Sculptures also identified as plastic arts, is a division of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. Initially their processing included carving and modelling, in stone, metal, ceramics, wood and other materials but, now there has been an almost complete freedom, one can use any material or process.
Sculptures carved on rocks are some arty evidences from the past. In fact, sculpture is the earliest form of fine art known to man which has played a major role in the evolution of Western culture.
They are serving different purpose to different people from the prehistoric times. It is believed that the oldest surviving wooden sculpture, for instance ‘Aripe’- one –legged male figure from New Guinea, played a vivacious role in hunting magic. This sculpture serve as a medium by which, the Ewa man could maintain a contact with his helping spirit to bring him success in hunting. After the dawn of civilization, statues were built to represent things having some religious significance or deities which are revered by people. Even Catholics, who do not worship idols, display statues of demons and devils in their Churches. The thought behind the display of these sculptures is to visually portray the stories in bible for churchgoers who cannot read and write. Portrait sculptures were also desired by ancient kings, possibly in the hope of making themselves immortal. These portrait sculptures depict perfectly formed figures of men and women.
From its beginnings until the present, sculpture has been largely colossal. Renaissance Sculptures belonging to the 15th century mainly depict biblical heroes of that era. While, sculptors of the 20th century reworked on the concept of sculptures and created great fountains with a work of art in the center which were displayed in public places beside modern skyscrapers as they were in the courts of old palaces. Sculptures are also used to honor great soldiers and their victories.
Though Sculptures represent beauty of pure form and space, but in comparison with paintings, sculptures are often overlooked. Let’s find a way to understand and value the sculptures.
Sculptures are 3-D objects that can be measured by their width, height and depth. There are countless types of sculptures, among them the free-standing sculptures are probably more valuable as they are thought provoking because of their extraordinary visual appearance. According to many eminent art critics, to understand any sculpture it is important to get familiar with historical development of artistic medium as this form went through various noticeable transformations. Initially, the subject matter was emphasized but now artist focus more on the object itself. Worth of a sculpture depends on the dimensions and cultural background in which not only the beautiful sculpture is created, but it is exhibited and finally the materials that are used for creating the sculpture. But if you are baffled by all the weird concepts about the elements and principles of sculptural design theory then visit to art galleries and exhibitions, they are the only places that can help you to understand a sculpture. Take a look of the sculpture as many times as you can.