head of Medusa is the best example of this.
Then came the Baroque period, where Giambologna mastered a new style in bronze sculpture, showcasing his talent in the best work, The Rape of the Sabine Women.
However, as Baroque was replaced by Rococo, which was then replaced by Neoclassicism, bronze sculptures became limited to smaller and decorative pieces. That said, of heroes and rulers were famous through the 18th and 19th centuries.
It’s fascinating when you look at how bronze sculpture has survived and thrived over the centuries, even when the people thought it would no longer be revived.
The bronze sculpture was, is, and will always be considered as one of the best methods of art. From small figurines to life-size sculptures, the range of bronze sculptures is amazing!
At Statues, we keep the tradition alive by handcrafting custom bronze statues for clients from around the world.