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The Statues of Europe
Open-Air Art Continues to Evolve
The history of statue construction in Europe goes back over 3,000 years, given to us by the Greeks, who in turn took many of their early cues from the Egyptians while eventually breaking away from the rigid mold of northern African standards in statue-making and putting their own distinct stamp on what would one day be known as the seminal stage of European statue construction.
With such a broad expanse of time, it is little wonder that there is such a breadth of variety within European statuary. The photos provided here exemplify only a brief summation of such art, and more accurately show western and some southern European statuary, specifically from the following countries: The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, San Marino, and Greece.
The vast majority of these statues are outdoors and so are generally constructed of metal, usually bronze, though there are examples of iron and even wood statues, whereas the wooden sphere in the pictures might be considered something more (or less) than a true statue. Certainly, it will hardly weather more than a few hundred years, at best.
Note the very modern dynamics and postures of many of these works of art. They leave the ancient desire to lionize humanity, discard the aesthetics of the Renaissance period, and even forsake much of the abstract sentimentalities of the early 20th century, while still leaving a distinctively modern signature. Though of course, some of these modern pieces are also in direct homage to the classical Greek and Roman period, whereas others are so modern that they’ve become geometrical in nature, coming full circle back 2,900 years to some of the early Hellenic art.
Note also the surroundings and alternate uses of some of these statues. Some serve as not mere art, but adornment to buildings, bases of water fountains, and one, of the woman with the giraffe, as a reminder that we must care for our planet and its non-human inhabitants.
MORE PICTURES COMING SOON