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The concept of the most famous sculpture may differ in different cultures. Therefore, making the top ten truly most famous and significant statues is not an easy task.
Everyone may not agree with the rating, because many other world masterpieces were not included in it - this is the goddess Nike in the Louvre, Manneken Pis in Brussels, the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, the Kafka monument in Prague, the Motherland in Volgograd and the already mentioned Statue of Liberty.
1. Michelangelo's creation "David" is deservedly located in this place. This work symbolizes her only the Renaissance, but also human creative genius in general. In 1501, the ambitious and young Michelangelo was awarded a contract to create a statue of David to adorn the Cathedral of Florence. I must say that the idea to surround the building with twelve large sculptures of the characters of the Old Testament had been in the air for half a century before. However, by 1464, only two sculptures had been completed, one of them by Donitello, and the other by his student Agostino di Duccio. Then the work began on a giant block of marble for the future statue of David. However, Agostino left his job with the death of his teacher, and soon the contract was terminated with the next architect, Antonio Rossellino. By the early 16th century, marble was a miserable sight, but experts decided that the stone was suitable for processing. Michelangelo's work continued for about two years, in his works the sculptor departed from the tradition of depicting David with the head of Goliath in his hands. This statue depicts a young hero who seems to be just preparing for a great battle. Upon completion of work on the statue, it was decided not to place it in the temple, but to decorate the main city square. There, then "David" replaced "Judith and Holofernes" by Donatello, personifying the heroic struggle of the townspeople against tyranny and for freedom. Over time, in 1873, the statue was moved to the Academy of Fine Arts in order to protect the masterpiece from the effects of rain and wind. And on the Piazza Signoria in 1910, a copy of the sculpture was located. It is interesting that it is "David" that is one of the most copied sculptures, there is even a "David" in the Pushkin Museum. Scientists and researchers carefully studied the body of the depicted hero, it was found that David on the sculpture is not circumcised, contrary to Jewish traditions. It also turned out that in order to achieve greater artistic expression, Michelangelo deliberately distorted the proportions of the hero's body, especially in the upper part. Scientists believe that one muscle is also missing between the right shoulder blade and the spine.
2. Another masterpiece of sculpture is Venus de Milo. Its copy adorns the halls of museums, various institutions and private mansions. The work itself has been exhibited at the Louvre since 1821. The author of the popular and perfect sculpture remained unknown, the exact time of its creation is also unclear. It is estimated to have been created between 130 and 100 BC. The sculptors Praxitel or Agesander were considered its authors at various times. The work, more than two meters high, represents the goddess of beauty Aphrodite, made of white marble. Interestingly, works of this type (by Aphrodite of Cnidus) were first created back in 350 BC, the goddess on them shyly covered her fallen clothes with her hand. The sculpture was discovered in 1820 by the peasant Yorgos Kentrotas from the island of Milos, located in the Aegean Sea. The statue was originally found in the ground in its entirety, with hands. However, the subsequent conflict between the French and Turks over the ownership of the sculpture led to its damage. The base with the indication of the author of the work was also lost. It is not known for certain what exactly the goddess's hands were occupied with; there are versions that it was a mirror and a shield, or an apple, presented to Aphrodite by Paris.
3. Rodin's "Thinker" ranks third in our ranking, it is interesting that the most famous work of the sculptor was originally conceived as just a part of the composition dedicated to Dante's "Divine Comedy". The author planned that a group of his sculptures would decorate the gates of the Paris Museum of Decorative Arts. Initially, the work was called "The Poet", Rodin portrayed Dante himself in it, and it was supposed to take center stage above the gate. However, the sculptor realized that the statue has a much broader theme, the person embodied in it is experiencing a deep inner struggle. The work itself was created in the period 1880-1882, its original took place in the Musée Rodin, in Paris, and a bronze copy is on his grave. More than 20 copies of the work are scattered around the world, the most famous of which are at the gates of Columbia University, at the gates of the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia. The model for the sculpture, like for many other works of the master, was the muscular boxer Jean Bo. The height of the statue today is 181 cm.
4. Another famous work of Michelangelo was his drink "Lamentation of Christ", created in 1499. The height of the work is 174 cm, it adorns today the Cathedral of St. Peter in the Vatican. This is the master's first drink and his most famous. In addition, this is the only work by Michelangelo signed by him. The sculpture represents life-size figures of the Virgin Mary and Christ. The customer for the work was Cardinal Jean Bilair, who decided that such a sculpture should decorate his tomb. However, in the 18th century, the statue was moved to one of the basilicas of St. Peter's Basilica. In addition to injuries to the fingers of the Madonna's hand during transportation, in 1972 an attempt was made on the creation of a geologist with a hammer; after restoration, the statue was fenced with bullet-proof glass. The sculpture itself depicts the Virgin Mary holding the body of her son in her arms after his death. The composition is carved from a single piece of marble, Maria is depicted as young and extraterrestrial, in contrast to the then prevailing principles of portraying the Madonna as tired, depressed and heartbroken. Michelangelo created a complex composition, since two large figures converged in one statue. Here they are treated as a single whole, although masculine and feminine, living and dead, nakedness and clothing, vertical and horizontal position of bodies are skillfully opposed. The large folds of Madonna's clothes are a kind of pedestal for the entire composition, personifying the spiritual power of the woman and contrasting with her soft features.
