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Iron Sculptures

Artists have sculpted with various metals, including iron, for centuries. The use of iron in sculpture can be traced as far back as the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete (circa 2000-1100 B.C.), which was noted for its sculpture and metalwork.

While earlier civilizations known for their metalwork such as the Minoan and Celtic cultures were limited to using the resources readily available in their region, today's artists can choose from a variety of metals. Iron's unique tone and depth are qualities that many sculptors revere.

Many different processes can be used to create a diverse range of metal sculptures, but the most common process for iron is casting. Casting is a process in which liquid iron is poured into a mold containing a hollow cavity of the sculpture's shape and then allowed to harden. This method is often used for complex shapes.

Quick Facts

  • The oldest surviving casting is a copper Mesopotamian frog from 3200 B.C.
  • The use of iron has a rich history, and it is often referred to as the plastic of the Victorian age
  • Pablo Picasso's famed "Tête" sold at Sotheby's London in February 2015 for $13,351,490

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