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The Statues of Europe

Updated on June 20, 2011

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

A Giant in Antwerp
A Giant in Antwerp
A Lady and her Horse in Amsterdam
A Lady and her Horse in Amsterdam
Small Gilded Statue High Above Antwerp
Small Gilded Statue High Above Antwerp
Paul Rubens in Antwerpen
Paul Rubens in Antwerpen
Detail of a Larger Series of Statues in Antwerp
Detail of a Larger Series of Statues in Antwerp
Hermes in Maastricht
Hermes in Maastricht
The Naked Truth About Extinction (Maastricht, Netherlands)
The Naked Truth About Extinction (Maastricht, Netherlands)
The Old and the Modern in Milan
The Old and the Modern in Milan
A Modern Interpretation of an Ancient Theme (Milano)
A Modern Interpretation of an Ancient Theme (Milano)
The Ancient Amidst a Modern City (Milan)
The Ancient Amidst a Modern City (Milan)
The Mighty Garibaldi in Ravenna, Italy
The Mighty Garibaldi in Ravenna, Italy
A Modest Yet Lovely Statue in the Micro-Nation of San Marino
A Modest Yet Lovely Statue in the Micro-Nation of San Marino

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    • Sean Fullmer profile imageAUTHOR

      Sean Fullmer 

      7 years ago from California

      VZA, thanks for catching that.

    • profile image

      vzw Statua 

      7 years ago

      The first statue "A Giant in Brussels" is located in Antwerp, not in Brussels.

      More information about this statue: http://standbeelden.be/standbeeld/232

    • Sean Fullmer profile imageAUTHOR

      Sean Fullmer 

      10 years ago from California

      Thanks, Drax, I'll make sure to ammend the photo titles

    • Drax profile image

      des donnelly 

      10 years ago from NYC....

      This is a great hub, there are wonderful images in this and wonder where exactly are the pieces;- The Naked Truth About Extinction, The Ancient Amidst a Modern City and A Modern Interpretation of an Ancient Theme...thanks Drax

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