Specific fascinating sculptures are world-famous; everyone is well acquainted with Michelangelo’s David or the Statue of Liberty in New York. However, some works of art are hidden treasures, expecting to be discovered by those with an insightful perception.
Therefore, we gathered 20 breathtaking and most beautiful statues in the world and across the globe to expand your horizons and lighten up your day!
1. The Kelpies, Scotland
The giant horses sculpted from fabricated steel were erected in Falkirk, Scotland, as part of the Helix “land transformation” project. They were created to symbolize the Scottish history of economy and industry, and just like their creator Andy Scott explained, to represent a “socio-historical monument intended to celebrate the horse’s role in industry and agriculture.” This “sociohistorical monument” is an utterly magnificent statue!
2. Monument to Joe Louis, USA
Robert Graham, a Mexican-American sculptor, created this uncommon sculpture in 1986 to commemorate an exceptional person. Joe Louis gained fame by defeating the German boxer Max Schmeling in 1938. The defeat struck hard upon the German fantasy of “Aryan superiority,” with Adolf Hitler allegedly raging over the fact that a black man triumphed over Germany’s best boxer. Since Louis was vocal in campaigning against Jim Crow’s legislation, Graham intended the clenched fist to represent a “battering ram” against racial inequality.
3. Maman, Canada
The most renowned sculpture by Louise Bourgeois is the 30-foot-tall spider with 26 marble eggs, created as a memorial to her mother. Quite a peculiar choice to exemplify a loving mother, but Bourgeois explained that she selected the spider because it is perceived as “clever,” “helpful, and protective,” portraying the same qualities of her mother.
4. Metalmorphosis, USA
This sculpture is a mirrored fountain created in the shape of a large head, with layers rotating slowly and repeatedly. This effect allows the face to be observed only when there is a perfect alignment of all layers, defining this statue as enigmatic. (David Černý)
5. Man on Fire, Mexico
The “underwater art museum” MUSA, located off the coast of Cancun, Mexico, is focused on encouraging coral growth and emphasizing conservation matters. The artist behind this sculpture is Jason DeCaires Taylor, who has created over 500 magnificent sculptures in the “museum,” all composed of specialized material to encourage coral growth.
6. Ash Jesus and Ash Buddha, Macau
Chinese artist Zhang Huan created these spectacular statues of Jesus and Buddha, composed of temple incense ashes obtained in Shanghai. They were sculpted for a provisional art exhibit at One Central Mall, Macau, designed to stimulate people to ponder on the similarities between Western and Eastern religions.
7. The Headington Shark, UK
It is an unusual sculpture to be addressed as “beautiful,” but its meaning is undoubtedly fascinating. The homeowner, Bill Heine, elevated this large giant shark on the date of the anniversary of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki bombardments with the intention of the shark to symbolize the “impotence and anger and desperation” of the contemporary world confronted by nuclear horrors.
8. Bazalgette the Whale, USA
This playful statue depicts a whale concealed under the park’s grass, and the grass substitutes the imaginary body of the whale. The most charming detail about this statue is its fountain, which gushes frequently, just like the whale’s spout! (Jim Adler)
9. Przejście (Passage, or Monument of the Anonymous Passersby), Poland
The artist behind this monument is Jerzy Kalina, who sculpted seven pedestrians gradually descending into the ground and seven others ascending on the opposite side of the street. These sculptures were disclosed on the day of the 24th anniversary of the Declaration of Martial Law in Poland, and they are widely known as the monument dedicated to the people who were “disappeared” by the government during that period.
10. Fence and Border Interventions, USA
Iranian art duo Icy and Sot, based in Brooklyn, are well-known for their political public art installments. This provisional sculpture, exhibited outside of Lot Radio in New York, emerges as a reaction to American border control attempts and the global refugee crises. The statue is fascinating and provocative because it incorporates negative space and utilizes uncommon materials.
