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Figural Sculptures

Because of the durable materials used, sculpture is a medium that survives better than most other forms of art. It is this durability that has allowed sculpture to maintain such a strong influence on various cultures through many eras. Figural sculpture, featuring representational figures, has upheld a particularly strong influence because it has been prevalent for so long.

The popularity of figural sculpture can be traced back to Greek antiquity, which revered sculptures that were not naturalistic but instead idealized and geometric. Around 480 B.C., classical sculpture emphasized realism and encouraged the artist's reliance on observation. It was this Greco-Roman style of sculpture that capitalized on the potential that realism had in figural art.

Realism in figural sculpture remained popular for centuries until the latter part of the 1800s ,when Auguste Rodin's rough, unfinished forms gave way to modern sculpture that no longer upheld realism. Today, figural sculptures can still be seen frequently, especially in the form of large monuments and public artwork.


Quick Facts

  • Many of Rodin's most notable sculptures were criticized for clashing with the principal tradition of figure sculpture in which works were highly decorative, formulaic, or thematic
  • Three types of figures were most common during the development of Greek sculpture: the standing draped girl, the standing nude, and the seated woman
  • As Rome grew more confident during the reign of Augustus (31 B.C.-14 A.D.), sculptures of its leaders appeared in more high-minded poses, but never leaving behind the Roman sense of gravitas

Recommended Items at Auction

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Phoenician marble sculpture of BA'AL HAMMON & TANIT
Dec 04, 11:00 AM EST
Phoenician marble sculpture of BA'AL HAMMON & TANIT
by Eternity Gallery
Est: $15,000- $30,000
$2,10020 Bids
Magnificent Oriental Carved and Decorated Sumo Wrestler Figure
Dec 04, 10:00 AM CST
Magnificent Oriental Carved and Decorated Sumo Wrestler Figure
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Est: $10- $1,000
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C.A. PARDELL LEGENDS "UNBRIDLED" LIMITED EDITION BRONZE SCULPTURE
Dec 04, 9:00 AM MST
C.A. PARDELL LEGENDS "UNBRIDLED" LIMITED EDITION BRONZE SCULPTURE
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$20012 Bids
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METZLER, KURT LAURENZ
Dec 16, 9:00 AM CET
METZLER, KURT LAURENZ
by Schuler Auktionen
Est: CHF2,800- CHF4,500
CHF5,50010 Bids
Rolls-Royce Spirit of Ecstasy Bronze Show Room Sculpture by Sykes
Dec 08, 10:00 AM CST
Rolls-Royce Spirit of Ecstasy Bronze Show Room Sculpture by Sykes
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Est: $0- $0
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Carved Ivory Figures
Dec 11, 11:00 AM EST
Carved Ivory Figures
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FREDERIC REMINGTON (AFTER) - THE BRONCO BUSTER
Dec 08, 11:00 AM EST
FREDERIC REMINGTON (AFTER) - THE BRONCO BUSTER
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ART DECO BRONZE FIGURAL DOOR STOP
Dec 08, 11:00 AM EST
ART DECO BRONZE FIGURAL DOOR STOP
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After Fernando Botero Angulo (Colombian, born 1932) Bronze, Mother & Child, , 41cm including base
Dec 04, 10:00 AM SAST
After Fernando Botero Angulo (Colombian, born 1932) Bronze, Mother & Child, , 41cm including base
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Est: R4,000- R6,000
R4,4006 Bids
Ancient Rome Style Fiberglass Sculpture Wall Decor
Dec 04, 10:00 AM MST
Ancient Rome Style Fiberglass Sculpture Wall Decor
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Est: $0- $0
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Réduction d’une métope du Parthénon de Phidias Plâtre
Dec 06, 2:00 PM CET
Réduction d’une métope du Parthénon de Phidias Plâtre
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Est: €150- €250
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Jack Shahine, (Australia, XX/XXI), "Woman", Sculpture - Oil on female form, 96 cm. (37.80 in.)
Dec 05, 7:00 PM AEDT
Jack Shahine, (Australia, XX/XXI), "Woman", Sculpture - Oil on female form, 96 cm. (37.80 in.)
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Est: AUD0- AUD0
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Signed Bessie Potter Vonnoh "The Scarf" Sculpture
Dec 04, 10:00 AM MST
Signed Bessie Potter Vonnoh "The Scarf" Sculpture
by Monarch Auction and Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$1405 Bids
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Wilhelm Schweizer Pewter Flat Figurine, Christmas Tree
Dec 08, 10:00 AM EST
Wilhelm Schweizer Pewter Flat Figurine, Christmas Tree
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
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PAIR OF 19THC. BLACKAMOOR FIGURES ON PEDESTALS 64 1/2" TALL
Dec 04, 10:30 AM EST
PAIR OF 19THC. BLACKAMOOR FIGURES ON PEDESTALS 64 1/2" TALL
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(2Pc) Greco-Roman Figural Bronze Sculptures
Dec 06, 12:00 PM EST
(2Pc) Greco-Roman Figural Bronze Sculptures
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Est: $50- $500
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After "Dying Galatian" Sculpture On Rouge Marble Base
Dec 06, 12:00 PM EST
After "Dying Galatian" Sculpture On Rouge Marble Base
by Akiba Antiques
Est: $100- $1,000
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Giuseppe Armani Figurine, Girl with Wheelbarrow of Flowers
Dec 04, 9:00 AM EST
Giuseppe Armani Figurine, Girl with Wheelbarrow of Flowers
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
$504 Bids
Bernd ALTENSTEIN (*1943), Bronzefigur ¨Mann am Schreibtisch¨
Dec 04, 10:00 AM CET
Bernd ALTENSTEIN (*1943), Bronzefigur ¨Mann am Schreibtisch¨
by Auktionshaus Rotherbaum OHG
Est: €0- €0
€4503 Bids
BRUNO BRUNI NEL NIDO - IM NEST (2004)
Dec 09, 10:00 AM CET
BRUNO BRUNI NEL NIDO - IM NEST (2004)
by Hargesheimer Kunstauktionen Düsseldorf
Est: €300- €600
€3003 Bids
FREDERIC REMINGTON "RATTLESNAKE" BRONZE.
Dec 13, 9:00 AM EST
FREDERIC REMINGTON "RATTLESNAKE" BRONZE.
by Morphy Auctions
Est: $600- $800
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Sellers Who Sell Figural Sculptures


Weatherham Estate Treasures

Weatherham Estate Treasures

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Dannenberg

Dannenberg

Crait-Muller

Crait-Muller