5. Usually, art critics dispute the place in the lists of masterpieces for this image of Octavian Augustus, like his predecessor Julius Caesar, but they are known to everyone from school. Octavian was the first Roman emperor, he is credited with ending civil strife and establishing peace in Rome. As the grand-nephew of Gaius Julius Caesar, the emperor did not possess his genius, but skillfully used the means that he had at his disposal. After the death of Emperor Augustus, his famous marble sculpture covered with sheet bronze was created. The sculpture was found in 1863, in the villa of the emperor's wife. The statue is a copy of a bronze original created in 20 BC, it is believed that it bears a portrait resemblance to Octavian himself. Today, the two-meter statue of "Augustus from Prima Porta" is kept in the Chiaramonti Vatican Museum. The portrait depicts Octavian, addressing his troops, while Cupid at his feet testifies to the origin of the Augustus-Julian clan from Venus.
6. Love has always inspired creators to create masterpieces, Francesca da Rimini and Paulo Malatesta became one of the most famous romantic couples in history. It was they who inspired Dante, who also dedicated his sculpture "Kisses" and Rodin. Initially, the work was supposed to become a part of the composition "Gates of Hell", but the master soon realized that the sculpture did not suit the mood, and singled it out into a separate composition. To create a sense of reality, Rodin skillfully used shadow and light; later, the Impressionists used a similar technique using color. At the time of the creation of the sculpture, the creator was having an affair with the young Camille Claudel, who was twenty-six years younger than him. It is not surprising that the love burning in Rodin's heart prompted him to create a sculpture that reflects not only the classic plot, but also his own feelings. The sculpture is now kept in Paris, in the Musée Rodin.
7. One of the most recognizable statues in the world is undoubtedly "Justice", which depicts the goddess Themis or Themis. The woman is shown with her eyes closed, in one hand is a sword, and in the other is a scale. This image of justice has come down to us from Ancient Greece and Rome. The bandage symbolizes impartiality, the scales symbolize faith and justice, with them the goddess weighed the bad and good deeds of a person, determining his posthumous fate. The sword, on the other hand, personifies retribution, while the weapon is two-edged, thereby symbolizing not only punishment, but also a warning. Today, quite a few such statues have survived, it is difficult to single out one of them, although the image itself is extremely replicated. An image of Themis in this form can be found in any court.
8. The classical period in ancient culture gave civilization the masterpiece "Discobolus" by the ancient Greek master Miron. Not long before that, the great victory of the Greeks over the Persians in the famous marathon battle had taken place, with the advent of peace, optimistic artists and sculptors began to create in a more realistic manner. Original sculpture of the 5th century BC now in Rome, in the National Museum, and it is made of bronze. Miron's contemporaries characterize him as the greatest connoisseur of anatomy, who, nevertheless, did not know how to give feelings to faces. For the most part, Myron portrayed heroes, gods and animals; even one of the craters on Mercury was named after the creator. Interestingly, a copy of the sculpture located in the British Museum has a wrong head position.
9. Only one masterpiece of Praxiteles, an ancient Greek sculptor, has survived to this day. This is "Hermes with the Child Dionysus", created in 330-340 BC. in Olympia, where it is kept to this day. Praxiteles was famous for his ability to portray the features of the head and face, especially his hair. Many researchers tried to discover the sculptor's secret by studying Hermes, but this remained a mystery. The marble work was discovered in 1877 during the excavation of the temple of Hera, its height together with the pedestal was 370 cm, the height of Hermes himself is 212 cm.The right hand of God has not survived, apparently, there was a grape in it, to which the baby was reaching, while the proportions of a child, as was customary in classical art, are adults. Hermes is depicted as stopping on the way, leaning on a tree trunk. Scientists believe that Hermes' hair, drapery, eyes and lips were colored, as this technique was used by Praxiteles. The poses of the heroes of this composition differ from the previously adopted, constrained straightened ones, which made the author famous.
10. The last place in our rating was taken by the relatively recent work "A girl from Savannah feeding birds". Its author was the sculptor Silvio Gow Jadson, and the work itself was created in 1936 to decorate a garden in Massachusetts. The statue had four copies, one of which later ended up in the Savannah, Georgia cemetery. They remembered the statue only in 1994, when its photograph was featured on the cover of the novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Now the image of the girl is kept in the Savannah Museum of Art.