As a companion-piece to my five lists comprising of two-dimensional artwork, I have compiled this list of three-dimensional artwork. Unfortunately, this list is much, much shorter in comparison. I apologize. As has been the case with my previous lists, this one focuses primarily on the human figure, as well as on mythological characters. Please, not that this list is no particular order except for the top 5, which are in preferential order.
Naturally, this comes in at the top spot purely because I love archetypal female goddess figures. This is perhaps the most classical image of Lilith, however, it should be understood that while this was originally identified as Lilith based on the iconography, it is quite likely a depiction of the goddess Ishtar or possibly Ereshkigal. As for the appeal of the work. I love the texture of the terracotta and the proportions of the female form. Stylistically, I'm also attracted to this era.
Quite likely the most beautiful and erotic sculpture I've ever seen. One of Canova's great masterpieces. Subtle, sensual, and beautifully done. The lines are so fine and the over all texture of the skin is very smooth. Gorgeous.
Bernini's most impressive work, in my opinion. This one combines elements of sacred Christian imagery with imagery of a subtle and somewhat erotic nature. The very title of the work could be interpreted in a number of ways, but the look on St. Theresa's face and her arched back and outstretched arms make it clear that she is experiencing a sensual, as well as spiritual, reverie.
Simple and poignant. Although, I don't care for bronze works as much as marble because I prefer the smoother and more life-like texture, this statue has always been of great fascination to me. At once it recalls images of the classical Greek philosophers, but also reminds us of the poets and artists of the Renaissance, yet this is a modern piece in comparison. Still, it's timeless as far as I'm concerned.
Perhaps one of the most iconic sculptures that appear on this list and certainly one of my favorites. I love the damage that time has done to this piece, as it gives an even more timely and mysterious nature.
Whether this is Zeus or Poseidon, no one can say for sure, but this ancient Greek bronze sculpture is one of the most memorable images of classical Greece for me. I've always been taken with Greek and Roman myths and whenever I think of Zeus, King of the Gods, hurling thunderbolts from Mount Olympus I picture this sculpture.
This is Michelangelo's greatest work, in terms of sculpture, for me. The look of loving despair on Mary's face and the posture of the dead Christ in her arms is heartbreaking. Another astonishing example of a very realistic simulation of fabric.
Of the many equestrian sculptures and statues, this remains the most impressive and exciting. I also really love how realistic the rider is posed. For some reason, I always think of Cervantes' Don Quixote when I see this statue.
Although each individual figure in the Terracotta Army is different and some aren't as well-made as others, these sculptures are still an awesome example of Chinese artwork. Not only are you immediately impressed with the quality of the sculptures and the artistic skill that would have been required to create them, but you're also stunned by the sheer multitude of them. Purely awesome.
Quite likely the most famous sculpture in the world, Michelangelo's David is a rather remarkable work, simply as a study in human anatomy. The musculature and the facial features are all somewhat idealized, but over all the figure is very life-like. I don't care for the hair though.
In many ways, I prefer this bronze sculpture of David by Donatello over Michelangelo's, in part because of the more dynamic pose and the more realistic figure, but also because I like the facial expression and the hair more. However, a certain component of this work is hard not to laugh at because of its girth (or lack thereof). That's all I'm saying.
Of the many great sculptures and statues of Greek and Roman gods, there are few remaining examples of works devoted to the various monsters from mythology. I love this one of the Chimera, a beast that had the head of a lion, legs of an eagle, and a tail with a serpent's head.
One of the quintessential works by Donatello and yet not as high profile as some of his others. This is one of my favorite images of the Saintly Knight who, according to legend, bested the devil in the form of a dragon.