20 different types of sculptures in the world (names and pictures)

20 different types of sculptures in the world (names and pictures)

20 different types of sculptures in the world (names and pictures)


“In every stone there is a statue, and the sculptor’s job is to discover it”
– Michelangelo

Sculpture is an art form that brings life to even the most trivial materials. It can treat our visual senses as a three-dimensional art form while helping us see the world from different perspectives. There are many purposes behind the creation of sculptures, from idols used in sacrifices to carving humans to immortalize themselves. Before we see a list of the most famous sculptures in the world, let’s take a look at its background.

The history of carving objects in stone, metal, wood, and other materials dates back to prehistoric times, when our early ancestors paved the way for this art form by scratching on cave walls. Later, many civilizations such as Greece, Rome, Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, China, etc. developed their own sculptural forms to express their thoughts and beliefs. These range from simple nature-inspired patterns, abstract forms to even surreal statues. Most of them can be found in temples and other important shrines.

Today, sculpture is no longer limited to rocks! New-age sculptors believed that no material was substandard for creating beautiful figurines. Everyday objects such as soap, glass, pencils, cereals and even trash can be transformed into highly complex works of art. This article is an ode to some of the finest sculptures in the world, masterpieces in their own form.

20 Creative Ancient and Modern Sculptures in the World:

Here is a beautiful collection of creative sculptures made in different mediums and materials in India and around the world:

1. The oldest Nataraja sculpture in India:

Nataraja is the dance form of Lord Shiva and symbolizes the divine union of nature and the divine. This bronze statue of Shiva Natalaj belongs to the Chora period of the 11th century. It has a halo of fire in which the Lord takes his dance pose. The upper two hands hold Damru and Agni, while the lower hand shows Abhayamudra. He trampled on Apasmara Purusha, a symbol of human hallucinations. Even after all these years, it’s still amazing to see how the sculpture has stood the test of time.

  • Artist name: Unknown artist of the Zhura Dynasty
  • Where: Florence and Herbert Irving Gallery of South and Southeast Asian Art, USA
  • Material: Bronze
  • Date: about 11th century

2. Gajendra Peeth – Akshardham Temple:

Gajendra Peeth, the lower platform of the main shrine of the Akshardham Temple in New Delhi. It is designed to show the entire mandir standing on the shoulders of these mighty elephants. Featuring around 148 elephants, weighing around 3,000 tons, carved in different sizes and forms, this awe-inspiring stone structure is one of the most famous elephant sculptures in India.

  • Artist Name: Various Craftsmen
  • Location: Akshardam Temple, New Delhi, India
  • Material: Rock
  • Date: November 6, 2005

3. The mighty horse of the Konark Chariot:

One of the most iconic structures in the world, the Konark Chariot is depicted with seven horses pulling it. These horses have different symbolic meanings. While some of them think they represent the 7 days of the week, others think they are the seven colors of the rainbow. This horse sculpture is also one of the oldest in India and was destroyed due to the invasion.

  • Builder: Raja Narsingha Deva – I of Ganges
  • Location: Konark Temple, Orissa
  • Material: Rock
  • Date: mid 13th century

4. Ashoka’s Pillar – Luye Garden:

Ashoka Pillar, commonly known as the lion capital of Ashoka sculpture, is located in Luye Garden, India. It was built by Ashoka, the emperor of the Peacock Kingdom. The structure features four lions sitting on a tall column with their hind legs facing in different directions. Each of these Asian lions symbolizes strength, courage, confidence and truth. This later became the national emblem of India.

  • Builder: Ashoka
  • Location: Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh
  • Material: Stone
  • Date: 3rd century

5. Apsara – Goddess:

If beauty has a visual form, it’s probably this sandstone flying statue! According to Hindu mythology, Feitian are very beautiful celestial or supernatural beings. They are divine dancers with graceful, slender bodies. One of the world’s most famous female rock sculptures, this 12th-century statue depicts a high level of detail. With sensual body parts, razor-sharp features and fine jewelry, no one is as stunning as this lady!

  • Builder: unknown
  • Location: American Museum
  • Material: Stone
  • Date: 12th century

6. Jatayu – the largest bird sculpture in the world:

In the Kollam district of Kerala, stands a magnificent statue of Jatayu, the mythical bird from the Ramayana, the largest bird sculpture in the world. It is 200 feet long, 150 meters wide and 70 meters high. The statue is placed at an altitude of 1,200 feet above sea level to symbolize the protection of women. Also known as Jatayu Earth Center or Jatayu Rock, this place is a park, nature center and museum area.

  • Artist: Rajiv Anchar
  • Location: Chadayamangalam, Kollam District, Kerala
  • Material: Cement and Stone
  • Date: December 5, 2017

See More: Best Tourist Attractions in India

7. The Bean – Chicago, USA:

Cloud Gate, commonly known as “The Bean”, is considered one of the greatest public sculptures in the world. It was designed and developed by renowned British-born Indian artist Sir Anish Kapoor. The entire structure is made of 168 pieces of stainless steel that are seamlessly welded together to reflect the city’s skyline. It’s now a Chicago icon, where thousands of visitors gather every day to click pictures on the statue’s unique reflective surface.

