Art: Sculpture


Figure 1.--.

Man has used sculpture as a form of expression since pre-historic times. Some of the earliest sculpture finds are not realistic expressions. This of course is important for HBC as our interest is in realism because we are looking for detailed depictions of fashion. With the rise of civilization, more realistic sculptures appeared, in part because of developing technology and refinement of skill. The Greeks developed sculpture to a new level, moving away from the rigidity of archaic forms. Greek scuplture during the the classical and Hellenistic eras focused on the idealization of its primary subject--the human form. This tells us little about fashion, but of course a great deal about intelectual development. Sculpture as an art form declibed after the Hellenistic era until the European Renaisance. Modern scuplture has moved away from realism as has art in general, presumably reflecting the impact of photography. We have in our art section focused on painting. This is because painters over time have left us a marvelous historical record of clothing, depicting in great detail fashion styles, colors, and materials. The same is not true of sculpture. Not only are there fewer sculptures, but there is much less detail about the clothing. Of course color in modern scupltures does not exist. And often sculptors did nude forms. Some of the most famous boy sculptures, from the Kouros boy at the dawn of Greek sculpture to Michaelanglo's "David" at the height of the Renaissance, are nude works. This means of course that fashion was largely absent, except hair styles. Thus we have given little attention to sculpture. We do hope to eventually address scupture and will gradually work on this section as well. We will, however, load any scuturers that have left us useful images.

Definition

Sculpture is defined as the art of making three-dimensional representative or abstract forms, especially by carving stone or wood or by casting metal or plaster. We had thought when we began HBC primarily of Egyotian and Greek sculpture and the Renaissance masters, but indeed this medium is much broader. It includes figurines, often quite small. Because little painiting has come down to us from the ancient world, either because it was not important or to fragile to survive, sculpture is one of the primary pictorial depictions of ancient times that come down to us.

Forms

There is of course the famous monumental sculpture, but also overlooked is the huge numbers of clay figureines and statuettes that have survived as well as related pottery which in some cases as pictorial depictions. . These tiny figurines may seem unimportant, but they are some of the few images we have of entire civilizations. And even the only respresentations of great leaders. And unlike monumental scupture depicting rulers, with figurunes we sometimes see more humble individuals and families. There are wonderful Egyptian examples depicting families. And even in modern times they were important, especially before the invention of photography. And we begin to see some beautifuk refinements such as porseline. There are several notable forms. An Italian reader tells us about creche nativity scenes which reached a peak in the 18th century and suprisingly provide depictions of how common people dressed at the time.

Historical Eras

Man has used sculpture as a form of expression since pre-historic times. Some of the earliest sculpture finds are not realistic expressions. This of course is important for HBC as our interest is in realism because we are looking for detailed depictions of fashion. With the rise of civilization, more realistic sculptures appeared, in part because of developing technology and refinement of skill. The Greeks developed sculpture to a new level, moving away from the rigidity of archaic forms. Greek scuplture during the the classical and Hellenistic eras focused on the idealization of its primary subject--the human form. This tells us little about fashion, but of course a great deal about intelectual development. Sculpture as an art form declibed after the Hellenistic era until the European Renaisance. Modern scuplture has moved away from realism as has art in general, presumably reflecting the impact of photography.

HBC Sculpture Assessment

We have in our art section focused on painting. This is because painters over time have left us a marvelous historical record of clothing, depicting in great detail fashion styles, colors, and materials. The same is not true of sculpture. Not only are there fewer sculptures, but there is much less detail about the clothing. Of course color in modern scupltures does not exist. And often sculptors did nude forms. Some of the most famous boy sculptures, from the Kouros boy at the dawn of Greek sculpture to Michaelanglo's "David" at the height of the Renaissance, are nude works. This means of course that fashion was largely absent, except hair styles. Thus we have given little attention to sculpture. We do hope to eventually address scupture and will gradually work on this section as well. We will, however, load any scuturers that have left us useful images.

Country Trends

There are a number of sculptures from various countries archived on HBC. A HBC reader has provided us a sculpture he noticed in Serbia. It is a sculture he notice in Belgrade of a classical Greek-styled man and boy. We norice a patriotic bas-relief sculpture in Turkey. We also notice a sculpture of children, including Young POioneers, in Stalingrad. We do not know who the sculpturer was.

Individual Sculptors

We do not have much information about sculpturers, but have begun to archive details on some sculturers who have created important works depicting boys. François Rude was a French Romantic sculptor. Here we have a close-up image showing the "Little Neapolitan Fisherboy", one of his most famous sculptures. It is now in the Louvre Museum. We note a work by Robert Jackson (1840-78) who did a marble sculpture of a kilt-clad Scotish boy. The famed American sculturer Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907) did the Shaw memorial depicting black soldiers in the American Civil War, including drummer boys. Do let HBC know if you know of any other interesting sculptures.







HBC





Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Return to the Main art page]
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Countries] [Topics]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]




Created: 2:58 PM 1/19/2007
Last updated: 12:44 AM 1/23/2007