Need information about sculpting during the Renaissance? Well trust me, you've come to the right place. We will cover everything from religious sculpting to famous sculptors of the Renaissance.
The history of sculpting goes back a long way, but I'll just start with the Renaissance. The first known sculptor after the Greek and Roman sculptors was the one and only Donatello. He and Michelangelo were like the Kings of Sculpture during the Italian Renaissance. Some other well-known sculptors were Nanni di Banco, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Antonio Rossellino, Andrea del Verrocchio, Jacopo della Quercia, and Antonio Pollaiuolo.
There were two major influences on Renaissance sculpture. The first was Greek and Roman sculpture. The other was the very large influence from the Catholic Church. In the Middle Ages (the time period before the Renaissance), religion was just about everything. In the same period, the figures in sculptures and paintings were aloof, distant, or cold.
As the Early Renaissance faded, religious art became more emotional, or human-like (art was sad, joyous, etc.). A painter called Giotto was the man who started painting like this (with more emotion). Other artists caught on. Also in the Early Renaissance, secular (non-religious) art was becoming more popular but there was still a lot of religious art. At the same time, the Catholic Church's role was changing. It became less powerful than before.
In the High Renaissance, people began to "break away from the Catholic Church", so it had even less of an influence, but it was still a major part of Renaissance art. (Some members of the Catholic Church broke away from the Catholic Church into two new religions: Lutheran and Calvin.) "The Catholic Church strove for 'mysticism' to recapture people's interest during the period called Mannerism (the fall or decay of the Renaissance)."
The most famous sculpture was probably the David by the incredible Michelangelo. The gigantic sculpture shows David turning his head to face Goliath. Most sculptures of David show him after the defeat of Goliath. Another amazing sculpture by Michelangelo was Bacchus, the God of Wine. The statue is of the drunken Bacchus standing next to a satyr (half-human, half-goat), who is stealing grapes from the God of Wine. Michelangelo's pietas were also very famous. A pieta is a painting or sculpture of the Virgin Mary supporting Christ's dead body. Michelangelo created four sculptures (of pietas) in all. Another famous sculpture of David was by the wonderful Donatello. He also created the well-known St. George.
Sculptures of the Renaissance were often made out of bronze or marble. To make a marble sculpture, they got a huge block of marble from the stone quarry and started chippin' away with a chisel. Now, making a bronze sculpture was much more difficult than that. First, a clay model of the sculpture was made and covered in a thin layer of wax. Then a layer of plaster went on top of the wax. The plaster hardened into a mold. The mold was put into a furnace and the wax melted and ran out through a hole in the mold. Melted bronze was then poured into the spot where the wax was. The mold (the plaster) was then broken open to reveal the finished work. This is called the "lost wax" technique. It is still used for everything from more sculptures to doorknobs.
: Quotes were from a live interview we did. You can look at it
on this website.