  • Artist: Anish Kapoor
  • Location: Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Date: May 15, 2006

8. Michelangelo’s David:

The Renaissance sculpture David by Italian artist Michelangelo is one of the world’s masterpieces. The statue depicts a biblical hero named David, who is about 14 feet tall, and is sculpted naked in white marble. With the nervous look on his face, David quickly became a “symbol of liberty and liberty” for Republicans. To protect it from weather and exposure damage, the original was moved to the Galleria dell’Accademia in 1873 and replaced by a replica.

  • Artist: Michelangelo
  • Location: Gallery of the Academy of Florence, Italy
  • Material: Marble
  • Period: 1501-1504

9. Michelangelo’s Pieta:

The Pieta is considered Michelangelo’s iconic sculpture, as it is the only structure he bears his signature. Pieta means “mercy,” and it uses the motif of Mary placing Jesus’ crucified body on her lap. The amount of detail in the statue’s drape, expressions, and the physics of the characters is incredible. It is carved from fine marble and measures approximately 1.74mx 1.95m.

  • Artist: Michelangelo
  • Location: St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City
  • Material: Marble
  • Period: 1498-1499

10. Force of Nature, Doha:

Forces of Nature is one of the most impressive modern sculptures in the world. It was created by Italian sculptor Lorenzo Quinn, who wanted to send a strong message to the world about the forces of nature. The idea comes after a series of massive devastation caused by violent cyclones in Thailand and other parts of the world. The state shows how small and helpless we are in the face of the wrath of nature!

  • Artist: Lorenzo Quinn
  • Location: Doha Cultural Village, Qatar
  • Materials: Bronze, Stainless Steel and Aluminum
  • Time: October 2011

11. Narong’s Soap Sculptures:

Narong Noppamartis is a Thai artist known worldwide for his exquisite soap carvings. Working with a soft medium like soap, it’s amazing to see how she translates it into complex and intricate structures. From simple baskets to ornate dragons, from mythical creatures to contemporary motifs, Narong sets new benchmarks in Thalland’s ancient soap carving tradition.

  • Artist: Narong Noppamart
  • Location: Thailand
  • Material: Soap

12. Moon Dog, Minimalist Abstract Art:

In the world of abstract sculpture art, the Moon Dog is recognized as one of the finest installations in the minimalist movement. It is a geometric structure consisting of 15 octahedral and 10 tetrahedral shapes arranged in perfect symmetry. Moon Dog is named after a blind poet and composer and was written by Tony Smith in 1964.

  • Artist: Tony Smith
  • Location: National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, Washington, USA
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Year: 1964

13. Liang Yuanxing’s surreal bust sculpture:

Liang Yuanxing is a Chinese artist who can create whimsical works out of clay. Each piece is highly detailed and three-dimensional, composed of fantastical figures and elements from ancient Chinese mythology. Due to the sheer amount of detail, these handcrafted statues take months to complete. From the tiniest features to the most obvious facial expressions, Liang truly offers clay sculptures like no other in the world!

  • Artist: Tony Smith
  • Location: National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, Washington, USA
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Year: 1964

See More: Famous Museums in Delhi

14. Ali and Nino, Metal Art Sculpture:

Ali and Nino, moving metal sculptures of men and women in Georgia. Originally known as the “Love Statue,” the 26-foot-tall statue commemorates the tragic love story of Muslim boy Ali and Georgian princess Nino. It is designed with a special technology that allows the puppet to move for 10 minutes a day. They hugged briefly and then left.

  • Artist: Tamara Kvesitadze
  • Location: Batumi Waterfront, Georgia
  • Material: Steel
  • Year: 2010

15. Guitar, paper sculpture by Pablo Picasso:

Pablo Picasso created a revolution with this paper sculpture “guitar”. He paved the way for new sculptural forms using combinatorial techniques. Very different from the traditional way of making figurines using moulding, carving, etc., he used paper, cardboard, string and wire to create this silent musical instrument, the first ever durable instrument made from a fragile medium such as paper work.

  • Artist: Pablo Picasso
  • Location: Museum of Modern Art
  • Material: paper
  • Year: 1912

16. Glass Fireworks, the largest permanent glass sculpture in the world:

Glass Fireworks is a permanent structure erected at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, USA. It is housed on a glass plinth that rises up to 43 feet and into the Pergola ceiling, which is also made from 1,600 pieces of stained glass. The entire tower is made of 3200 pieces of glass of different colors. This piece is an example of the dramatic art of one of the world’s finest glass sculptors, Dale Chihuly.

  • Artist: Dale Chihuly
  • Location: Indianapolis Children’s Museum, Indianapolis, USA
  • Material: glass
  • Year: 2006

17. Mermaid 0f Warsaw, world famous metal statue:

The Warsaw Mermaid is located on the Old Town Square in Warsaw, Poland. It was created based on the legend of a mermaid caught by a local fisherman. According to legend, the fish-like creature got trapped in a fishing net and began to sing. She was later imprisoned by a wealthy businessman and later released by the residents of the city. Since then, her identity as holding a sword and shield has been erected in the center of the town, giving people a sense of security and protection.

  • Artist: Konstanty Hegel
  • Location: Warsaw Old Town Square
  • Material: bronze zinc
  • Year: 1855

18. The largest wooden Buddha statue in the world:

In the Lama Temple in Beijing, you can find the world’s tallest wood-carved Sakyamuni Buddha….