International Sculpture Day is observed on the last Saturday of April every year and this year, it falls on April 29. It is an internationally recognized holiday that commemorates the art of sculpture and sculpted works. Sculptures are a type of visual art that is three-dimensional. Stone sculptures have been proven to last significantly longer than other works of art made of perishable materials, and they account for the vast bulk of all surviving non-pottery art from ancient cultures to this day. Sculptures have always been a major component of religious devotion in many cultures, and enormous sculptures were commonly used to represent religion or politics until recently. The ancient Mediterranean, India, and China, as well as various cultures in Central and South America and Africa, have the most surviving sculptures.
History of International Sculpture Day
The first undisputed sculpture pieces came from the Aurignacian culture in Europe and southwest Asia, which was active at the start of the Upper Paleolithic period. This culture developed well-crafted stone tools, pendants, ivory beads, and other forms of art. They are also attributed to being the first to create cave art and three-dimensional figures.
The Löwenmensch, found in Germany’s Hohenstein-Stadel area, is an anthropomorphic figure carved from mammoth ivory. It is believed to be one of the oldest known uncontested examples of figurative art, standing at 0.9 inches tall. Most prehistoric art that has survived to this day is movable sculptures found throughout central Europe.
The Swimming Reindeer from around 13,000 years ago is one of the greatest Upper Paleolithic Magdalenian bone carvings, however, it is outnumbered by engraved pieces, which are sometimes considered sculptures. The Tuc d’Audoubert caves in France, where a talented sculptor used a spatula-like stone tool and his fingers to build a pair of large bison against a limestone rock tens of thousands of years ago, are home to two of the world’s largest prehistoric sculptures.
Much of the figurative sculpture in Europe at the beginning of the Mesolithic era has been greatly reduced. These sculptures have remained less of a common element in art other than relief decoration of practical objects until the Roman period, despite works such as the Gundestrup cauldron from the European Iron Age and the Bronze Age Trundholm sun chariot.
The Mesopotamian conquest, as well as much of its surrounding territory by the Assyrians, created a larger and wealthier state than was previously usual in the region, with particularly grandiose art in palaces and public places, clearly an attempt to match the glory of the Egyptian empire art. The Assyrians created their sculptures in great numbers using easily carved stones from Northern Iraq.
International Sculpture Day timeline
The Assyrian gate guardian sculpture, Lamassu, is created.
Michelangelo creates the sculpture of Moses sometime during these years.
The Spanish sculpture of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ is made from wood and polychrome.
Sculptor Antony Gormley creates the sculpture of the Angel of the North.
International Sculpture Day FAQs
Which country is famous for sculpture?
The Western sculpture tradition originated in ancient Greece, and the country is well-known for producing great masterpieces during the classical period. During the Middle Ages, Gothic sculpture expressed the Christian faith’s agonies and emotions.
Does the date for International Sculpture Day change?
Yes. The date for International Sculpture Day is the last Saturday of April every year.
Where did sculptures originate?
The earliest sculpture samples belonged to the Aurignacian culture, which was in Europe and southwest Asia and was active at the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic period.
International Sculpture Day Activities
Visit a museum of sculptures
International Sculpture Day is an excellent reason to visit any of the many sculpture museums and historical sites that feature beautiful sculptures. This is also a chance to learn more about the history of sculptures and their sculptors.
Make your own sculpture
You can seize this opportunity and spark your creativity by building your very own sculpture using available and sustainable materials. You can create something meaningful that you can put on display in your home.
Share on social media
Use the hashtag #InternationalSculptureDay to share all of your activities for International Sculpture Day on social media! Take as many pictures as you can and tag your friends!
5 Interesting Facts About Sculptures
Sculpture is three-dimensional
A sculpture is a three-dimensional visual art, which makes it all the more “realistic.”
There are various materials for sculpting
Unlike in the past, when sculpting materials were only limited to stone, bronze, and a few others, modernism has changed the order of things and a variety of materials can be used for sculptures.
Sculptures have cultural and religious origins
Most prehistoric sculptures were born out of a reference to cultural, religious, and political themes.
There are two major types of sculptures
There are two major types of sculptures which are “statues” and “relief” sculptures.
Stone sculptures are the most durable
Most of the prehistoric sculptures and other art forms are stone sculptures.
Why We Love International Sculpture Day
Sculptures tell us stories
Most sculpture works have a story to them; either of religious, cultural, or political origin. International Sculpture Day allows us to learn about the history of sculptures and the artists who created them.
Art relaxes the mind
Creating art relaxes the mind. It allows people to showcase their passion by doing something they love.
It is food for the soul
Ever seen a sculpture or other work of art and felt so… filled? Exactly. Viewing beautiful art pieces is like food for the soul.
International Sculpture Day dates