11. Expansion, USA
When composing this list, I was adamant about not including any nude women since Western art already contains many of them. However, the artist Paige Bradley sculpted an art piece that was just too impressive to exclude. In his thoughts about his creation, Bradley said, “I conceived this piece when I first moved to Manhattan. I was a bit startled by the power of the curators and the critics and how they all had an anti-figure slant on what they deemed show-worthy. I took a perfectly good wax sculpture – a piece I had sculpted with precision over several months – an image of a woman meditating in the lotus position and just dropped it on the floor. I destroyed what I made. I was letting it all go. It was scary. It shattered into so many pieces. My first feeling was, ‘What have I done!?!’ Then, I trusted it would all come together as I envisioned”.
12. The Sibelius Monument, Finland
The hands of the Finish artist Eila Hiltunen sculpted this monument to pay respect to their revered Finish composer, Jean Sibelius. This abstract sculpture resembling a pipe organ has been widely criticized, but fifty years after it was initially exhibited, it continues to remain popular.
13. Big Heech, Canada
This compelling statue is one of many “heeches” created and signed by artist Parviz Tanavoli. In Farsi, the translation of “Heech” is “nothing,” Tanavoli was inspired to produce statues, sculptures, and even jewelry pieces shaped exactly like the word. When asked why he found this subject so inspiring, Tanavoli replied, “I found there is so much in the Heech, that Heech is not nothing, Heech is something. Then later . . . I realized that there is so much meaning behind it and so many poets . . . have paid attention to this word and have used it, and that is how it began.”
14. Mirrored Ziggurat, Iran
Artist Shirin Abedinirad is fascinated with mirrors, and many of her installations contain reflective surfaces that unite heaven and earth. For this particular Australian installation, the artist found inspiration in ancient Mesopotamian ziggurat temples to compose “a staircase … to connect nature with human beings and to create a union of ancient history and today’s world.”
15. The Unknown Bureaucrat, Iceland
Magnús Tómasson sculpted a statue depicting a man wearing a suit and a large block of stone substituting his upper half. A remark on the disturbing monotony of the modern office job? It is quite a harsh way of labeling the bureaucrats as blockheads. Notwithstanding its intention, it provokes the observer to smile and ponder.
16. Aurora Ice Museum, USA
The thought of a cold and frosty ice museum available 365 days a year sounds impossible. Still, the Aurora Ice Museum in Fairbanks, Alaska, exists and is fantastic. Containing wonderfully carved sculptures by the renowned ice carver Steve Brice, this “icy and cold” museum exhibits statues and sculptures composed of locally harvested ice.
17. The Mustangs at Las Colinas, USA
The idea behind this statue, sculpted by the artist Robert Glen, is to evoke the memory of the wild mustangs native to Texas in the past. The actual dimension of these horses is 1.5 times the size of a regular horse. The artist succeeded in portraying the illusional movement of these horses by placing fountain jets below their feet.
18. Force of Nature, Qatar
As part of Lorenzo Quinn’s ”Force of Nature” series, the stainless steel sculpture expresses the power of Nature over our existence and the world. Quinn stated that he was prompted to create these fascinating sculptures after witnessing the effects of natural disasters in Thailand and the USA. He regards them as “reminiscent of the early statues made as peace offerings to the Gods in the hope of quenching their anger.”
19. The Angel of the North, UK
This British statue was initially perceived as unpleasant for the locals since the residents expressed concern over its dramatic appearance, potentially leading to traffic accidents. Its hillside location dictated a heavy and solid foundation to withstand 100 mph winds, adding to the construction cost. However, at present, this sculpture is locally appreciated and consequently even loved.
20. La Pouce, France
César Baldaccini is the creator of the 18-ton thumb sculpted in 1965 and located in the middle of a park in Paris. Baldaccini’s style was prominent for its “resizing” of familiar objects, and this immense thumb is fascinating because of its size and captivating, realistic detail.
Whether they are made of rocks, bronze, limestone, or marble, these statutes are extraordinary works of art, and they date from ancient, medieval, and modern times. These masterpieces display architectural talents from around the world and continue to prove the greatness of men's artistic power. The statues listed below continue to fascinate and astonish tourists and archeologists over and over again as they stand the test of time. Here is our list of the 10 best statues in the world.
