Monumental sculpture: definition. The most famous classical and modern monuments of monumental sculpture

Monumental sculpture: definition. The most famous classical and modern monuments of monumental sculpture
Monumental sculpture: definition. The most famous classical and modern monuments of monumental sculpture

Monumental sculpture is quite different from other similar types of art. This is due to the fact that it embodies not only the author's intention, but also a great historical moment or even a full-fledged period. As a rule, such monuments are erected directly where various actions took place, to which, in fact, they are dedicated.

While viewing the monumental sculptures, the viewer needs to make a detour. The fact is that, unlike paintings, statues and monuments look more realistic. Accordingly, you need to get acquainted with this art from all points of view.


In modern times, there are several definitions of monumental sculpture. Firstly, it is a monument, a stele, an obelisk or something else that was erected for one purpose - to honor the memory of an individual who did a lot of good for a city or country.

monumental sculpture

Secondly, this is a sculpture dedicated to historical events. Usually it is established at the end of wars. There are caseswhen monuments are erected in the anniversary years of a particular city.

In everyday life, a monumental sculpture is any statue that has large dimensions. But this definition cannot be called scientific, although it does exist.

In fact, monumental sculpture is a work of art dedicated to historical events. It can also be erected in honor of great personalities. Its characteristic features are its large size and harmony with the architecture of the environment.

The mass audience is considered as the target audience. It cannot be said that only sculptures with one figure can be monuments, there can be more of them. Sometimes full combat moments are built with multiple personalities, weapons, and so on.

History of monumental sculpture

In Russia, as well as throughout the world, the art of sculpture has been perfected for many centuries. First, wood was used as a material, then stone. At the beginning of the 10th century, the first work of a monumental nature appeared in Kyiv. This is a relief of Our Lady Hodegetria.

Alexander Column

However, one should not assume that monumental and decorative sculpture actually originates in Kyiv. The fact is that Slavic masters studied with talented Byzantine sculptors. And in Byzantium, the type in question was already quite popular.

The first types of monumental sculpture were not devoted to human history at all. They personified the wars between the gods, the patrons of citiesor childbirth and so on. And only after a few centuries there is a revolution in the world of this art. The first monuments appear, with the help of which they planned to perpetuate individual people who really existed and did useful things on the planet.

Monumental sculpture production technology

Before the monumental sculpture will be installed in the place allotted for it, there is a lot of work to be done. There are several manufacturing techniques, but each of them has common features. The process takes place in 7 stages:

  1. Creating a sketch on paper.
  2. Creation of a graphic sketch, which will depict the future sculpture from different sides of the view.
  3. Creating a small statue model out of soft material. As a rule, plasticine is used for this. In the past, it was not possible to try to mold a small copy, so all the sculptures were made "for profit".
  4. Creation of a working model in which the author calculates all proportions, down to the smallest details.
  5. Calculation of proportions in a single coordinate system. Often sketches are made again, but already taking into account the work done.
  6. Getting started with the material. The sculptor builds his future creation by centimeter.
  7. Final movements are made, small details are corrected, such as hairs, eyes, corners of the lips, etc.
admir alty building in saint petersburg

Thus, it can take years or even decades to create one small statue. After all, it is necessary to think over many details in order to createmasterpiece.

Production material

Monumental sculpture can be made from various materials. A true genius is able to use everything that is at hand. But the following raw materials are most often used:

  • Natural stone - marble or granite. The first allows you to make softer lines and features, but it weakly resists moisture. Therefore, for exhibiting statues on the street, granite is more often used. Products are carved from large blocks.
  • Artificial stone - composite. This material is poured into the mold. After the sculpture dries, it becomes completely ready. In appearance, the products differ little from marble or granite, but are much cheaper.
  • Metal - bronze, brass or copper. The production method is similar to the previous version. Hot metal is poured into a mold, then allowed to dry.
  • Gypsum. This material is the easiest for sculptors. First, the powder is mixed with water, then the resulting mixture is poured into the mold. The drying process is fast, in just half an hour.
  • Tree. In this case, sculptures can be carved from a single piece, or created in separate parts.

The choice of material is focused only on the desire of the sculptor, only occasionally it is selected in accordance with the requirements of the customer of the product.

