Milestones of sculpture

Milestones of sculpture

The animation shows five outstanding works in the history of sculpture.

Visual Arts


Discobolus, Venus, David, The Thinker, Myron, Alexandros, Aphrodite, Michelangelo, Rodin, Boccioni, statue, sculpture, visual arts, history of art, Greek, Louvre, British Museum, Florence, New York, Futurism, impresszionizmus, Hellenistic period, marble, bronze, art, artistic work, world famous, history, work of art

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Discobolus (Discus-thrower)

Discobolus (Discus-thrower)

Title: Discobolus
Sculptor: Myron (Myron of Eleutherae)
Date of creation: 5th century BC
Material: bronze
Location: the original has been lost

The most famous work of the ancient Greek sculptor, dating back to the Severe Period of Greek sculpture portrays a young athlete caught in the culminating act of throwing the disc.
In keeping with the custom of the age, the athlete is completely nude.
The human body is well proportioned and its details are anatomically accurate. Despite its motionlessness, the sculpture is outstandingly dynamic.
The original sculpture has been lost, as have all other works of Myron. Today, one can only find later marble copies of the original, e.g. at the British Museum or at the Museo Nazionale Romano.

Venus de Milo

Venus de Milo

Title: Venus de Milo
Sculptor: Alexandros of Antioch (?)
Date of creation: 2nd century BC
Material: marble
Location: Louvre Museum, Paris, France

It is one of the most famous statues of Antiquity, depicting the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite. Venus was the Roman name for the same goddess. The name 'Venus de Milo' testifies to the statue´s place of discovery.
More than two metres high, the statue was sculpted in the late Hellenistic Period. The upper body of the goddess is nude while her lower body is draped in a cloak. Her arms are missing. Originally, she was probably holding a golden apple presented to her by Paris, the Prince of Troy.
The great fame of the Parian marble statue was not simply the result of its admired beauty, but it also owed much to the French propaganda in the 19th century. Today it is still one of the most famous statues of Venus.

David (Michelangelo)

Michelangelo's David

Title: David
Sculptor: Michelangelo Buonarroti
Date of creation: 1503
Material: marble
Location: Galleria dell’Accademia, Florence, Italy

The sculpture was carved from huge Carrara marble blocks stored at the construction site of the Cathedral of Florence. In 1463, the committee overseeing the construction of the cathedral contracted the sculptor Agostino di Duccio to create a statue of David, the Biblical figure. However, he only managed to begin the shaping of the statue. It was Michelangelo who completed the work later, in the 16th century.
More than five metres high, the statue is one of the most famous representations of David suggesting strength and determination. David´s weight is on his right leg, which is straight, while his left leg is in a peculiar oblique position. The boy is holding a slingshot in his left, oversized hand. Anatomically correct, the figure is dominated by the head turned to the left with a stern look in the eyes.

The Thinker

The Thinker

Title: The Thinker (Le Penseur)
Sculptor: François-Auguste-René Rodin
Date of creation: 1880
Material: bronze
Location: Musée Rodin, Paris,

Rodin is widely considered the father of modern sculpture. His works exhibit traces of both impressionism and symbolism.
One of Rodin’s most famous works is 'The Thinker'. Inspired by Dante's Divine Comedy, the French artist conceived the statue as one of the figures of the Gates of Hell.
Although Rodin used forms of expression of classical art, his work goes far beyond that. He tried to express an intense mental effort. The dramatic posture and every muscle of the male figure are telltale signs of hard concentration. The mental effort is almost palpable.

Unique Forms of Continuity in Space

Unique Forms of Continuity in Space

Title: Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (Forme uniche della continuità nello spazio)
Sculptor: Umberto Boccioni
Date of creation: 1913
Material: bronze
Location: Museum of Modern Art (New York, USA)

The Italian artist was a leading exponent of Futurism. His works reflect the exploration of movement that characterised the trend: simultaneity, dynamism, lines of force and physical movement. In his opinion, every object aspires in all directions towards infinity. Instead of creating static and well balanced figures, Boccioni aimed at conveying speed and lack of harmony.
The insatiable sense of movement appears not only in his paintings but also in his sculptures. 'Unique Forms of Continuity in Space' is also a bold and outstanding attempt to reproduce spatial movement in a realistic manner through the representation of striding by using the dynamism of muscles.



In every period of history, art has reflected the way of thinking, desires and emotions of artists. Certainly, all individual forms of expression share some common, universal content.

Discobolus, or the Discus-thrower is a statue created in the 5th century BC, during the Severe Period of Greek sculpture. The original bronze statue is one of Myron´s most famous works. The sculpture portrays a young athlete caught in the culminating act of throwing the discus. The details of the human body are anatomically correct.
Unfortunately, the original sculpture is lost. Today, one can only find later marble copies of the original, for example at the British Museum and at the Museo Nazionale Romano.

Created in the 2nd century BC, the Venus de Milo is one of the most prominent sculptures of the Hellenistic Period. The second part of its name refers to its place of discovery, a small Greek island. The sculpture is considered one of the world´s most famous statues of Venus. This marble statue is unique for its missing arms.
Initially, she was probably holding a golden apple in one of her hands, presented to her by the Prince of Troy, Paris.

Similarly to the goddess of love, the figure of David has always been popular among sculptors. One of the most famous representations of David is that of Michelangelo, the Renaissance master. The colossal statue was carved in Carrara marble in the early 16th century. The artist´s work displays great anatomical accuracy.

One of the works of the French sculptor Rodin, the Thinker, was sculpted in the second half of the 19th century. The figure representing Adam exhibits traces of both impressionism and symbolism, styles which influenced the artist. The figure was originally part of a bigger commission, the creation of the gates of hell. The impressive bronze statue renders the effort of thinking into a palpable form.

The bronze sculpture of Umberto Boccioni, a futurist artist, is a perfect example of the exploration of movement that characterised the trend. Unique Forms of Continuity in Space is a successful attempt by the artist to convey the dynamics of movement. Created on the eve of World War I, the sculpture portrays a striding figure. Instead of creating a static and well balanced form, Boccioni opted for a display of speed and lack of harmony.

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