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A statue is a sculpture in the round representing one or more people or animals (including abstract concepts allegorically represented as people or animals), normally full-length, as opposed to a bust, and at least close to life-size, or larger (as opposed to a figurine.) Its primary concern is representational.
The definition of a statue is not always clear-cut; equestrian statues, of a person on a horse, are certainly included, and in many cases, such as a Madonna and Child or a Pietà, a sculpture of two people will also be. A small statue, usually small enough to be picked up, is called a statuette or figurine.
Many statues are built on commission to commemorate a historical event, or the life of an influential person. Many statues are intended as public art, exhibited outdoors or in public buildings.
Some statues gain fame in their own right, separate to the person or concept they represent, as with the Statue of Liberty.
Many cultures produced statues, from prehistory to the present.PrehistoryAn Easter Island Statue
Notable prehistoric statues include the Easter Island statues of the Moai, large figures with their bodies buried in the ground.History
Many statues from Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and Ancient Rome, in particular, survive, often in museums throughout the world. Ancient statues survive showing the bare surface of the material of which they are made, and people generally associate classical art with white marble sculpture. But there is evidence that many statues were painted in bright colours. Most of the colour was weathered off over time; small remnants were removed during cleaning; in some cases small traces remained which could be identified. A travelling exhibition of 20 coloured replicas of Greek and Roman works, alongside 35 original statues and reliefs, was held in Europe and the United States in 2008: Gods in Color: Painted Sculpture of Classical Antiquity. Details such as whether the paint was applied in one or two coats, how finely the pigments were ground, or exactly which binding medium would have been used in each case—all elements that would affect the appearance of a finished piece—are not known.
Things considered to be wonders of the world include several statues, with the Colossus of Rhodes and the Statue of Zeus at Olympia among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the Moai of Easter Island considered for inclusion in various lists of wonders of the modern world.Modern Era
A notion that the position of the hooves of horses in equestrian statues indicated the rider's cause of death has been disproved.Gallery
Venus of Dolní Věstonice, ceramic figurine, 29,000 BC-25,000 BC
Venus of Willendorf, one of the oldest known Statuettes, Upper Paleolithic, 24,000 BC-22,000 BC
The Charioteer of Delphi, 474 BC, Delphi Archaeological Museum, Greece
Hermes and the Infant Dionysus by Praxiteles, 4th century BC, Archaeological Museum of Olympia, Greece
Venus de Milo, c. 130 - 100 BC, Greek, the Louvre
Moai of Easter Island facing inland, Ahu Tongariki, c. 1250 - 1500 , restored by Chilean archaeologist Claudio Cristino in the 1990s
A closeup of the replica statue of Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius, 1981, The original c. 200 AD is in the nearby Capitoline Museum, Rome
The Ushiku Daibutsu, Amitabha Buddha, 1995, Japan. The third tallest statue in the world, overall 394 feet in height.
The Kailashnath Mahadev, Bhaktapur. The world's tallest Statue of Lord Shiva, 143 feet.