The most enduring and, arguably, the greatest form of fine art known to man, sculpture has played a major role in the evolution of Western culture.
Its history and stylistic development are those of Western art itself.
Space is the air around the solid sculpture, and reacts with the latter in several ways: first, it defines the edges of the sculpture; second, it can be enclosed by part of the sculpture, forming hollows or areas of emptiness; third, it can link separate parts of the sculpture which thus relate to one another across space.
Nor is it purely solid and static: it may reference empty space in an important way, and can also be kinetic and capable of movement.
The earliest known works of the Stone Age are The Venus of Berekhat Ram and The Venus of Tan-Tan, both primitive effigies dating to 230,000 BCE or earlier.
Thereafter, sculptors have been active in all ancient civilizations, and all major art movements up to the present.
Even today, although continuously evolving, sculpture is still the leading method of expressing and commemorating both historical figures and events.
During its history, it has attracted some of the world's greatest artists, including classical sculptors like Phidias, Myron of Eleutherae, Polyklitos, Skopas, Lysippos, Praxiteles and Leochares, as well as Donatello (1386-1466), Michelangelo (1475-1654), Giambologna (1529-1608), the great Bernini (1598-1680), Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), Henry Moore (1898-1986), Picasso (1881-1973), Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957), and Damien Hirst (b.1965).
Finally, as well as being carved or modelled, it can be assembled, glued, projected (holographically), or constructed in a wide variety of ways.