Types of monumental sculptures

Monumental sculpture is endless in its diversity. Many examples can be given that will be associated with this art. However, there are types in whichclassification of monumental models:

  • Memorial. This is a sculpture with which the creator is trying to immortalize someone.
  • Monument. This is a monument that is dedicated to historical events or figures.
  • A statue is a monument dedicated to an individual.
  • Stela is a vertical plate on which an inscription or engraved drawing is carved.
  • Obelisk is a pillar consisting of 4 faces that are pointed upwards.
  • Monumental and decorative sculpture. It performs two functions at once. First, it commemorates an event or person. And secondly, it is done in such a way as to fit the environment, in harmony with it, that is, for decoration.
  • Triumphal columns, arches or gates. These are structures that are performed in honor of victory over someone, getting rid of oppression, and so on.
monumental decorative sculpture

It is possible that in modern times there will be talented sculptors who will add additional types to the general classification. Therefore, the list can be considered complete only at the moment, its potential replenishment cannot be denied.


In every country, monumental sculpture is quite widespread. Examples can be given indefinitely. This is due to the fact that any state has its own history, its important moments, its great people. And in order to pass on knowledge to future generations, monuments and obelisks, statues and monuments, steles and memorials are erected.

As Russian examples, considermonument to Peter 1, located in St. Petersburg. The great sculptor Falcone worked on it for almost 15 years.

monumental sculpture photo

You should also pay attention to the Alexandrian column. It is dedicated to the victory over Napoleon, but Alexander I refused to build it. However, the descendants of the emperor considered it right to perpetuate this important historical moment for Russia.

From foreign monumental sculptures, you can consider the statue of Marcus Aurelius, located in Rome. Its preservation to this day should be considered a great success. When all the statues of Mark were melted down, this monument was considered a statue of a completely different person. Therefore, today you can look at it, after restoration it looks like new.

The Bronze Horseman

In order to complete the monument to Peter 1, Falcone was invited to Russia by order of Empress Catherine II. The sculptor at that time was already old enough (50 years old) for large-scale work, in France there was none for him. He himself, fulfilling orders at a conventional factory, still dreamed of a major project. And when the invitation came, he didn't even have to think. He came to Russia as soon as he could.

monumental sculpture

Falconet has been working for 12 years. But he could not or simply did not want to complete the sculpture completely on his own. The head of the monument was taken up by his student, who came with him. A Russian sculptor made a snake under the horse's feet.

Because the project was quite large, the craftsmendid not agree to the casting. And there was no financial opportunity to contact foreigners. But then they turned to Khailov, who agreed to teach Falcone, to help him with the selection of samples and proportions.

It should be noted that the sculptor received a relatively small fee, but with the help of the Bronze Horseman he managed to immortalize not only the Russian emperor, but also himself. Today, everyone can get acquainted with the sculpture, it is publicly available in St. Petersburg.

Statue of Marcus Aurelius

There are sculptures that are centuries old. Some of them are known only from writings or ruins. But one still survived to this day. This is the statue of Marcus Aurelius in Rome.

In general, there were many similar statues in the country. However, in the Middle Ages, they were all melted down into various useful bronze products. The equestrian image of Marcus Aurelius was preserved only thanks to a mistake. The fact is that it was confused with the statue of Emperor Constantine the Great.

During the Renaissance, the monument served as a model. Many sculptors, including the talented and even brilliant Donatello, turned to him, guided by him.

Alexander Column

The Alexander Column appeared in the project immediately after the victory over Napoleon. However, the emperor did not support the idea, because he was modest, and the thank you inscription in honor of Alexander I did not suit him. Work on the obelisk has stopped.

Later, when Carl Rossi started designing the General Staff building, he adjusted the architecture to fit the Alexander Column. Therefore, inIn 1829, Nicholas I had no choice but to accept the project. Unfortunately, he entrusted its development not to Rossi, but to Montferrand.

monumental sculpture examples

The Alexander Column was made of red granite. Its top is decorated with an angel. It is the tallest triumphal column in the world. Also, its distinguishing feature is that there is no foundation or pile reinforcement under it. It is only held together by careful calculation.

Admir alty Building

The building of the Admir alty in St. Petersburg was made according to the drawings of Peter I. Its construction began in 1704. After 7 years, a tower was completed in the center of the facade of the building, the spire of which was decorated with a small boat.

The Admir alty building in St. Petersburg is one of the main buildings of the city. This is due to the fact that three major streets intersect with it. The main facade is 407 meters long. Nearby there is a sculptural decoration, which includes several statues and columns.


One way or another, monumental sculpture occupies an important place in art. Photos of various triumphal sculptures, statues or monuments adorn the pages of many historical books. Some sculptures are kept in private collections, but even they are shown at exhibitions from time to time. However, for the most part, all the monuments are located on the streets of cities, and everyone can see them for free.

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