Great Sculptors Of the Past And Present.


From Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, England
Hello Everyone,

I was recently chatting with Musket in another thread and we started talking
about various great sculptors and their work.
I think this is so interesting that it deserves a thread of it's own.

Are there any sculptors whose work you particularly like ?

I'll start things off.

Musket mentioned the relief work by Augustus Saint-Gaudens .

Saint-Gaudens has also done sculpture in the round but I was really impressed
with his relief of Violet Sargent [ John Singer Sargent's sister ] and the fact that
it was curved to catch the light.


His skill is mind-boggling. Relief sculpture is the most difficult in my opinion.
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Wow, that relief work is amazing! Such skill. I agree with Patricia, mind-boggling is exactly the right phrase.

I chose sculpture for my dissertation when I was studying art history (many moons ago) but I've forgotten most of what I learned, so this is a fun thread for me to follow.

Jacob Epstein is my stand-out favourite. He worked in a really wide range of styles throughout his career and to my mind he excelled in all of them.

The Metal Torso of Rock Drill from 1915/16 is the most memorable sculpture I've ever seen. (The whole Rock Drill story is also fascinating. The original much larger sculpture was made in 1913-15 but the war changed Epstein's attitude to machinery and he dismantled it and reworked the figure into the Metal Torso which exists now.)

It was radically ahead of its time. It must have been shockingly futuristic to people in a time when radio was still quite new and the refrigerator had only just been invented. It still packs a powerful punch now.
Great thread! I will have to think and come back. I will also come back to check out who gets posted on the thread to make new discoveries. :)
Hello Musket,

Here's another of Saint-Gaudens reliefs that I like.


  • Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Dunrobin, 1884, terra cotta relief on wood base, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of John Gellatly, 1929.8.399
Hello Musket,

Here's another of Saint-Gaudens reliefs that I like.


  • Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Dunrobin, 1884, terra cotta relief on wood base, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of John Gellatly, 1929.8.399
View attachment 13944
The guy was great. So were a number of his assistants, including a woman whose name I've forgotten--Saint Gaudens is really my sweetie's turf more than mine. Our old apartment in Cornish, NH was only five miles or so from the Saint Gaudens National Historic Site; we used to go there all the time before the invasion of the ticks. Fabulous place.
A sculptor whose work I love is Bertil Vallien, a contemporary Swedish sculptor known for his sand-cast glass sculptures. He has done a large body of work for the Swedish company Kosta Boda.

Bertil Vallien 1.jpg

Bertil Vallien 2.jpg

Bertil Vallien 3.jpg

Bertil Vallien 4.jpg

Bertil Vallien 6.jpg
This is my favorite piece by Saint Gaudens, the Adams Memorial (you can magnify this pic) in Rock Creek Cemetary, DC. I haven't seen the real one, but there is a duplicate at the National Historic Site. The piece has several titles, most commonly Grief, though Henry Adams disapproved of this, or any title.

Adams Memorial

The Wiki Article--

Wiki Adams Memorial
I like the work of Rodin and Antoine-Louis Bayre. Also the metalwork of Japanese sculptor Satoshi Mizushiro.

From what I’ve seen of Bugatti’s animal sculptures, I would say it’s highly likely.
I am in awe of the talent, skill and effort that sculptors demonstrate.
As a lad in elementary school I saw the "Thinker" many times in front of the Cleveland Art Museum and learned about Rodin at the same time as being made aware of Michelangelo, Da Vinci and Rembrandt.
I thought that the "Thinker" was Rodin's pinnacle until a dozen yeas ago when I viewed "The Burghers of Calais", it was overwhelming !
I agree, Trier. How nice to have seen “The Thinker” in person. Michaelangelo and Da Vinci - awesome!
I agree. The Thinker' was great but I think 'The Burghers Of Calais' was the
greatest sculpture that Rodin did too.

Rodin's original name for the 'Thinker' was the 'Poet' referring to Dante.

Quite few great sculptors worked with Rodin on some of his sculptures
and also worked on their own sculptures at the same time. The greatest of these
in my opinion, was Camille Claudel - I think her work has more 'spirit' than any
of Rodin's work.

People often say that these sculptor's work was 'influenced' by Rodin but
I wonder if it wasn't the other way round with Camille Claudel.
I think Camille Claudel's greatest sculpture was 'The Waltz' [see post # 8 above].
followed by 'The Age Of Maturity'.

It is a great shame that she had such a tragic life.