The close association between sculpture and humanity can be seen from ancient Greece and Rome.
Sculptures were often made to honor various gods or to show the greatness of kings. They can also be seen in classical myths, such as the stories of Deucalion and Pyrrha of Pygmalion.
Today Kuadros wants to honor that relationship between sculpture and man, choosing what in our opinion are the ten most beautiful sculptures in history.
No. 1 Venus of Willendorf - 28,000–25,000 BC
Venus of Willendorf, also called Woman of Willendorf, or Naked Woman, is a female statuette from the Upper Paleolithic period found in 1908 in Willendorf, Austria. The statuette, made of limestone stained with red ocher pigment, dates to around 28,000–25,000 years after Christ. It is tiny, as it is only 11.1 cm high.
Some scientists suggest that it may have been a self-portrait drawn by a woman. It is the most famous of many objects dating from the Stone Age.
No. 2 Bust of Nefertiti - 1345 BC
Nefertiti (meaning "the beautiful one has come forth") was the great royal wife of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten during the 14th century BC.
This bust has been a symbol of feminine beauty since it was first discovered in 1912 within the ruins of Amarna, the capital city built by the pharaoh. The bust bears no inscription, but can certainly be identified as Nefertiti by the distinctive crown she wears, worn by the queen in other depictions.
The Egyptian government's countless requests to the Neues Museum in Berlin to obtain the official return of the bust have been a source of high tension between the two nations ever since. The Egyptian government began to challenge Germany's possession of antiquities by imposing sanctions.
No. 3 The Terracotta Army - 210-209 BC
The Terracotta Army is possibly one of the most striking finds in archaeology. It is a huge cache of clay statues buried in three massive tombs near the tomb of Shi Huang, the young emperor obsessed with immortality.
The army of figures was created with the aim of protecting the emperor in the afterlife. It had more than 8,000 soldiers, who were equipped with royal weapons, along with 670 horses and approximately 130 carriages. Each was drawn life-size, although actual height varies by military rank.
The first emperor envisioned a subterranean domain that would parallel his mundane existence after bodily death.
No. 4 The Great Sphinx of Giza 7,000 BC
The Great Sphinx is one of the most famous monuments in the world, a giant limestone statue. The figure is a mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head of a human.
The Great Sphinx is among the largest sculptures in the world, measuring approximately 73 meters long and 20 meters high. The statue was carved from a single piece of limestone. According to the pigment found, it suggests that the entire surface was originally painted. Archaeologists believe it would have taken about three years to build using stone hammers and copper chisels.
According to recent studies, the Sphinx was built around 7,000 BC, which implies that it was the work of an advanced civilization that preceded the ancient Egyptians.
No. 5 Venus de Milo 130-100 BC.
This beautiful woman, a goddess, has intrigued and fascinated art lovers since her discovery on the island of Melos in 1820. She probably represents the goddess Aphrodite.
The Marquis de Rivière presented it to King Louis XVIII, who donated it to the Louvre the following year. The statue gained instant fame.
The goddess is wrapped in a layer of mystery, with an enigmatic attitude. The missing pieces of marble and the absence of attributes make its restoration and identification difficult.
Master Alexandros is believed to have carved this masterpiece between 130 and 100 BC. The inscription on the plinth that identified him as the creator of Venus de Milo was lost nearly 200 years ago.
Today it is admired for its imperfection, inexplicably it is the absence of the arms that gives a special beauty to this piece.
No. 6 The Pietà 1499 AD
The Pietà was commissioned by a French cardinal for his funeral. He hired the famous artist to make a monument to his grave showing a popular scene in European art at the time: the tragic moment of the Virgin lowering her son Jesus from the cross.
Michelangelo claimed that the block of marble he worked on was the most "perfect" block he had ever used, and that it was the most refined work he had ever done.
The Pietà is considered by many to be Michelangelo's greatest work, surpassing even David and the Sistine Chapel ceiling.
During its restoration, they discovered a secret signature hidden in the virgin's left hand. There was a subtle "M" there which is believed to represent Michelangelo.
The statue is currently located inside the Basilica of San Pedro. It was moved there in the middle of the 18th century.
No. 7 The Laocoön and his sons, 2nd century BC
Perhaps the Lacoon and his sons being attacked by serpents is the most famous sculpture of ancient Rome.
About the Greek myth on which the sculpture is based, there are many versions, it is not really known who was the author of the attack because it is attributed to three authors, Athena, Poseidon and Apollo.
Laocoön tried to warn the Trojan leaders not to bring the wooden horse that they had abandoned on the beach to the city, because he sensed a trap. The punishment given to Laocoön for his interference was that one of the gods sent the giant sea serpents Porces and Chariboea to attack him along with his two sons.
Today this beautiful sculpture rests on display in the Vatican.
No. 8 Michelangelo's David - 1501-1504 AD
The statue of David is one of the most recognized works of the artist Michelangelo, and has become one of the most famous pieces in the art world.
The biblical hero is depicted naked, patiently awaiting battle, with a slingshot in one hand and a stone in the other. His hands and head appear to be disproportionate to the size of his body, possibly intended for visual effect for onlookers who would see the statue atop the cathedral.
The story of the battle between David and Goliath tells us that the teenager had to face the giant Goliath, the Philistine who could not be defeated by force. David needed cunning and skill to defeat someone bigger than him, and he did it with the famous slingshot by throwing an accurate stone at his head.
The statue was originally to have been placed in the dome of Florence Cathedral. But as soon as the David finished it, everyone knew that it couldn't go up to that point because it had already become a masterpiece to be enjoyed. Finally it was decided that it be placed openly in the Piazza della Signoria.
It is currently on display at the Gallery of the Academy in Florence.
No. 9 Perseus with the Head of Medusa, Antonio Canova - 1804-6 AD
Antonio Canova built this statue twice. The first version is displayed in the Vatican Museum and is known as Perseus Triumphant. A replica is currently located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In the statue, Perseus is almost naked. A triumphant figure is shown, with the serpent head of Medusa raised in his left hand. In this sculpture, Perseus' outstretched arm and Medusa's head slightly shift the center of gravity.
In Greek mythology, Perseus was the son of Jupiter or Zeus in Greek. Polydectes, the King of Seriphos, ordered Perseus to give him Medusa's head as a wedding present. Perseus used a glowing shield he received from Athena to avoid looking Medusa directly in the eye. After a long battle the hero managed to cut off his head.
When Perseus returned to King Polydectes, he showed him the head of Medusa, who turned Polydectes to stone. This was Perseus' revenge when he discovered that Polydectes had abused his mother.
No.10 Ecstasy of Saint Teresa 1647–52 AD
The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa is considered by many to be Bernini's heyday.
Canonized largely for the spiritual visions she experienced, Saint Teresa of Ávila was a nun living in 16th-century Spain at the height of the Reformation.
The sensuality of the piece is linked to the writings of Saint Teresa, in which she describes her mystical experiences in almost erotic terms: "...At my side, in my left hand, an angel appeared in bodily form... It was not tall, but short, and very beautiful;and his face was so inflamed that he seemed to be one of the tallest angels, which seem to be on fire...In his hands I saw a great golden spear, and at the iron point there seemed to be a point of fire. This sank into my heart several times... and left me completely consumed by the great love of God. The pain was so severe that it caused me to utter several moans. The sweetness caused by this intense pain is so extreme that one cannot wish it to cease, nor is the soul content with anything but God. This is not physical, but spiritual pain, although the body has something to share, even a considerable part...".
Kuadros, a famous painting on his wall.