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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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Pair Of Bronze Warrior Figurines
Mar 09, 11:00 AM EST
Pair Of Bronze Warrior Figurines
by Gulfcoast Coin and Jewelry
Est: $400- $500
$10113 Bids
Mickey Mantle Bronze Statue - 15 x 12 x 6 - 8 Pounds
Mar 10, 7:00 PM EST
Mickey Mantle Bronze Statue - 15 x 12 x 6 - 8 Pounds
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $150- $500
$2612 Bids
Achille Collas (French, 1795-1859) Semi Nude Female Bronze
Mar 09, 10:00 AM EST
Achille Collas (French, 1795-1859) Semi Nude Female Bronze
by Premier Auction Galleries
Est: $800- $1,200
$57511 Bids
An Art Deco style bronze figure of a female nude, on marble base.
Mar 03, 7:00 PM AEDT
An Art Deco style bronze figure of a female nude, on marble base.
by Bargain Hunt Auctions
Est: AUD0- AUD0
AUD11011 Bids
Bronze Krishna Atop A Lotus Base Hindu Sculpture
Mar 02, 10:00 AM MST
Bronze Krishna Atop A Lotus Base Hindu Sculpture
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$22511 Bids
Ott Jones Montana Desperate Decent Bronze
Mar 02, 9:00 AM MST
Ott Jones Montana Desperate Decent Bronze
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $4,000- $6,000
$1,60010 Bids
Vasily Grachev, Russian (1780-1850) Bronze
Mar 10, 10:00 AM EST
Vasily Grachev, Russian (1780-1850) Bronze
by World Auction Gallery
Est: $300- $400
$4509 Bids
Erte "Peace" Patinated Bronze Sculpture, 1984
Mar 03, 12:00 PM EST
Erte "Peace" Patinated Bronze Sculpture, 1984
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $1,500- $2,500
$1,4009 Bids
PUBLISHED TAINO ANTHROPIC COHOBA STAND ARTIFACT
Mar 15, 9:00 AM EDT
PUBLISHED TAINO ANTHROPIC COHOBA STAND ARTIFACT
by Affiliated Auctions & Realty LLC
Est: $2,000- $4,000
$9009 Bids
Frederic Remington The Outlaw Bronze
Mar 02, 9:00 AM MST
Frederic Remington The Outlaw Bronze
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $800- $1,200
$1807 Bids
BRONZE WOMAN FIGURE SCULPTURE BY A. ARCHIPENKO 1914
Mar 02, 10:00 AM EST
BRONZE WOMAN FIGURE SCULPTURE BY A. ARCHIPENKO 1914
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$2257 Bids
Northwest Coast Haida Gwaii Indian Masset Canoe
Mar 02, 9:00 AM MST
Northwest Coast Haida Gwaii Indian Masset Canoe
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $6,000- $8,000
$5507 Bids
19C FRENCH BRONZE STATUE BY HENRI LOUIS LEVASSEUR
Mar 02, 10:00 AM EST
19C FRENCH BRONZE STATUE BY HENRI LOUIS LEVASSEUR
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$1507 Bids
Life Size Dorothy Fowler Ballerina Bronze
Mar 02, 9:00 AM MST
Life Size Dorothy Fowler Ballerina Bronze
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $6,000- $8,000
$2207 Bids
Kinart Odile - Saturday night (ca. 2000)
Mar 02, 1:00 PM CET
Kinart Odile - Saturday night (ca. 2000)
by De Vuyst
Est: €4,000- €6,000
€4,8006 Bids
FRENCH WOMAN BRONZE SCULPTURE BY ERNEST RANCOULET
Mar 02, 10:00 AM EST
FRENCH WOMAN BRONZE SCULPTURE BY ERNEST RANCOULET
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$1756 Bids
PAIR ANTIQUE CARVED PINE CRUSADE FIGURES
Mar 12, 11:15 AM EDT
PAIR ANTIQUE CARVED PINE CRUSADE FIGURES
by Ashcroft and Moore
Est: $1,000- $10,000
$2306 Bids
Allan Houser (Apache 1914-1994) Bronze Woman
Mar 03, 10:00 AM PST
Allan Houser (Apache 1914-1994) Bronze Woman
by California Auctioneers
Est: $6,000- $12,000
$6,0006 Bids
Anatole J. Guillot (1865-1911) Selene Gold over Bronze Figural Sculpture with Foundry Mark
Mar 02, 12:00 PM EST
Anatole J. Guillot (1865-1911) Selene Gold over Bronze Figural Sculpture with Foundry Mark
by Hess Fine Art
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$2506 Bids
Stone human effigy figure stone lizard effigy,
Mar 16, 10:00 AM EDT
Stone human effigy figure stone lizard effigy,
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$805 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Figural Sculptures


Weatherham Estate Treasures

Weatherham Estate Treasures

Stanley's auction

Stanley's auction

Hargesheimer Kunstauktionen Düsseldorf

Hargesheimer Kunstauktionen Düsseldorf

Setdart Auction House

Setdart Auction House