1. Moai, Easter Island, Chile
The popular Easter Island Heads, widely known as Moai, are monolithic statues on Easter Island, the most isolated island on the planet. These statues were shaped by the Polynesian colonizers between 1250 AD and 1500 AD and stand as proof of the old Easter Island civilization.
2. The Statues Of Mount Nemrut, Turkey
Turkey offers numerous popular attractions to visit, and one of the most prominent attractions is the Statues of Mount Nemrut, located in the Turkish Mountains at 7000 feet. The top of Mount Nemrut offers a mesmerizing view of the nearby mountains, and it dates back more than 2,000 years.
3. Great Sphinx Of Giza, Egypt
Located in Cairo in Egypt, at the Giza Plateau, the Great Sphinx of Giza is a large artistic work made of limestone portraying a human head placed on a giant lion’s body. This world’s best statue was constructed by the pharaoh Khafre in 2500 BC.
4. Statue Of Liberty, New York, USA
The Statue of Liberty was established in 1886 on Ellis Island to stand as a symbol of liberty and democracy. The statue was given as a present to the United States of America from the people of France, and it has been attracting millions of tourists every year from every corner of the world.
5. Olmec Colossal Heads, San Lorenzo, Mexico
Located in Mexico and established from 1200 BC to 400 BC, Olmec Colossal Heads is a statue carved out of enormous basalt boulders, with 17 giant stone heads carrying a mysterious history and probably portraying the rulers from the Olmec civilization.
6. The Motherland Calls Statue, Volgograd, Russia
This statue of a woman representing the Motherland was built in honor of the Battle of Stalingrad in 1967 in Russia. The statue is located on the bank of the river Volga on Mamayev Hill, and it is 85 meters tall.
7. Christ The Redeemer, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Christ The Redeemer is a statue of Jesus Christ, and it is made of concrete and soapstone and constructed during 1922-31 in Rio De Janeiro. Nowadays, it is one of the prominent attractions in Brazil as well as South America.
8. Terrace Of The Lions, Delos, Greece
Terrace of the Lions is a series of 12 lions placed in exact positions, and it is a significant archaeological location on Delos Island. The statue was erected before 600 BC and is famed for being the birthplace of Apollo and his sister Artemis.
9. David Statue, Florence, Italy
One of Renaissance art's finest creations is David by Michelangelo, located in Florence in Italy and unveiled in 1504. This sculpture is carved out of marble and portrays Kind David.
10. Little Mermaid, Denmark
The bronze statue of The Little Mermaid is situated on a rock in the Copenhagen harbor at the Langelinie promenade in Denmark. The statue measures 1.25 m tall and 175 kg, and it represents a fine piece of art created by Edvard Eriksen in 1913.
Women have served as an inspiration to artists for centuries. Artists, painters, and sculptors have depicted exceptional feminine beauty to represent mothers and goddesses and the splendor of women in general. Here is a selection of the 10 most beautiful female sculptures in the world, known for their exquisite and unique magnificence.
1. Venus of Willendorf, Austria
The Woman of Willendorf, or Venus of Willendorf, is a female sculpture dating back from the Upper Paleolithic period discovered in 1908 in Willendorf, Austria. The sculpture is created out of limestone and dates to around 24,000–22,000 years BCE.
2. Bust of Nefertiti, Egypt
This female bust has symbolized feminine beauty ever since it was first discovered in 1912 within the ruins of Amarna in Egypt. It is a stucco-coated limestone bust, and its creator is believed to be Thutmose, an ancient Egyptian sculptor.
3. Athena the Virgin, Greece
This beautiful sculpture is known as Athena Parthenos, or Athena the Virgin, Athena being the queen of all Greek gods and goddesses, and it is dated to the mid-fifth century BCE. The original work is said to have been created from gold and ivory, and the statue used to be 11.5 meters tall.
4. Venus de Milo, France
Venus de Milo is an ancient armless statue of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty, and it was carved from marble by the sculptor Alexandros in about 150 BCE. This female sculpture from the Hellenistic Age is one the world's greatest masterpieces of sculpture, known for its beauty of shape and curves.
5. Venus Italica, Italy
Venus Italica is a beautiful marble sculpture showing a young woman standing on a pedestal. It was created by the Italian sculptor Antonio Canova in 1802.
6. Ecstasy of Saint Teresa, Italy
The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa is one of the most significant Baroque art sculptures. It is a marble ensemble embellishing the Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria. Gian Lorenzo Bernini created this masterpiece in 1645-52.
7. The Pietà, Italy
A Renaissance sculpture created by Michelangelo Buonarroti, the Pietà or "The Pity" (1498–1499), is a famous marble sculpture that portrays Jesus's body on Mother Mary's lap after the Crucifixion. This beautiful and astonishing sculpture is displayed at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.
8. Artemis of Ephesus, Italy
The stunning sculpture of Artemis of Ephesus is presented in the Vatican Museum, and she represents the Greek goddess of fertility. Artemis, also known as Diana to the Romans, was built in the 2nd century AD.
9. The Phrasikleia Kore, Greece
Phrasikleia Kore is known to be one of the oldest female sculptures from ancient Greece, and archaeologists and historians believe it dates back to 550 BC. This statue is an archaic funerary statue, and it was made by Aristion of Paros.
10. Dancing Celestial Deity (Devata), India
This beautifully carved sculpture was created in the mid-11th century by an unknown artist, and it was made of sandstone. It represents a dance in honor of the gods and belongs to the Chandela period.
The miraculous statues and sculptures of the world continue to attract curious visitors and tourists because of their size, appearance, artistic work, symbolism, and grandeur. The 10 most visited statues in the world include Renaissance sculptures, ancient emblems, and iconic symbols of modern democracy.
1. Lincoln Memorial, USA
Lincoln Memorial is a statue of Abraham Lincoln in Washington, DC. It is the classic emblem of the U.S. Capital, representing a symbol of unity, strength, and wisdom, drawing over 6 million tourists per year from around the world.
2. David Statue, Italy
Being a world-renowned Renaissance sculpture by Italian artist Michelangelo, David Statue is located in Florence, Italy, and it keeps attracting over 1 million visitors per year.
3. Statue of Liberty, USA
The symbol of freedom and enlightenment situated in New York City, the Statue of Liberty is undoubtedly among the most visited statues in the world, attracting more than 4 million visitors a year.
4. The Thinker, France
The Thinker is a renowned bronze sculpture created by the artist Auguste Rodin and displayed in Paris, France, in the gardens of the Rodin Museum. The Thinker is a symbol of philosophy, and 700,000 people come to see this marvelous sculpture every year.
5. The Manneken Pis, Belgium
Located in central Brussels, Belgium, the Manneken Pis, or a naked little boy urinating in the fountain’s basin, is a bronze sculpture that is a very popular and playful symbol of Belgium, with over 30,000 tourists per day.
6. Venus de Milo, France
Venus de Milo is an ancient Greek sculpture located at the most prestigious Louvre Museum in Paris, and the famous sculpture is admired by tens of thousands of visitors per day.
7. Charging Bull, USA
Charging Bull is a bronze sculpture of a bull located in New York City. It is a powerful financial symbol that stands for Wall Street and is also known as the Bull of Wall Street. It is a very popular destination, attracting thousands of people daily.
8. The Pietà, Italy
The Pietà is an Italian Renaissance sculpture created by Michelangelo Buonarroti located in the Vatican City in Italy. About 10 million people annually come to Italy to see and admire this fascinating marble sculpture.
9. Little Mermaid, Denmark
Little Mermaid is a famous bronze statue of a mermaid by Edvard Eriksen, located in Copenhagen, Denmark. The iconic statue on top of a rock is said to attract 5 million visitors per year.
10. Great Sphinx Of Giza, Egypt
The Great Sphinx represents a symbol of ancient Egypt. It is a statue made of limestone representing a sphinx – a mythical creature with a pharaoh’s head and a lion’s body. The statue is located in Giza, Egypt, and over 14.7 million people come to see and take photos of this iconic symbol every year.